Ex-MP Jack Reacher goes into action to find his brother's killers, after a series of brutal crimes terrorizes tiny Margrave, Georgia, only to uncover the dark and deadly conspiracy concealed behind the town's peaceful facade.
Jack Reacher gets off a bus in a no-account town near Atlanta and walks down a road. Within hours, he is arrested for murder. He catches on before even the local police do that a lot more than just murder is going on in Margrave.
Jack Reacher: Tough ex-military policeman, short on sentences and grammar, but long on deductive reasoning and strength, Out of the army 6 months, and is a rambler - no fixed address, no social ID, no passport...no nothing!
Officer Roscoe: Magrave's only policewoman. Reacher's love interest in this novel.
Captain Finlay: Magrave's detective bureau chief. Previously a twenty year veteran in Boston. Finlay's good. Real good.
Paul Hubble: Banker in Margrave, who's got himself caught up deeper in an illegal operation than he'd have ever wanted. Related to police officer
The Kliners: A sinister father-son combo who own/run the warehouses in Margrave. The father established the Kliner Foundation. He is approaching sixty, Iron-gray hair, tanned, bone-hard and lean. Also owns property in Venezuela.
Morrison: Margrave's Chief of Police. Unprofessional, unhealthy, unlikable guy.
The barbers (and sister): Local barbers - two old black guys who know pretty much all of Margrave's history. A sister also exists with some "specialist knowledge" of particular interest to Reacher in this novel.
Desk guy: Nameless desk guy at Margrave police headquarters.
Eno: Grumpy, bad-tempered and rude proprietor of Eno's Diner, Margrave.
Blind Blake: An old, deceased blues guitar player who is the reason Reacher even turns up in Margrave in the first place. He knows Blind Blake dies here, and he wonders what the story is.
Spivey: Assistant warden at Warburton that assigned Reacher and Hubble to their cells after intake. He has fleshy reddened skin, big hard belly, wide neck and small eyes.
Detective Gray: Former Margrave Police Department chief of detectives who hung himself in February
EVALUATE. LONG EXPERIENCE HAD TAUGHT ME TO EVALUATE and assess. When the unexpected gets dumped on you, don’t waste time. Don’t figure out how or why it happened. Don’t recriminate. Don’t figure out whose fault it is. Don’t work out how to avoid the same mistake next time. All of that you do later. If you survive. First of all you evaluate. Analyze the situation. Identify the downside. Assess the upside. Plan accordingly. Do all that and you give yourself a better chance of getting through to the other stuff later.
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They taught me that inhibitions would kill me. Hit early, hit hard. Kill with the first blow. Get your retaliation in first. Cheat. The gentlemen who behaved decently weren’t there to train anybody. They were already dead.
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He had crashed through the barrier. He had stopped worrying and started relaxing. He was up on that plateau where you just did whatever needed doing. I knew that place. I lived there.
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I had to decide how to use that pressure. I had to decide whether it was going to crush me or turn me into a diamond.
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In an ambush situation, waiting is what wins the battle. If the other guy is wary, he’ll come early or late. When he figures you won’t be expecting him. So however early he might make it, you’ve got to be ready earlier. However late he might leave it, you’ve got to wait it out. You wait in a kind of trance. You need infinite patience. No use fretting or worrying. You just wait. Doing nothing, thinking nothing, burning no energy. Then you burst into action. After an hour, five hours, a day, a week. Waiting is a skill like anything else.
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“Further On Up the Road.” Bobby Bland sings it in G major.
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Lugubrious, you know? A very dour sort of guy. And bored. He was a good detective, and he
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graunched. “I’ll live,” he said.
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‘Pluribus’?” She thought about it and shrugged. “Pluribus?”
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copse, next to the road, on the right, an earth track looping behind it, then joining up with the road again. I saw it a couple of miles ahead. The trees were a smudge on the horizon. I drove on toward it. Snapped the glove compartment open and lifted the big automatic out. Wedged it between the squabs
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