Jack Reacher has been wandering the U.S. for years now, stumbling into one mess after another and out-thinking and out-punching the bad guys every time. In Make Me he steps off the train in the prairie town of Mother’s Rest because he’s curious as to how the town got its name. He has two working theories, either a mother died or a mother gave birth during the long wagon-train ride West, but he figures there’ll be a small plaque somewhere that will solve the mystery. “He had no place to go, and all the time in the world to get there…”
Reacher is ex-Military Police, honorably discharged by mutual agreement, and, after spending his life in bases around the world, spending some time getting to know the U.S. This is how Reacher novels begin, with Reacher just minding his own business and ending up in the wrong place at the right time.
Generally Reacher novels are pretty straight-forward. Reacher does something that someone paranoid interprets as a threat, they try to take him out, Reacher cleans up and moves on. There are occasional references to the past, but basically each novel could stand alone. This one is a bit more convoluted than usual – he partners up with a private detective, flies around the country tracking leads, gets injured, and doesn’t just walk away at the end. The next novel will have to continue some threads.
Good old-fashioned, hard-core action/mystery.