In looking for what book I am going to read next, I go through a process that includes browsing Amazon's books of the month and then my Wish List. If nothing catches my eyes, I go back to series and authors that I love. This list of authors and series that I love includes Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. After catching up on the series, I hadn't gone back for the two latest novels, so it was a perfect time to pick up Night School.
Night School was an interesting move in the series as it brought us back to the past with a prequel to the entire series instead of picking up where Child left off at the end of Make Me with a question as to whether or not Jack Reacher's injuries would persist into the future. While I will have to wait a little bit longer to see how Child handles that scenario, I think this novel couldn't have been written in 1997 when it takes place. It required some knowledge of what has happened since then to correctly write a thriller that could have taken place in that time period.
Night School starts with Reacher being assigned to a 'night school', or that is what his colleagues are told. Reacher is actually assigned to a clandestine organization that reports directly to the National Security Advisor and is with a team that includes the miltary (Reacher), CIA, and FBI. Their task is to figure out what is going on with a sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany. They have a mole within the cell, but he isn't sure what is happening just that they housed a messenger that had a meeting in Hamburg with someone there.
The investigation takes Reacher to Hamburg, back to the United States, and then back to Hamburg again. As part of the investigation into Islamic terrorism (though they don't call it that), Reacher runs into / needs the help of a Detective on the Hamburg police force and a neo-nazi group that has its tentacles throughout the city and its power structure. Child does a great job intricately weaving between the various points of view in the story (the detective, Reacher, the neo-nazi group, and 'The American') to make it all connect into a cohesive story.
As with all of these books, the question is not whether or not Reacher will solve the case, but how. The how in this case is pretty interesting and the story brought me to the point where I didn't want to put it down. I ended up only putting it down when the train ride was over, or I couldn't keep my eyes open while laying in bed.
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars