The old saying about "Curiosity killed the cat," almost became "Curiosity killed Jack." Traveling by train, Jack Reacher is intrigued by the name of a small town in Oklahoma called Mother's Rest. He gets off the train imagining that he will discover an historical marker, or monument, or museum dedicated to the mother in question. What he finds instead is a private investigator searching for a colleague who has disappeared after calling for backup in Mother's Rest.
Reacher and P.I. Chang are drawn deeper and deeper into a bewildering chain of events, clues, and encounters that have them traveling to cities as far flung as Chicago, LA, and Phoenix. They call upon all of Reacher's military and MP training and Chang's skills as a former FBI agent, then reach out for some expert help like a science journalist and a highly-skilled hacker. What they find doesn't seem very restful.
Fans of Reacher will be pleased to see his appearance in the 20th book of the series, and also to see him making some human connections as he works with Chang to find her missing colleague. The action scenes are intense and fast; the intrigue has more layers than any onion ever hoped to have; and the cross sections of American culture they explore could not be any more widely varied.
For those who have not read any of the previous outings, this series has elements of detective work, hand-to-hand and armed confrontations, and a protagonist who always does what he feels is right - although it may not always be legal. The level and type of violence described, and the occasional references to adult/intimate situations make it suitable for older teens and adult readers - not for a younger crowd.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.