Read an extract from the pulse-pounding new Jack Reacher thriller The Secret
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Penguin Random House has shared an excerpt from The Secret – the new high-octane rollercoaster ride of a novel from Lee Child and Andrew Child.

Will Jack Reacher bring the bad guys to justice the official way … or his way?

In 1992 Chicago, a hospitalised man faces an impossible question from strangers before plummeting from his twelfth-floor window, drawing the attention of the Secretary of Defense.

Jack Reacher, recently demoted from Army Major, becomes part of an inter-agency task force to investigate.

With a cold-blooded killer on the loose and a 23-year-old secret to unveil, Reacher is determined to bring justice, whether that means playing by the rules or following his own instincts.

Read an excerpt:


Keith Bridgeman was alone in his room when he closed his eyes. The morning medical rounds were over. Lunch had been delivered and eaten and cleared away. Other people’s visitors had clattered along the corridor in search of relatives and friends. A janitor had swept and mopped and hauled off the day’s trash. And finally a little peace had descended on the ward.

Bridgeman had been in the hospital for a month. Long enough to grow used to its rhythms and routines. He knew it was time for the afternoon lull. A break from getting poked and prodded and being made to get up and move around and stretch. No one was going to bother him for another three hours, minimum. So he could read. Watch TV. Listen to music. Gaze out of the window at the sliver of lake that was visible between the next pair of skyscrapers.

Or he could take a nap.

Bridgeman was sixty-two years old. He was in rough shape. That was clear. He could debate the cause – the kind of work he had devoted his life to, the stress he had suffered, the cigarettes and alcohol he had consumed – but he couldn’t deny the effect. A heart attack so massive that no one had expected him to survive.

Defying odds that great is tiring work. He chose the nap.

These days he always chose the nap.

Bridgeman woke up after only an hour. He was no longer alone. Two other people were in the room with him. Both were women. Maybe in their late twenties. They were the same height. The same slim build. One was on the left side of his bed, nearer to the door. The other was level with her on the right, nearer to the window. They were standing completely still. In silence. Staring at him. Their hair was pulled back, smooth and dark and tight. Their faces were expressionless like mannequins’ and their skin shone in the harsh artificial light as if it was moulded from plastic.

The women were wearing white coats over hospital scrubs. The coats were the correct length. They had all the necessary pockets and badges and tags. The scrubs were the right shade of blue. But the women weren’t medics. Bridgeman was sure about that. His sixth sense told him so. It told him they shouldn’t be there. That they were trouble. He scanned each of them in turn. Their hands were empty. Their clothes were not bulging. There was no sign of guns or knives. No sign of any hospital equipment they could use as weapons. But Bridgeman still wasn’t happy. He was in danger. He knew it. He could feel it as keenly as a gazelle that had been ambushed by a pair of lions.

Bridgeman glanced at his left leg. The call button was where the nurse had left it, lying on the sheet between his thigh and the safety rail. His hand darted toward it. It was a fluid movement. Smooth. Fast. But the woman was faster. She snatched the button then dropped it, leaving it dangling on its wire, almost to the floor, well out of Bridgeman’s reach.


Categories Fiction International

Tags Andrew Child Book excerpts Book extracts Lee Child Penguin Random House SA The Secret

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