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Night School
Cover of Night School
Night School
Jack Reacher Series, Book 21
by Lee Child
Borrow Borrow Borrow
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • The incomparable hero of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back takes readers to school in his most explosive novel yet. After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, discover the thrillers that The New York Times calls "utterly addictive."
    Don't miss a sneak peek of Lee Child's new novel, The Midnight Line, in the back of the book.
    It's 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he's off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.
    Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.
    Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: "The American wants a hundred million dollars."
    For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don't get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.
    From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.
    Praise for Night School
    "The prose is crisp and clean, and the fighting is realistic. . . . This latest installment has all the classic ingredients: a great setting (Hamburg), a good villain, and a mystery that draws you in efficiently, escalates unpredictably, and has a satisfying resolution."The New Yorker

    "Another timely tour de force . . . The taut thriller is textbook [Lee] Child: fast-paced and topical with a 'ripped from the headlines' feel."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    "As gripping as ever."The Florida Times-Union
    Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series
    "Reacher [is] one of this century's most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes."—The Washington Post
  • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • The incomparable hero of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back takes readers to school in his most explosive novel yet. After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, discover the thrillers that The New York Times calls "utterly addictive."
    Don't miss a sneak peek of Lee Child's new novel, The Midnight Line, in the back of the book.
    It's 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he's off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.
    Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.
    Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: "The American wants a hundred million dollars."
    For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don't get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.
    From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.
    Praise for Night School
    "The prose is crisp and clean, and the fighting is realistic. . . . This latest installment has all the classic ingredients: a great setting (Hamburg), a good villain, and a mystery that draws you in efficiently, escalates unpredictably, and has a satisfying resolution."The New Yorker

    "Another timely tour de force . . . The taut thriller is textbook [Lee] Child: fast-paced and topical with a 'ripped from the headlines' feel."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    "As gripping as ever."The Florida Times-Union
    Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series
    "Reacher [is] one of this century's most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes."—The Washington Post
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    Excerpts-
    • From the book Chapter 1

      In the morning they gave Reacher a medal, and in the afternoon they sent him back to school. The medal was another Legion of Merit. His second. It was a handsome item, enameled in white, with a ribbon halfway between purple and red. Army Regulation 600-­8-­22 authorized its award for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the United States in a key position of responsibility. Which was a bar Reacher felt he had cleared, technically. But he figured the real reason he was getting it was the same reason he had gotten it before. It was a transaction. A contractual token. Take the bauble and keep your mouth shut about what we asked you to do for it. Which Reacher would have anyway. It was nothing to boast about. The Balkans, some police work, a search for two local men with wartime secrets to keep, both soon identified, and located, and visited, and shot in the head. All part of the peace process. Interests were served, and the region calmed down a little. Two weeks of his life. Four rounds expended. No big deal.

      Army Regulation 600-­8-­22 was surprisingly vague about exactly how medals should be handed out. It said only that decorations were to be presented with an appropriate air of formality and with fitting ceremony. Which usually meant a large room with gilt furniture and a bunch of flags. And an officer senior in rank to the recipient. Reacher was a major, with twelve years in, but other awards were being given out that morning, including three to a trio of colonels and two to a pair of one-­star generals, so the big cheese on deck was a three-­star from the Pentagon, who Reacher knew from many years before, when the guy had been a CID battalion commander working out of Fort Myer. A thinker. Certainly enough of a thinker to figure out why an MP major was getting a Legion of Merit. He had a look in his eye. Part wry, and part seal-­the-­deal serious. Take the bauble and keep your mouth shut. Maybe in the past the guy had done the same thing himself. Maybe more than once. He had a whole fruit salad of ribbons on the left chest of his Class-­A coat. Including two Legions of Merit.

      The appropriately formal room was deep inside Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Which was close to the Pentagon, which was convenient for the three-­star. Convenient for Reacher too, because it was about equally close to Rock Creek, where he had been marking time since he got back. Not so convenient for the other officers, who had flown in from Germany.

