"Night School" (Delacorte Press), by Lee Child
"Night School," featuring Lee Child's enigmatic hero Jack Reacher, goes back to 1996 when Reacher was still in the military.
After receiving a medal, Reacher takes on a mysterious assignment. When he reports for duty in what he thinks involves returning to school, he finds himself in a classroom with an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Like Reacher, they were recently rewarded with commendations from their bosses. However, the reason for the trio to get together isn't related to furthering their education. An undercover agent has overheard an ominous message: "The American wants a hundred million dollars."
Reacher and his new colleagues have their work cut out for them since they have no clue about the identity of this American or the underlying motives. What is the money for? Who is supplying it? Reacher must use all his military resources to uncover the truth.
All of the elements that fans love about the Jack Reacher series are in full effect in "Night School," and setting the novel in 1996 gives Child an opportunity to reveal more aspects of Reacher's life.