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Gone Tomorrow - How to Recognize a Suicide Bomber and Other Jack Reacher Books, Movies, and TV

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L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired blood banker and laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!

Suicide bomber exercises by the U.S.

Chesapeake, Va. (Jan. 28, 2005)  Sailors assigned to Mobile Security Squadron Six (MSS-6) carry a wounded comrade during a simulated suicide bomber exercise on board Naval Auxiliary Landing

Chesapeake, Va. (Jan. 28, 2005) Sailors assigned to Mobile Security Squadron Six (MSS-6) carry a wounded comrade during a simulated suicide bomber exercise on board Naval Auxiliary Landing

Fiction is a lot like truth

I have heavily borrowed this information from one of my favorite authors - Lee Child and his book, Gone Tomorrow.

The book starts off with the hero, Jack Reacher, encountering what appears to be a suicide bomber on a NY subway. What happens after that is exciting, high drama, and suspense. If you don't know who Jack Reacher is yet, get to know him as soon as possible. He's the ultimate super hero for our times.

Reacher is a legend. He travels the USA by foot, bus, planes, and hitching rides. Rarely does he drive a car. Driving may be his only weakness.

Along the way he encounters slices of American life, sometimes the seediest forms of life. Then he kicks ass and takes names. He is an ex-MP who knows 20 ways to drop you to your knees, and that's just in his left hand.

In Gone Tomorrow, Reacher encounters a would be suicide bomber. This is in his wheelhouse. He knows how to deal with radical terrorists. He's been trained to recognize and stop them.

Suicide Bomber List:

  1. Inappropriate clothing - a heavy coat in the summertime, baggy, lumpy clothes
  2. Odd or unusual walk - explosives cause people to walk funny, go figure
  3. Irritability - these people look mad
  4. Sweating - may or may not be from wearing a heavy coat
  5. Tics - twitching
  6. Nervous behavior - oh, snap! Who wouldn't be nervous?
  7. Heavy breathing or rapid (panting) breathing
  8. Staring straight ahead - suicide bombers do not look around, they are focused on a target
  9. Mumbling - especially mumbled prayers, repetitive rote speech
  10. Carrying a large bag or case - it has a detonator inside
  11. Hand or hands inside the large bag or case - to trigger the detonator

There is another sign if the bomber is a man:

12. Clean and newly shaven face - Male suicide bombers usually shave right before the act in order to "blend" in. Like this is going to help!

What would you do if you saw someone like this?

While it is hard to convict a person based on subjective signs, you should certainly say something to the authorities. The next thing I would do is get away from this person as fast as possible. If you have a cell phone or camera handy, take a photo.

Remember, suicide bombers are not always of one race, creed or gender. They come in all sizes, shapes, and disguises.

Jack Reacher has his own way of dealing with terrorists.

The First Jack Reacher Movie: One Shot

The first Jack Reacher movie was released on December 21, 2012.

Wow, Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher? Let me describe Reacher for you:

He's over six feet tall, has blonde hair and a not too handsome face. In my mind he looks a lot like Lee Reherman. Reacher has scars, lots of scars (not all of them physical) and they show on his rugged face and body. He wears clothes until they are dirty, then he buys new ones at the Army Surplus Store. He wears a 3XL coat. He doesn't drive well, and he uses public transportation all the time. He is an ex-MP (Military Police). He travels around the country learning what it's like to be an American, a country he was not even raised in. He makes the world a slightly better place to live.

The Plot:

A sniper shoots from a nearby parking garage killing five of the six people he was aiming at. The suspect is an ex-military sniper. He is apprehended at home, in bed, with enough trace evidence, including the rifle, to make a definitive arrest right then and there.

Enter Reacher, who rolls into town to make sure that this ex-sniper is prosecuted and punished, so why does the accused and his sister ask him to help prove he is innocent? It makes no sense, the police caught the right guy, right?

The plot is so well written that you are sure they have the right man. Barr had means, motive and definitely opportunity. Who could have set up such a perfect frame job? Who indeed? The who, what, when, where and how will astound the audience. Child brings the reader right into the story and scares you badly enough to have nightmares for a long time after turning the last page.

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The Second Movie - Never Go Back, Video Trailer

Never Go Back - The Second Jack Reacher Movie

Reacher likes a girl. He only met her by talking to her on the phone. It turns out that she is his doppelganger in female form.

He travels back to his old army base to meet her, but she has been arrested. Jack will stop at nothing until he gets the truth and sets her free.

