I hadn't read any of the Jack Reacher novels before reading this one so the character of Jack Reacher was an enigma to me and really still is. I think he's fascinating but I don't understand why he chooses to be homeless and why he chooses to involve himself so fully in the case of Susan Marks other than he feels somewhat guilty. I kind of like that though. I enjoyed having to figure things out about Jack in bits and pieces instead of having it all spelled out for me.
The book starts out with Jack riding the subway in NY late one night. He notices a woman who fits the profile of a terrorist. In his mind he goes down the 11 (for women) point list and mentally checks each one off (I love the symmetry when he does this for himself near the end of the book!). He decides at that point to intervene and starts to talk to the woman, hoping to stop her. What she does then is surprising and launches Jack into a deadly and deeply secret attempt to find a very incriminating photograph which pits him against the NYPD, the FBI, and a group of criminals from Turkmenistan.
This was one of those stay-up-all-night, can't-put-it-down-until-I'm-done kind of books. Jack is Jack Baueresque in his reactions, usually quick and almost without thought but doing what he thinks is right at the time. I thought it was very well written and deeply interesting and well worth the time to read. I even recommended it to my husband who doesn't have much time for reading usually so I only recommend the books I really enjoy. There was a little bit of sex, a little bit of profanity but not too bad, and a whole lot of violence. Rated PG-16 for the violence.