In the following Q&A, Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series answers fan question on his writing, the Reacher character, the setting of his novels, and his latest book Never Go Back.
James D. “Jim” Grant (born 29 October 1954), primarily known by his pen name Lee Child, is best known for his Jack Reacher novel series. The books follow the adventures of a former American military policeman, Jack Reacher, who wanders the United States. His first novel, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony Award, and the Barry Award for Best First Novel.
After being made redundant from his job due to corporate restructuring, Grant decided to start writing novels, stating they are “the purest form of entertainment.” In 1997, his first novel, Killing Floor, was published, and he moved to the United States in the summer of 1998.
Grant starts each new installment of his book series on the anniversary day he began writing the first book in the wake of a job loss.
His pen name “Lee” comes from a family joke about a heard mispronunciation of the name of Renault’s Le Car, as ‘Lee Car’. Calling anything ‘Lee’ became a family gag. His daughter, Ruth, was ‘lee child’.
Happily for Grant, ‘Child’ places his books alphabetically on bookstore and library shelves between crime fiction greats Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie.
In Never Go Back, former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.
When threatened, you can run or fight.
Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.
Combining an intricate puzzle of a plot and an exciting chase for truth and justice, Lee Child puts Reacher through his paces—and makes him question who he is, what he’s done, and the very future of his untethered life on the open road.