From the cover
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 1997 by Lee Child.
All rights reserved.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-14705-4
The Library of Congress has catalogued the G. P. Putnam's Sons
Special excerpt from Die Trying
Jack Reacher made his first appearance in print on March 17, 1997—St. Patrick's Day—when Putnam published Killing Floor in the United States, which was Reacher's—and my—debut. But I can trace his, and the book's, genesis backward at least to New Year's Eve 1988. Back then I worked for a commercial television station in Manchester, England. I was eleven years into a career as a presentation director, which was a little like an air traffic controller for the network airwaves. In February 1988, the UK commercial network had started twenty-four-hour broadcasting. For a year before that, management had been talking about how to man the new expanded commitment. None of us really wanted to work nights. Management didn't really want to hire extra people. End of story. Stalemate. Impasse. What broke it was the offer of a huge raise. We took it, and by New Year's Eve we were ten fat and happy months into the new contract. I went to a party, but didn't feel much like celebrating. Not that I wasn't content in the short term—I sleep better by day than night, and I like being up and about when the world is quiet and lonely, and for sure I was having a ball with the new salary. But I knew in my bones that management resented the raise, and I knew that the new contract was in fact the beginning of the end. Sooner or later, we would all be fired in revenge. I felt it was only a matter of time. Nobody agreed with me, except one woman. At the party, in a quiet moment, she asked me, "What are you going to do when this is all over?"
I said, "I'm going to write books."
Why that answer? And why then?
I had always been an insatiable reader. All genres, all the time, but very unstructured. I naturally gravitated toward crime, adventure, and thrillers, but for a long time in the UK we lacked genre stores and fan magazines, and of course the Internet hadn't started yet, so there was no effective network capable of leading a reader from one thing to the next. As a result, I had come across some very obscure stuff, while being completely ignorant of...