The Enemy (Child novel)
2004 Hardcover edition
|11 May 2004|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3553.H4838 E54 2004|
|Followed by||One Shot|
In the last hours of 1989 Army Major General Ken Kramer dies of a heart attack in a seedy North Carolina motel, apparently while in the company of a prostitute. Military Police Major Jack Reacher investigates and comes to the conclusion that the woman Kramer was with stole his briefcase.
Reacher and a female MP named Lieutenant Summer travel to Virginia to inform Mrs. Kramer of her husband's death. When they arrive at the Kramer home they find the house broken into and Mrs. Kramer murdered with a crowbar.
Reacher returns to the bar across the street from the motel in an attmept to identify the prostitute. His mishandling of the inquiry results in a parking lot fight with the bouncer. The bouncer is serverly injured. Afterwards, Reacher is told by the motel night clerk that he heard a military vehicle leaving after Kramer's death, and Reacher concludes that the woman Kramer was with is a female army officer. The book introduces General Vassell and Colonel Coomer, and later their errand boy, Major Marshall. It becomes clear that they are hiding something related to a printed agenda for a meeting that was in Kramer's briefcase.
Two soldiers named Carbone and Brubaker are murdered soon afterward. It turns out that Carbone filed a complaint against Reacher, his first in a sixteen-year career, for assaulting the bar owner. This puts Reacher under a cloud of suspicion.
Reacher, in a talk with the Army Chief of Staff, learns that with the collapse of Soviet communism, the army at large is worried about its inevitable downsizing, and in particular that the different branches are engaged in a furious battle for supremacy.
Reacher realises that Vassell, Coomer and Marshall killed Carbone by sneaking Marshall onto the base. This is proven when investigation of the car finds Marshall's fingerprints as well as large quantities of blood in the trunk.
Reacher arrests Vassell and Coomer for conspiracy to commit homicide. He makes the mistake of travelling alone to a firing range in the Mojave Desert to arrest Marshall. Marshall is hiding out in a bunker and a firefight ensues, during which Marshall calls his tank squadron, practising nearby, to fire rounds onto their position. Under cover of the incoming artillery shells, and realising that time is running out, Reacher bursts into the bunker and fires. Escaping in his Humvee, he drives the wounded Marshall to a military hospital.
Reacher finds the missing agenda. It turns out that it was a plan to ensure that Armored Branch, the military the conspirators worked for, avoided being reduced. The agenda was a plan to assassinate eighteen prominent individuals in the army, one already killed. Vassell, Coomer, and Marshall plead guilty as charged in exchange for life imprisonment, avoiding the death penalty which was threatened.
Feeling guilt for having maimed an innocent man for life, Reacher pleads guilty to the brutality charge that had been brought by Carbone. He is demoted to Captain for this impulsive and totally unnecessary act of violence and reassigned to a new command.
Awards and nominations