Book of the Day


The Midnight Line

By Lee Child

Jack Reacher Series 22

Delacorte Press
ISBN 978-0399593482
Publication Date: November 7, 2017

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The Midnight Line

Review by Clay Stafford

Character Jack Reacher catches a bus going anywhere and ends up in a little town with a pawnshop. Inside the pawnshop window, he sees a class ring: West Point 2005. The bus leaves town without Reacher.

The ring is small, more than likely formerly belonging to a woman. Being a West Point graduate himself, he feels it his duty/ honor/guilt (we see this throughout the novel) to return the ring to its rightful owner who must have fallen on hard times (to pawn the ring) or been robbed (someone stole the ring). Returning the ring leads Reacher on a suspense-filled adventure in which, we learn, the ring plays an insignificant role in what becomes a full-blown suspense story involving drug trafficking, government corruption, and human dignity.

The Midnight Line is incredibly smooth and easy to read. You’ll sit down and before you know it, you and Reacher are twenty pages down the road. I read those pages while standing, absorbed, in the kitchen, even after the water stopped boiling.

The Midnight Line, which concerns itself with the plight of some ill-fallen veterans and the nationwide opioid crisis, weaves fact brilliantly into fiction. We’ve all heard the shortcomings of the VA hospitals of late, as well as the impact of opioids, which cost $80 billion per year in lost productivity of abusers and kill 100 Americans daily. That’s daily. The Midnight Line is about bringing dignity back to those who have served. I was hooked.

Lee Child is the author of twenty-one New York Times bestsellers, twelve of which have occupied the #1 spot, and two that have been turned into movies (Jack Reacher [2012] and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back [2016]), both starring Tom Cruise.

I highly recommend, not only The Midnight Line, but the entire series. It’s a wonderful example of an anti-hero.

Clay Stafford is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He has sold over 1.5 million hardcover copies of his children’s adaptations and has seen his film work distributed internationally in over 14 languages. Four of his five staged murder mysteries have had Los Angeles premieres. He has reviewed books, plays, and films, writes near-daily book reviews for the Killer Nashville Book of the Day, has been quoted on book jackets, and has edited several PBS companion books associated with national series. Publishers Weekly has named Stafford one of the top 10 Nashville literary leaders playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” not only in middle-Tennessee, but also extending “beyond the city limits and into the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13). He is the founder of Killer Nashville ( and publisher of Killer Nashville Magazine ( He has served on the board of numerous nonprofits. Clay has a B.A. and M.F.A. and has been a professor or lecturer to several major universities. His list of current projects includes the award-winning feature-length documentary “One Of The Miracles: The Inge Meyring Smith Story” ( and the music CD “XO” with fellow mystery writer Jeffery Deaver ( Previously associated with Universal Studios and PBS, he is currently President / CEO of American Blackguard, Inc. (, a publishing/film and television/ music/entertainment company near Nashville, Tennessee. More information can be found at