So I'm stuck in the Kansas City International airport, waiting for the flight back to Boston, and I've only brought one book with me (Sacré Bleu) which I've finished. I'm phobic about getting caught without reading material.
So I go to the airport newsstand and break my rule about reading series in publishing-date order. I get A Wanted Man (cover screaming "a JACK REACHER novel") by Lee Child, skipping over about six intervening Reacher novels. It probably doesn't matter. Because it's the same Reacher we know and love.
And (once again) Reacher finds himself dragged into a situation simply because he's hitching a ride. This time, on an I-80 exit in the middle of Nebraska. Reacher wants to go to Virginia for some reason. (He doesn't make it, at least not in this book.)
Reacher attracts violence and trouble like a magnet. I imagine I could hitchhike for years and never have anything interesting happen to me. Not Reacher. Every damn time, it's mayhem, duplicity, and murder.
His new fellow travellers are two nondescript guys and a woman. The guys are telling him stories that don't add up, obvious lies. And the woman doesn't say much, seemingly cowed and frightened.
Meanwhile, down the road, local law enforcement has a grisly murder to deal with at an abandoned irrigation pumping station, seemingly committed by a couple of nondescript guys. The cops are pretty good, and put out roadblocks to stop any car with two guys. But (hah) that won't include the car Reacher's riding in, because it now has three guys and a woman.
Reacher novels have a common thread, worth keeping in mind: things are not what they seem. (If they were what they seem, the book could have been a couple-three hundred pages shorter.) You can try to figure out the story on your own, or you can wait until Reacher tells you what he's figured out. At this point, I'm going with the latter strategy.