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Publisher's Summary

Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from number-one New York Times best-selling author Lee Child, "a superb craftsman of suspense" (Entertainment Weekly). 

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn't get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What's one extra day? He takes the detour.

At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they're stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It's a strange place, but it's all there is.

The next morning, in the city clerk's office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He's told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He's always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, was he ever there in the first place?

As Reacher explores his father's life, and as the Canadians face lethal dangers, strands of different stories begin to merge. Then Reacher makes a shocking discovery: The present can be tough, but the past can be tense...and deadly.

Praise for Past Tense:

“Superb... Child neatly interweaves multiple narratives, ratchets up the suspense (the reveal of the motel plot is delicious), and delivers a powerful, satisfying denouement. Fans will enjoy learning more of this enduring character’s roots, and Child’s spare prose continues to set a very high bar.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Another first-class entry in a series that continues to set the gold standard for aspiring thriller authors.” (Booklist)

“With his usual flair for succinctness and eye for detail, Child creates another rollicking Reacher road trip that will please fans and newcomers alike.” (Library Journal)

©2018 Lee Child (P)2018 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Deductive reasoning gone mad

I enjoy Jack Reacher stories and can endure the somewhat excessive deductive reasoning prowess of Reacher. But this time, the other players become a pretext for showing off logical reasoning among the characters and highly implausible. It was difficult for me to move on in the story beyond the couple trapped in the supposed motel...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

My thinking on this book

All together I had to keep listening curiosities got the cat but l felt very confused about what was really going on. I am glad it is finished cannot recommend it. I normally love Le Child books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just ok, not my favourite

it had an interesting story, but fought to keep my attention. Jack Reacher has become almost verbose, and a lot of time was spent on an almost unrelated bunch of characters, though they did meet up in the end. Problem is there have been so many great ones....this was just..... interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book

great entertainment during long car rides. you may have to do some extra laps. A

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

slow paced but good

Started really slow, and never really got any faster. But still a good Jack Teacher story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Plot great, Brick just ok

I think Scott Brick did an alright job, plus star because he had huge dick hill shoes to fill.

I loved this book, I found Reachers tie in to the evil plot well constructed and entertaining compared to previous titles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great Lee Child Book

A bit slow to start, but it quickly became interesting and then, as is usual, a two hour rush to the end.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • shelley
  • Raleigh, NC
  • 2018-11-05

FIVE STAR BOOK And NARRATION!!!!

Hmmmm... This book starts out kind of strange for me anyway. My two favorite narrators are Scott Brick and Dick Hill. Scott does certain books and Dick does Reacher. Unfortunately Dick Hill retired, so people who can't get used to a different narrator are SOL!!!!
Onward and upward and onto the book.
I started listening at 3am when this became available and picked up again this morning.
You have a young couple whose car broke down and are being ^helped^ by four men. . The men are in the process of remodeling an old hotel but there's something wrong with the whole picture...
Meanwhile Reacher has taken a detour to the town his father is from but can find nothing. The Reacher name is on no property records, no census records, nothing...
Interesting story. But it didn't feel like a Reacher book until...
The couple start feeding creepy about the brothers. They don't yet know, but they have reason to be. The brothers want them for something...
At the police station Reacher finally gets two hits on his name. One from 75 years ago, the other from only 1 1/2 years ago. The more recent hit on his name came from the owner of a hotel that's being remodeled ...
This book changes POV between Reacher and the couple. There is quite a bit of planning and calculating giving the story a little more complexity then some of the previous books. Don't get me wrong, this is Reacher , someone(s) gonna end up in the hospital!
I'm almost done and I don't want to be!!
This is a FIVE STAR BOOK with FIVE STAR narration by SCOTT BRICK...
This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATIONS.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

116 of 131 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • richard ferguson
  • 2018-11-16

excellent ! perfectly entertaining

loved the book wouldn't want to spoil it. and the johndra of Jack Reacher, Lee Childs does not disappoint.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 2018-11-06

I enjoyed this rather diffferent Reacher novel

I see that Shelley has already written a 5 star review. Few Reacher novels have affected me as this poignant family story has. PAST TENSE is in my opinion the best of the last few Reacher novels. I'm not going to write more about that because it risks giving the story away.

