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The most hotly anticipated paperback thriller of the year follows our hero Jack Reacher on a quest into his father's past, and climaxes in the most stomach-clenching, hair-raising, blood-curdling ticking time bomb of an adventure yet.


The most hotly anticipated paperback thriller of the year
follows our hero Jack Reacher on a quest into his father's past, and climaxes in the most blood-curdling ticking time bomb of an adventure yet.
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.

Praise for

“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

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

Ken Follett

“I loved it. One of the best.”

Jonathan Ross

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

Karin Slaughter

“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

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

Lisa Gardner

“Busy, bloody and ingenious”

The Times

“Busy, bloody and ingenious”

The Times

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

Joanne Harris

“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.”


“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

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

Evening Standard

“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

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Jack Reacher caught the last of the summer sun in a small town on the coast of Maine, and then, like the birds in the sky above him, he began his long migration south. But not, he thought, straight down the coast. Not like the orioles and the buntings and the phoebes and the warblers and the ruby-throated hummingbirds. Instead he decided on a diagonal route, south and west, from the top right-hand corner of the country to the bottom left, maybe through Syracuse, and Cincinnati, and St Louis, and Oklahoma City, and Albuquerque, and onward all the way to San Diego. Which for an army guy like Reacher was a little too full of navy people, but which was otherwise a fine spot to start the winter.

It would be an epic road trip, and one he hadn’t made in years.

He was looking forward to it.

He didn’t get far.

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