MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Echo Burning by Lee Child, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Echo Burning

A Jack Reacher Thriller

by Lee Child

Echo Burning
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2002, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"It was the real Wild West," she said. "A long time ago, of course. The Texas and Pacific Railroad put a stop there. So there were saloons and all. Used to be a bad place. It was a word, too, as well as a town. A verb, and also a place. To pecos somebody meant to shoot them and throw them in the Pecos River."

"They still do that?"

She smiled again. A different smile. This smile traded some elegance for some mischief. It eased her tension. It made her appealing.

"No, they don't do that so much, now," she said.

"Your family from Pecos?"

"No, California," she said. "I came to Texas when I got married."

Keep talking, he thought. She saved your ass.

"Been married long?" he asked.

"Just under seven years."

"Your family been in California long?"

She paused and smiled again.

"Longer than any Californian, that's for sure," she said.

They were in flat empty country and she eased the silent car faster down a dead-straight road. The hot sky was tinted bottle-green by the windshield. The instrumentation on her dashboard showed it was a hundred and ten degrees outside and sixty inside.

"You a lawyer?" he asked.

She was puzzled for a moment, and then she made the connection and craned to glance at her briefcase in the mirror.

"No," she said. "I'm a lawyer's client."

The conversation went dead again. She seemed nervous, and he felt awkward about it.

"And what else are you?" he asked.

She paused a beat.

"Somebody's wife and mother," she said. "And somebody's daughter and sister, I guess. And I keep a few horses. That's all. What are you?"

"Nothing in particular," Reacher said.

"You have to be something," she said.

"Well, I used to be things," he said. "I was somebody's son, and somebody's brother, and somebody's boyfriend."

"Was?"

"My parents died, my brother died, my girlfriend left me."

Not a great line, he thought. She said nothing back.

"And I don't have any horses," he added.

"I'm very sorry," she said.

"That I don't have horses?"

"No, that you're all alone in the world."

"Water under the bridge," he said. "It's not as bad as it sounds."

"You're not lonely?"

He shrugged. "I like being alone."

She paused. "Why did your girlfriend leave you?"

"She went to work in Europe."

"And you couldn't go with her?"

"She didn't really want me to go with her."

"I see," she said. "Did you want to go with her?"

He was quiet for a beat.

"Not really, I guess," he said. "Too much like settling down."

"And you don't want to settle down?"

He shook his head. "Two nights in the same motel gives me the creeps."

"Hence one day in Lubbock," she said.

"And the next day in Pecos," he said.

"And after that?"

He smiled.

"After that, I have no idea," he said. "And that's the way I like it."

She drove on, silent as the car.

"So you are running away from something," she said. "Maybe you had a very settled life before and you want to escape from that particular feeling."

He shook his head again. "No, the exact opposite, really. I was in the army all my life, which is very unsettled, and I grew to like the feeling."

"I see," she said. "You became habituated to chaos, maybe."

"I guess so."

She paused. "How is a person in the army all his life?"

"My father was in, too. So I grew up on military bases all over the world, and then I stayed in afterward."

"But now you're out."

From Echo Burning by Lee Child. (c) June 2001, Putnam Pub Group, used by permission

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The North Water
    The North Water
    by Ian McGuire
    In early 1859 the crew of the Volunteer, a Greenland-bound whaler, is making the most of the last ...
  • Book Jacket: City of Secrets
    City of Secrets
    by Stewart O'Nan
    In his new novel, City of Secrets, Stewart O'Nan spins a tale of espionage and intrigue as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Children
    by Ann Leary

    With remarkable wit and insight, Ann Leary pulls back the curtain on one blended family.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Weekenders

The Perfect Summer Escape!

Told with Mary Kay Andrews' trademark blend of humor and warmth.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

B A Usual

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.