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 by Lee Child
  • 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas--a place ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

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.

 
Modal popup -