BOOKS: The Enemy: Lee Child

·2 min read

Sep. 10—Eight books into the Jack Reacher series, author Lee Child gives his hero an origin story.

Throughout the first seven books, readers know Reacher decided to leave his life and career as an Army military police officer to roam, nomad style, from place to place and adventure to adventure across the United States.

"The Enemy" reaches back to a time when Reacher was still an MP major and sets up the events that lead to his departure from the Army.

A general is found dead, of an apparent heart attack in a fleabag motel. When Reacher goes to inform the family of the death, he finds the general's wife dead, killed in an apparent break-in.

As he looks into the deaths, he discovers all of the top MP commanders have been abruptly pulled from tours in the hunt for Manuel Noriega in Panama and called to different assignments around the world.

The top Army MP officer in the U.S. has also been reassigned to Korea and is replaced by a commander who wants a mysterious and violent slaying filed as a training accident.

Meanwhile, the Cold War is drawing to a close and the Army will soon face drastic reductions in personnel.

Each Reacher book is different. In addition to "The Enemy" being an origin story, it forces Reacher into the middle of a whodunit mystery. He spends the majority of this book as an investigator working a case while his commanding officer tries to block him at every turn.

Some readers may be tempted to skip right to "The Enemy" since it's Reacher's origin story but they should check out the earliest books from the series for a better understanding of the character.

Like "The Persuader," the previous Jack Reacher novel, Reacher serves as the first-person narrator here but it seems to work better this time.

All said, "The Enemy" makes the wait for answers worth it.