A very helpful, kind, and useful commenter here alerted me to the fact that Lee Child had written a short story about Jack Reacher, Second Son. I hadn’t included this on my Lee Child books in order of publication post because…I had no idea it existed.
Well, now I’ve read all 40 pages and have to say it was a lot of fun. No surprises there. Of course, I wished there was more, but it is what it is.
And what it is is a fantastic story about a 13 year old Jack Reacher, who unsurprisingly, wasn’t at all like Justin Bieber as a kid, so if that’s the image you’ve got, smite it from your mind’s eye.
I’m not going to tell you much about it. We get into spoiler territory pretty quickly in a 40 page story. So here’s what I’ll say:
Reacher is on an island with his family.
There are problems that need to be solved.
Of course, Jack Reacher at any age is more than up to the task. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the man who doesn’t get pushed around was a kid that bullies should have avoided.
One word of warning: if you hope for any sort of decoding moment where you learn “Hey! That’s how he got that way!” you’re going to be disappointed. I actually loved that about the story. Reacher in Second Son is about as terse, brutal, funny, and introspective as he’s ever going to get, from here up through Worth Dying For and The Affair.
I got this as a free Kindle book from my library. If you want to know how to borrow library books for Kindle, please check that post out.
Also, I’m having a very hard time picturing this kid in the book growing up to Tom Cruise. In case you’re wondering who should play Jack Reacher in the movies, it has already been decided. Yep…Cruise.