Child switches to first-person narration for Gone Tomorrow, a move he's made in a few other Reacher novels based on what he feels suits the narrative best. Maybe that change shakes him up enough to kick out a good story without lazy plot contrivances like Nothing to Lose's evil land baron/clergyman. Or maybe Child just got stuck with a couple of dumb ideas at work -- that happens to everyone, but when "work" is the publication of best-selling novels, the dumb part is a lot more public and stretches out over a longer period of time.
Whatever the reason, Gone Tomorrow is a definite upswing from its two predecessors and reminds readers why they liked Child in the first place. Quick pacing, characters who may be a little cookie-cutter but who are given enough twist to be interesting, taut action are all present, and in service to a focused story that doesn't prompt a reader to wonder, "Are we there yet?"
Reacher, riding a New York City subway, encounters a woman he believes to be a suicide bomber. He's not entirely accurate, and his conversation with the woman draws the attention of the New York City Police, a number of shadowy federal agents and several others whose motives are as hidden as their capacity for violence is open. Reacher wades through the whole mess for reasons of his own, and series fans know he won't stop until he's satisfied, no matter what he might get in his way.
Here and there Child indulges himself the way a best-seller author can -- he spends an entire page describing a tranquilizer dart gun and how it works before noting that someone's pointing such a gun at Reacher, for example. But those indulgences are infrequent enough to merely annoy, not clog the story.
Gone Tomorrow doesn't match series peaks like Without Fail, Running Blind or Die Trying. But it most definitely does represent a welcome return to form for Child and his enigmatic wanderer.