Great action scenes and political intrigue. Tom Cruise really does portray the spirit of Reacher. If only he matched the fans idea of what he should look like.

Jack Reacher Novels

The Jack Reacher series created by Lee Child (who also resembles Reacher) has a total of 23 books (and counting), the latest one, Past Tense releases in November of 2018, with more to come.

There is no reason to read them in a chronological order. Each book stands on its own as a complete story and all are based on the life of Jack Reacher.

These are books you'll want to collect in hard cover and re-read from time to time. They are full of action and human emotions. Situations occur that are realistic yet unbelievable at the same time. It hurts to know that some of these characters are undoubtedly real. That's what cause the nightmares. Reacher's bad guys are the worst in the world and Reacher isn't all that pleasant himself. But we need him, we really do.

Jack Reacher Book Order

These are the books in order of publication (they can be read in any order):

  1. Killing Floor - We meet Reacher's brother, who is dead. Reacher must find and punish the killer. All he wanted to do was look up an old Blues Musician.
  2. Die Trying - A woman is kidnapped and Reacher is taken along for the same ride. He decides he will save her from the kidnappers mostly because he has to save his own life too.
  3. Tripwire - One of my favorites. Vietnam missing in action sons are being found. Miraculously! Parents of the lost ones are being scammed. Reacher kicks some big time ass in this thriller and gets a bullet wound to the chest.
  4. Running Blind - A cross country who-done-it involving lots of green army paint and dead women in bathtubs. Reacher to the rescue!
  5. Echo Burning - A Texas thriller that explains why you don't want to pick a fight with an ex-MP or why you don't want to pawn your wedding ring.
  6. Without Fail - A political mystery about why you shouldn't try to kill the president. Reacher will muck you up!
  7. Persuader - Why Reacher gets involved in so many kidnappings is a mystery, but when it's a teenager and drugs are involved, he's the exact right person for the job!
  8. The Enemy - Two star generals die, sometimes they die in really embarrassing incidents. Reacher has to figure it out and understand why it takes all kinds to run an Army.
  9. One Shot - One of the worst criminal master minds in either of two great countries tries to retire on the backs of innocent people. Reacher don't play that way.
  10. The Hard Way - There's always an easy way to do things and then there is Reacher's way of doing things. It's almost always the hard way, but it most certainly is the right way.
  11. Bad Luck and Trouble - Old dogs have to die, that much is as true as it can be. But they don't have to die by simple bad luck. Trouble comes when Reacher finds out about bad guys throwing his old friends out of helicopters in the desert with no parachutes.
  12. Nothing to Lose - I really did not know that there were two towns called Hope and Despair, but now I know that despair can lead to the end of the world as we know it. Can Reacher conquer despair? Can he bring hope back into the world. I would say so, yes.
  13. Gone Tomorrow - Would you know a suicide bomber if you saw one. A terrorist has certain signs. Reacher knows them all. He also knows how to deal with terrorists.
  14. 61 Hours - Tight and fast. Reacher only has 61 hours to save a woman's life. He's the right man for the job, even when he fails.
  15. Worth Dying For - Child abuse. Is that worth dying for? Reacher thinks it is.
  16. The Affair - Special Forces are not immune to pleasures of the flesh and they often lead to things that could destroy our image of Delta Forces. Can Reacher save the 'higher ups' of his "army family"?
  17. A Wanted Man - One of the main reasons that people shouldn't hitchhike, especially not if you are Jack Reacher.
  18. Never Go Back - Reacher finally makes it back to Virginia to meet Susan Turner. She's not there and Reacher is the reason why. Can he solve this weird mystery?
  19. Personal - A sniper is trying to kill the president of France. Reacher may know the reason why and who it is.
  20. Make Me - Reacher arrives in a place called, "Mother's Rest". Odd name for a town, and an odd mystery lives here. After traveling in a crazy race through L.A., Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, Reacher makes it back to Mother's Rest and solves a nightmare beyond belief.
  21. Night School - Reacher, age 35, still in the army. He goes back to school to learn the latest in terrorism and the black market. There are heavy references to a pre-9/11 plot by an American with the Islamic terrorism groups.
  22. The Midnight Line - What has constant war done to our veterans? Reacher finds a West Point ring in a pawn shop and goes on the hunt for the owner of the ring. He knows what it means to get one.
  23. Past Tense - A clever plot to uncover the old family secrets of his father that started in a small New Hampshire town. Every town has its own secrets. Reacher gets caught up in the strange new mission of finding out what someone wants to do with the ancestral land.

