Number Eight in Lee Child's series of novels featuring Jack Reacher, and it's a bit of a departure. Set in 1990, Reacher is still an MP in the Army. The Berlin Wall has fallen. Reacher has been recalled from Panama, where Noriega's still at large, to an Army base in North Carolina.
He's only been there a few days when a General, supposedly en route from Germany to California, turns up dead in a sleazy motel adjacent to a strip club. Evidence points to a clandestine assignation. He's not the victim of foul play, but … his briefcase is inexplicably gone missing. As Reacher struggles with trying to clear up this one niggling detail, other bodies are discovered, ones that definitely are homicide victims.
Lots of globetrotting, from Germany and France to the California desert. A twisty plot reveals a vast conspiracy, with heavy emphasis on Reacher's dogged detective skills. His battles are not only with the bad guys, but also an Army bureaucracy that seems to want to cover up embarrassing details.
Since it's sent in "the past", we get to meet folks that are deceased in the "present": Reacher's brother, Reacher's mom (!), and Reacher's mentor, General Garber.
Can Tom Cruise play Reacher convincingly on the big screen? I have my doubts; I keep seeing Kiefer Sutherland instead.