      There was some milling around, and some small talk, and some shaking of hands, and then everyone went quiet and lined up and stood to attention, and salutes were exchanged, and medals were variously pinned or draped on, and then there was more milling around and small talk and shaking of hands. Reacher edged toward the door, keen to get out, but the three-­star caught him before he made it. The guy shook his hand and kept hold of his elbow, and said, "I hear you're getting new orders."

      Reacher said, "No one told me. Not yet. Where did you hear that?"

      "My top sergeant. They all talk to each other. U.S. Army NCOs have the world's most efficient grapevine. It always amazes me."

      "Where do they say I'm going?"

      "They don't know for sure. But not far. Within driving distance, anyway. Apparently the motor pool got a requisition."

      "When am I supposed to find out?"

      "Sometime today."

      "Thank you," Reacher said. "Good to know."

      The three-­star let go of his elbow, and Reacher edged onward, to the door, and through it, and out to a corridor, where a sergeant first-­class skidded to a halt...
    About the Author-
    • Lee Child is the author of twenty New York Times bestselling Jack Reacher thrillers, eleven of which have reached the #1 position. All have been optioned for major motion pictures—including Jack Reacher (based on One Shot) and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Foreign rights in the Reacher series have sold in almost a hundred territories. A native of England and a former television director, Lee Child lives in New York City.
    Reviews-
    • Publisher's Weekly

      Starred review from August 8, 2016
      Set in 1996, bestseller Child’s splendid 21st Jack Reacher novel (after 2015’s Make Me) delves into his hero’s U.S. Army past. Right after Reacher is commended for a mission in the Balkans, he’s immediately sent “back to school.” It turns out that school means a vital and secret mission: a sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has learned of an American traitor with something to sell to Islamic terrorists for $100 million. Alfred Ratcliffe, the U.S. president’s National Security Adviser, tells Reacher and his fellow students—two seasoned agents from the CIA and the FBI—“we have enemies everywhere” and gives Reacher’s team its orders: “Your job is to find that American.” It’s no spoiler to say that Reacher handles the heavy lifting on-site in Hamburg, though he’s ably assisted by two former military police colleagues, Frances Neagley and Manuel Orozco. The premise of the pre-9/11 plot is both compelling and disconcerting, and Child applies his trademark eye for detail to make the whole endeavor surprisingly and thrillingly credible. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary.

    • Kirkus

      Jack Reacher finds himself involved in a race to stop a major terrorist operation.The Reacher series has had several entries set during its hero's time as an Army investigator. This outing is situated between the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the turn of the millennium, in a time of fear that the coming of Y2K might bring chaos. In other words, a time when the public still considered terrorism only a faint possibility for the United States. Reacher is part of a trio of government experts trying to track down an American who appears to have sold something to Middle Eastern radicals operating out of Hamburg. The novel tries to work up suspense by highlighting how unknowingly close Reacher and his quarry are operating to each other, but the missed connections and the way the action jumps from the U.S. to Europe impedes any momentum. That's not the whole problem, though. The novel contains descriptions of torture which are incidental to the plot and sour the rest of the book. And the shift here to terrorism, as opposed to the individual crime and corporate machinations that provided the villains in most of the series' other entries, doesn't sit right. Reacher novels are terrific pop entertainments. But they don't possess the weight or moral seriousness that allowed books by Eric Ambler, Geoffrey Household, and John le Carre to plausibly confront the dangers and moral dilemmas of their day. For the first time in 20 books, the man-mountain Reacher, and the story around him, moves like a lug. COPYRIGHT(1) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

    • Library Journal

      June 15, 2016
      Reacher returns after last year's No. 1 "New York Times" best-selling "Make Me", in time for the October 2016 release of the film "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back". In this 1996-set prequel, we revisit Reacher's army days, though he's not in uniform; the narrative opens, "In the morning they gave Reacher a medal, and in the afternoon they sent him back to school."

      Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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      Random House Publishing Group
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