Reacher News:

There is going to be a TV show based on the books and the life of Reacher! Rumor has it that it will be a streaming series made for the BBC network or a Netflix deal.

Tom Cruise will be replaced. Reacher is over six feet tall and has ham size hands. Cruise, although a great actor, just doesn't meet the size requirements. Lee Child fans were always disappointed with Cruise playing their hero when he just looks so different from Child's description.

Here are some suggestions to play the new Jack Reacher in the TV series:

  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - 6'4", 220 lbs.
  • John Krasinski - 6'3" (played Jack Ryan in the Amazon series of the same name)
  • Dolph Lundgren - 6'5" (played the Russian boxer, Ivan Drago)
  • Mathew McConaughey - 6' tall, well known actor
  • Chris Hemsworth - 6'3" (plays Thor in the Marvel Universe)
  • David James Elliott - 6'4" (recently starred as John Wayne in Trumbo)
  • Vin Diesel - 6' tall (star of Fast and Furious movies)
  • Alexander Skarsgård -6'4" (played Tarzan)
  • Chris Pratt - 6'2" (plays Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy)

Who do you think will be the new Jack Reacher in the TV series?

Reacher references:

  1. The Official Lee Child Website - Author Lee Child: Jack Reacher Novels Last modified Saturday, November 24,2018
  2. Jack Reacher | Author Lee Child: Jack Reacher Novels -
  3. Jack Reacher: With Tom Cruise out, who will play the action hero next? | The Independent; November 24, 2018

© 2010 Lela

Comments - Which is your favorite Reacher book?

Robert Sacchi on November 25, 2018:

I can understand that. It does change the dynamics of the character.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on November 25, 2018:

The thing is that in every book, Lee Child points out how huge Reacher is. So the fans all picture him as a giant. Tom Cruise was a slap in the face for us. It broke our fantasy. Hopefully, they will fix it this time.

Robert Sacchi on November 25, 2018:

Yes, if someone is looking for a tall strong man a 5'7" with an unremarkable build doesn't fit the bill. I know there is also the issue with Braveheart where from all historical accounts William Wallace was a giant of a man and they had the 5'9" Mell Gibson portray him. Then again from a historical standpoint there are many more significant historical inaccuracies in the movie. At least they haven't made a Braveheart II, yet.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on November 22, 2018:

Hi Robert. I have read all 23 of the Jack Reacher books, some of them twice. Suffice it to say, I am looking forward to the new TV series filming soon. Tom Cruise is a very poor Reacher as all fans of his know. Jack Reacher is 6ft. 4in. with hands the size of hams. He is also blonde with blue eyes. So, really looking for a good replacement.

Robert Sacchi on November 22, 2018:

Thanks for giving more details about Jack Reacher. I saw the original Jack Reacher movie and was impressed with the character's Sherlock Holmes like deductions.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on September 28, 2013:

So, a career in comedy may not be for you, then.

David on September 28, 2013:

I see one every time I look in the mirror. I reported it, but they just laugh at me.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on December 29, 2010:

Female suicide bombers get 72 virgin men to train as they wish! hahahaha. Ugly male virgins get to lick the boots!

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on December 29, 2010:

If islamist male suicide bombers get 72 virgins as a reward, what do female suicide bombers get? A chance to be one of 72 virgins. What if they are ugly? Would they have to wait eternally for a shagg, they had no hope of getting?

qwark on December 03, 2010:

Hi Austin"

It all starts at birth when the new, little mind can be molded.

Good info!


brandyBachmann on March 30, 2010:

thanks for this great hub... I do hope I don't get to meet a suicide bomber

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 13, 2010:

It's getting more and more common, unfortunately. My thing is, "How can anyone be brainwashed enough into doing the deed?" Seriously? 72 virgins?

Holle Abee from Georgia on March 13, 2010:

Wow! I guess I've never given this a lot of thought. Great tips!

breakfastpop on March 12, 2010:

Dear Austinstar,

I will read the book. Thanks for the heads up!

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 12, 2010:

I hope I never have to either. Do read the book. What Jack Reacher does is kick ass.

breakfastpop on March 12, 2010:

Very important and frightening hub. Thanks for the info, I hope I never have to use it.

Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on March 12, 2010:

Good one! No, I haven't had a chance to drive by that building yet. I live in the far northwest Austin area and though I used to drive by that area every day, I no longer work downtown. The Austin American Statesman, has featured many photos though.

Betty Reid from Texas on March 12, 2010:

I guess you could add "knows how to fly a plane". Have you had a chance to see the IRS building?

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