A lone gunman hides in a parking garage and shoots into a crowd in a public plaza in a small Indiana city. Five random people die in a senseless massacre. But the shooter leaves a perfect trail behind him and the police quickly track him down. His name is James Barr. It's a watertight case.
Jack Reacher is working on his tan with a Norwegian blonde on the beach in Miami. He is so cool you could skate on him. But he doesn't like to stick around. He likes to be on the move. He was in the machine his whole life. Then the machine coughed and spat him out. Now mostly he rocks and sways and dozes on buses, watching the passing scene, observing the chaos of America.
After his arrest, James Barr refuses to talk. Then, to his lawyer, he utters a single phrase: 'Get Jack Reacher for me.' What past event connects this obvious psychopath with the wandering ex-army cop?