March 1997. Six months before the events of Killing Floor, Jack
Reacher is still in the army. And there's big trouble in a small
town in Mississippi, where a soldier's girlfriend is found with her
throat cut from ear to ear. Local trouble? Or is the killer from
nearby Fort Kelham, a giant base used by elite Army Rangers?
Reacher's orders: go undercover, keep your distance, monitor the
investigation. The local sheriff is Elizabeth Deveraux, a beautiful
woman and an ex-Marine MP. She has all the skills she needs, but
she's making no progress. Why not? Is there a reason she doesn't
want the killer identified? And there's constant pressure from the
Pentagon, too. Shadowy figures from the world of politics want the
killer unmasked - but only if he's a civilian. Any other result
would be a catastrophe. Reacher and Deveraux can't get near the
base. There's a shadow force in the woods, enforcing a quarantine
zone around the fence. But side by side they piece together the
evidence - and their partnership becomes more than professional.
Eventually the army's official investigation produces a cast-iron
prime suspect - and so does Reacher's undercover search. But
Reacher's answer is not the same as the army's. If he keeps quiet,
will he be able to live with himself? And if he speaks out, will
the army be able to live with him?