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  • Published: 2 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780857503626
  • Imprint: Bantam
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $22.99

Past Tense

(Jack Reacher 23)

'There's only one Jack Reacher. Accept no substitutes.' - Mick Herron: our hero Jack Reacher's quest into his father's past climaxes in the most stomach-clenching, hair-raising, blood-curdling ticking time bomb of an adventure yet.


'There's only one Jack Reacher. Accept no substitutes.' - Mick Herron.

The present can be tense . . .

A young couple trying to get to New York City are stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. Before long they're trapped in an ominous game of life and death.

But the past can be worse . . .

Meanwhile, Jack Reacher sets out on an epic road trip across America. He doesn't get far. Deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been - the town where his father was born. But when he arrives he is told no one named Reacher ever lived there. Now he wonders: who's lying?

As the tension ratchets up and these two stories begin to entwine, the stakes have never been higher for Reacher.

That's for damn sure.


Although the Jack Reacher novels can be read in any order, Past Tense is the 23rd in the series.

And be sure not to miss Reacher's newest adventure, no.27, No Plan B! ***OUT NOW***

  • Published: 2 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9780857503626
  • Imprint: Bantam
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Lee Child

Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. He was born in Coventry, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in New York. It is said one of his novels featuring his hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. His books consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over one hundred million copies. Lee is the recipient of many awards, most recently Author of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. He was appointed CBE in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Also by Lee Child

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Praise for Past Tense

Jack Reacher is today's James Bond, a thriller hero we can't get enough of

Ken Follett

Sometimes you just want someone who can beat the s*** out of people! I pick up Jack Reacher when I’m in the mood for someone big to solve my problems

Patricia Cornwell

Absolutely loved Past Tense – Lee Child just gets better and better, which is a very rare quality in a writer of a long-run series. Whip smart, always compelling, always fun, he is dangerously addictive.

Peter James

Loved [Past Tense]! Nothing makes for a great weekend quite like quality time with Jack .

Lisa Gardner

One of the best...hits the mark perfectly.

Joanne Harris

It’s Lee Child. Why would you not read it?

Karin Slaughter

Child's writing seems unusually expressive in this novel...a reminder that Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.

New York Times Book Review

Busy, bloody and ingenious

The Times

Child is an excellent writer...As ever, the prose is precision-tooled.

Evening Standard

I loved it. One of the best.

Jonathan Ross

The pace picks up...the action becomes brutal, and we're led to an extremely satisfying conclusion...I'm becoming increasingly understanding of our appetite for fiction that features proper punishment for baddies. It's deeply comforting to escape into an imaginary world where we're all safe in Jack Reacher's gammon-joint sized hands.


Lee Child shows no signs of slowing down. . . . Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.


The concision, procedural chops and terse, surprising action of Past Tense make it a fantastic read.

USA Today

Child at the top of his game

Woman & Home

With fast action, a smart plot and Reacher's laconic wit - as ever, it's pure pleasure

Sunday Mirror

The only question is whether it's a superior instalment in the series - and the answer is yes.

Mail on Sunday

Lee Child is a very good writer who happens to compose thrillers. He is a first-rate stylist...every landscape, street scene, room and person passing through the story is observed in clean, precise declarative sentences whose elegant simplicity belies the tremendous skill it took to craft them.

Times Literary Supplement

If you haven’t read any Jack Reacher, you have a treat in store. He excels at the art of the putdown, followed by a punch. But he is as sensitive as Sherlock Holmes to telling details in the way people present themselves, and to nuances of behaviour that lead him through mazes of lies to the truth...a hitchhiker without a phone, a one-man force for good.

The Times