Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

Blue Moon

Jack Reacher is on a bus, minding his own business as usual and headed nowhere in particular, when he sees someone who looks as though he needs Reacher's particular brand of help. Reacher follows the elderly man, Aaron Shevick, off the bus and saves him from a mugging. But when it's clear the man and his wife are being preyed upon by a local loan shark, Reacher decides to stick around to help rescue what little is left of their livelihood.

Two gangs--an Albanian and a Ukrainian one--control the town where the Shevicks reside. They're engaged in a turf war, and the elderly couple are only two of the many innocents caught in the middle. When Reacher inserts his 250 lbs., 6'5" self into the skirmish, the gangs quickly realize he's their most dangerous adversary.

Though it's number 24 in the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child's Blue Moon shows that Reacher isn't slowing down. If anything, he's deadlier than ever to bad guys; the body count in Blue Moon might be the highest in the series. Some of the violence is over the top, characters like hapless cartoons who blow themselves up. Some of it is disturbing, more execution than self-defense. The timeliness of the story, however, will provide some satisfaction to those frustrated with certain systemic flaws in the U.S. It's as if Child became fed up after seeing the lack of protection for society's most helpless and decided to send in Reacher to be the great equalizer in a place where so much inequality exists. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd