Have you joined the Hunt for Jack Reacher yet?
Jack Reacher is a trouble magnet. He doesn’t go looking for trouble. Instead, trouble finds him wherever he goes. But as long as you don’t piss him off, he seems harmless enough. Or, as one of my readers asked last week,
“Why are we hunting for Jack Reacher? Seems a decent enough kinda guy, not too hard on the environment, always shares a ride, digs pools by hand etc. so what has he done wrong?”
FBI Special Agents Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar aren’t irrationally obsessed with hunting for Lee Child’s Jack Reacher in my Hunt for Reacher Series. Simply put Otto and Gaspar are investigating Reacher because it’s their job.
In Don’t Know Jack, the first book in the Series, Otto and Gaspar are told to catch a plane to Atlanta, no questions asked. On the plane, Otto discovers her orders:
“The assignment seemed straightforward enough: Complete background investigation on potential candidate Jack-none-Reacher.”
–Don’t Know Jack
Simple as that, right? Otto and Gaspar aim to please the boss. Trying to make a living. In Gaspar’s case, trying to feed a pregnant wife and four kids, too.
But what DO they know about why they’re hunting for Jack Reacher? Not nearly enough.
They do know that Reacher is being considered for a top secret assignment. Details are classified. Agents Otto and Gaspar, they are told, have no need to know the details. The job is to investigate Reacher’s life since he left the Army. Find out whether Reacher is mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically up to the job.
But what IS the job Reacher’s being considered for?
If Otto and Gaspar’s assignment sounds like a stretch beyond reality, think again. Civilians are investigated by the U.S. government every day. Civilians are hired by the government for specialized projects every day, too. Sometimes, those projects go awry. Think Edward Snowden.
Take Rushan Abbas, for example. She is a civilian with a unique resume who was hired to assist in interrogating Guantanamo prisoners because she spoke a language that the government didn’t have an interpreter for. The language was Uighur – an obscure language spoken only in parts of central Asia.
When the U.S. government needed someone to interpret English for Uighur-speaking prisoners in Guantanamo, they turned to Ms. Abbas, who, believe it or not, worked at a sales job in California before the U.S. government asked her to help the Defense Department. Someone like Otto and Gaspar investigated her background before the request was made.
The point is, the assignment with which Otto and Gaspar are tasked does happen in real life. The government seeks out highly skilled people who are perfect for the very specific, very important job they need done. Before those people are hired, they are investigated.
We should ask not why Otto and Gaspar are hunting for Reacher, but what is the job Reacher is being vetted for and why were Otto and Gaspar chosen as the perfect pair for the hunt?
Do you have questions about the Hunt for Jack Reacher Series? Leave your questions by clicking the “Comment” button below, and I’ll do my best to answer them. After all, your inquisitive minds are part of the reason you are the best readers in the world!