• Past Tense

  • Jack Reacher, Book 23
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (12,222 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-seller.

Family secrets come back to haunt Jack Reacher in this electrifying thriller from "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:

“Child is one writer who should never be taken for granted.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“[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 Atlantic)

“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, boxed and starred review)

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

“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, starred review)

©2018 Lee Child (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Cerebral.... One doesn’t want Mr. Child’s storytelling to end.... Get your copy soon before Past Tense sells out. Then enjoy the ride.” (New York Journal of Books)

“The way everything winds up for all the participants shows a satisfying generosity of storytelling spirit.” (Kirkus Reviews

What listeners say about Past Tense

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

201 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I truly love the Jack Reacher novels. I always look forward to the next installment every year. This particular book left me a little disappointed. Not enough Reacher in it and the two main story lines were quite predictable. But I'll keep on reading the series. However, I want to express my great displeasure at choosing Scott Brick for the narration. I understand that Dick Hill has retired - he's entitled, but Scott Brick is my least favorite of all narrators. His droning tone puts me to sleep and I forget that I'm listening to a book. Of all the good narrators out there (and I have listened to thousands of books), why was that one selected? This is not the voice of Jack Reacher. Please Audible, switch to another narrator for the next novel. I go out of my way to avoid books narrated by Brick.

40 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

39 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Narrator was not Jack Reacher

I loved Dick Hill as Jack Reacher, I get it, he wanted to retire; however, this narrator did not compare whatsoever. Very monotone and it was hard to tell the characters apart, the women sounded just like the men, the accents were all mostly the same except for the guy from Yugoslavia. I may be a little biased for Dick Hill when it comes to Jack Reacher, but I'm open for a new narrator, just not this one.

The story was good, I liked the fact that it went to the past and had a good twist, maybe needed a little more Reacher fight action but over all it lived up to the Jack Reacher character.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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PROTEST RATING TO COUNTER THE 2 Star

Haven't heard this yet, but there is 1 review. Only complaint from the guy is the narrator was different. Knock it off! Scott Brick is a great narrator, and so is Dick Hill. Yes, changes happen. Live with it, don't punish the author! Not yet listened. Saving it. #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

29 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Boring and a very slow-moving plot.

The narration was fine...I like Scott Brick. I have also enjoyed almost all of the previous Reacher books. But this one dragged on and on, with not much plot. The activities at the motel could have been summed up in 5 sentences, but dragged on for hours. I rarely return books, but this one is going back...not worth the credit.

26 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Who stole Lee Child?

Scott Brick did a middling job as always. After all, Dick Hill is a tough act to follow.
As for the story, I place it near the bottom of the Reacher series. It is almost as someone else wrote it in the Lee Child manner. Simply a shadow of his best work, maybe second from the bottom. I hope Mr. Child gets well soon and gets back up to speed.

23 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Love Reacher and Scott Brick but not together

I love all the Jack Reacher books. And I have loved all the books so far I’ve listened to performed by Scott Brick... but he is not the voice of Reacher. It was very distracting a lot of the time.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Reacher in a while, almost ruined by narrator

This is the most interesting Reacher book in some time, with a story that provides the expected action but also provides emotional depth to the character. The various strands of the story (and there is a LOT going on) come together in a very satisfying way. Unfortunately, some brain-dead editor on auto-pilot selected Scott Brick to narrate it. I try to avoid Brick’s books, but I enjoy Reacher so I made an exception. I can’t imagine a worse choice to read a book about the tough, violent, unyielding Reacher. Brick’s predictably effete, soporific, sing-song delivery (talk about a guy with one speed!) robs a great story of its menace and intensity. It is as if he is actuallly trying to render the action sequences as dull as possible. Brick might be ok for some books, but for God’s sake find someone who is not a wimp to read Reacher.

21 people found this helpful