Now that Dick Hill has retired I am delighted to see that Scott Brick has replaced him as narrator of the Jack Reacher series. While their voices are somewhat different both are among the best male narrators. I've enjoyed many dozens of audiobooks narrated by both Dick Hill and Scott Brick. Dick Hill's narrations will be missed. I'll also note that George Guidall is six months past his 80th birthday so I must wonder how much longer he will continue to narrate audiobooks.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 2018-11-12

Superb

Reacher leaves Maine on his way to San Diego for the winter months. On his way he angers a Boston Mob boss who sends a hit team to take care of Reacher. While passing through Laconia, New Hampshire, Reacher decided to delve into some of his family’s history as his father was born in Laconia. Child had me wondering as he had what seemed to be an unrelated plot that he switched to every other chapter. But all tied together at the end.

The book is well written and moves at a fast pace. The plots twist and turn and, of course, there is lots of action. Child is a master storyteller. I could hardly put this book down. Now I can not wait for the next Reacher book.

The book is almost thirteen hours. Where is Dick Hill? Hill has narrated all the prior 22 Reacher books. To me Hill is Reacher. I like Scott Brick; he is one of my favorite narrators but he is not Dick Hill. I do hope that Hill returns in book number 24.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David E L
  • 2018-12-05

Reacher does his thing

Pretty typical Reacher novel. Entertaining enough. Wish there were more twists and sub-plots... and more of a main mystery to solve.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. B. Sun
  • 2018-11-15

Jack Reacher at his best.

Over the years I have probably read all of the Jack Reacher series. First I got what the library had, then I had more choice with Audible. I had become less positive toward the books during the last several years feeling they were being taken too far afield from my enjoyment. Past Tense has renewed my former interest. It was interesting enough for me to listen intently during the time I had available and hating to shut it down. Thank you Lee Child.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Silverhamr
  • Waukegan, IL USA
  • 2018-11-09

Miss Dick Hill but Scott Brick does not disappoint!!

I enjoyed this long awaited Reacher novel—but it was over so quickly and now, must I wait another year??

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca L Riston
  • 2018-11-07

Great story...but I missed Dick Hill

I am a big Scott Brick fan...but I miss Dick Hill's stony narration. Great story, unpredictable and different, while still remaining classically Reacher.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eli
  • 2018-11-08

Yet another great Reacher story,

Excelent suspenseful story, I never know what to expect from each Reacher story I read. I was initially disappointed to see that Dick Hill was not the reader, but after giving him a chance, Scott Brick did a great job reading Reacher and all the other characters. Still, Dick Hill 'IS' Reacher in my head, but I'm not going to skip a Reacher book just because it's not read by Dick Hill.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Diana
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 2018-12-08

Yawn. Worse one yet

This is by far the worse Reacher book to date. They have gotten steadily worse the last 4 or 5 but this one takes the cake.

Let’s get the narration out of the way. I was sorry to hear Dick Hill retired and not sure how Scott was chosen but yawn. He could put you to sleep.

The story was well.......boring. The narrative just went on and on. If I was reading the written book I could have scanned the pages and skipped the droning on but with audio you really can’t do that

The book finally got interesting with about 3 hours and 45 mins left to go, more Reacher like.

And patty and shorty really. First you have her being pretty bright and shorty about as dumb as the dirt his potatoes grow in. And then all of sudden he know what a faraday cage! Gimme a break.

Between Scott’s voice and longer than normal descriptions and ideas you could almost fall asleep. I listen while driving and had to which to music to wake my self up

I think Lee needs to create a new character for a new series-maybe one that looks like Cruise

4 of 5 people found this review helpful