'Reaching' Back to a Murky Past

Lee Child's Latest Novel Prequels His Popular Series

Author Lee Child. Blanche Mackey hide caption

Read an excerpt from 'The Enemy'
itoggle caption Blanche Mackey

Jack Reacher is a man who redefines the term "loner." A tough ex-military cop, Reacher wanders across America without any family, job or possessions, but trouble seems to find him wherever he goes.

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British novelist Lee Child takes the maverick drifter back to 1990 in The Enemy, the eighth book of the best-selling "Jack Reacher" series. In writing the prequel, Child had to create a younger, more naïve version of his popular character. "It was a tremendous exercise technically to regress a character rather than progress him," Child says. "But it was a lot of fun to do."

In the second of a three-part series on mystery writers, Child talks to NPR's Linda Wertheimer about his latest thriller and who "the enemy" really is.

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