Die Trying (Jack Reacher, No. 2) Info

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In a Chicago suburb, a dentist is met in his office parking lot
by three men and ordered into the trunk of his Lexus. On a downtown
sidewalk, Jack Reacher and an unknown woman are abducted in broad
daylight by two men - practiced and confident - who stop them at
gunpoint and hustle them into the same sedan. Then Reacher and the woman
are switched into a second vehicle and hauled away, leaving the dentist
bound and gagged inside his car with the woman's abandoned possessions,
two gallons of gasoline. . . and a burning match. The FBI is desperate
to rescue the woman, a Special Agent from the Chicago office, because
the FBI always - always - takes care of its own, and because this woman
is not just another agent. Reacher and the woman join forces, against
seemingly hopeless odds, to outwit their captors and escape. But the FBI
thinks Jack is one of the kidnappers - and when they close in, the
Bureau snipers will be shooting to kill.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Die Trying (Jack Reacher, No. 2):

4

May 30, 2017

Good book, but not as great as I was expecting after the first book. I wish the first 3/4 of the book were as gripping and more like the last 1/4. The first 1/2 of the book Jack is stuck in a truck, an innocent passer by in a kidnapping. Though Holly is far from a damsel in distress. As good as the premise is after a couple of deductions from Reacher about his fellow "victim", the most exciting thing in these pages was Reachers mental maths to keep his mind active. Ok there are short bursts of Good book, but not as great as I was expecting after the first book. I wish the first 3/4 of the book were as gripping and more like the last 1/4. The first 1/2 of the book Jack is stuck in a truck, an innocent passer by in a kidnapping. Though Holly is far from a damsel in distress. As good as the premise is after a couple of deductions from Reacher about his fellow "victim", the most exciting thing in these pages was Reachers mental maths to keep his mind active. Ok there are short bursts of action, with Reacher in a no win situation not being able to leave someone dependant on him. For this Holly's injury was a good idea in the story.

The last 1/4 of this book is where the action is. This is where Reacher changes from prisoner to action man. I especially like the way Reacher is forced to face one of his own phobias, this is mark of a hero, not someone with no fear but someone who feels fear but overcomes it. The difference between the start of the book to the end was, at the beginning I was waiting for the pace to pick up, but the last 150 pages I could not put the book down. If the book changed like the earlier 100 pages earlier I would have give it 5 stars definitely. ...more
3

Jun 11, 2014

Since I despised the first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor you may be wondering why I read this second entry in this series. It’s all Tom Cruise’s fault.

Yeah, I know the Reacher fans were generally unhappy with Tiny Tom being cast as their hero who is supposed to be 6’5”, but I actually enjoyed the movie adaptation Jack Reacher quite a bit. Believe it or not a big chunk of the credit goes to Cruise who managed to convey the cocky arrogance needed while making it entertaining instead of over the Since I despised the first Jack Reacher novel Killing Floor you may be wondering why I read this second entry in this series. It’s all Tom Cruise’s fault.

Yeah, I know the Reacher fans were generally unhappy with Tiny Tom being cast as their hero who is supposed to be 6’5”, but I actually enjoyed the movie adaptation Jack Reacher quite a bit. Believe it or not a big chunk of the credit goes to Cruise who managed to convey the cocky arrogance needed while making it entertaining instead of over the top.* Plus, several people whose book judgment I trust have told me that the series got better over time so I figured I’d give Lee Child another shot. Besides, it could be another opportunity for me to be trolled by the hardcore Reacher fans, and who can resist that?

Jack Reacher is a former military policemen who is the baddest bad-ass who has ever bad-assed. Now retired he wanders around the country off the grid while making a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Reacher is walking down a Chicago street when he sees a young woman with an injured leg struggling to deal with her cane and the dry cleaning she just picked up so he tries to help her out. Suddenly armed gunmen show up and force them into a car. Reacher has just gotten swept up into a kidnapping plot that has huge implications for the U.S. government. The cherry on top of that scene is that Reacher thinks that he wouldn't have any problems taking out the gunman one-handed because apparently he doesn't deem the problem worth dropping the dry cleaning he's holding, but he's worried about stray bullets going into a crowd of people behind him so he decides to play along.

I did like this one a lot more than Killing Floor. It helped that Reacher is thrown into a scenario more fitting of an action hero rather than splitting time trying to play detective. Switching from the first person narrative to third person here is also a big improvement s because rather than the main character telling us how awesome he is we get to either see it or have it relayed from an outsider’s perspective.

The plot still seems like something lifted from an action movie and doesn’t bear much scrutiny even though it gets the job done. I was questioning several points like (view spoiler)[how the U.S. president is so concerned with politics that he turns a blind eye to a group of murderous conspiracy nut jobs who have kidnapped the daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I know this was written pre-9/11 shortly after the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents, but it was also after the Oklahoma City bombing (Which is never mentioned.) so it seems crazily unrealistic to think that the government would just try to ignore these yahoos. (hide spoiler)]

As in the first book at one point Reacher makes an intuitive leap of logic that would make Sherlock Holmes say, “Damn! How’d you pull that out of your ass?” There’s also a sex scene that induces enough eye rolling to cause the reader to make an appointment with their optometrist. (view spoiler)[ Reacher and Holly apparently find being forced to pull the tortured remains of a crucified man off a couple of trees and burying him a tremendous turn-on. (hide spoiler)]

Still, the flaws here are the kinds of things you’d expect from the genre and not the pure stupidity of the first book. That makes me think that maybe this series is worth a read after all.

* I also give writer/director Christopher McQuarrie a lot of the credit for crafting an entertaining action/crime thriller. McQuarrie also had a hand in two crime movies I love. He wrote the screenplay for The Usual Suspects and wrote/directed The Way of the Gun, one of my favorite movies that almost no one has ever heard of. ...more
5

Jun 23, 2016

“Get a problem, solve a problem,” he said. “That’s my rule.”


This was a winner!

I can wholeheartedly say that this book totally went above and beyond my expectations. It is a brilliant and intense mystery/thriller story with tons of action and several heart-stopping moments. If compared to the first book in the series, the plot is more complex and the characters have more depth. Surprisingly good! I can’t remember the last time I felt like my heart was going to burst from excitement while “Get a problem, solve a problem,” he said. “That’s my rule.”


This was a winner!

I can wholeheartedly say that this book totally went above and beyond my expectations. It is a brilliant and intense mystery/thriller story with tons of action and several heart-stopping moments. If compared to the first book in the series, the plot is more complex and the characters have more depth. Surprisingly good! I can’t remember the last time I felt like my heart was going to burst from excitement while reading a book. Die Trying kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through.

I don’t see any reason not to admire Jack Reacher. Everything about him screams confidence and competence. I have to ask this question out loud again—how could he remain so calm in almost every situation? How could he feel no trepidation even though the guns were pointed at him? What an OTT hero he is! Do I mind? Not a bit.


It was not in his nature to panic. Never had been. He was a calm man, and his long training had made him calmer. He had been taught to assess and evaluate, and to use pure force of will to succeed. You’re Jack Reacher, he had been told. You can do anything. First his mother had told him, then his father, then the quiet deadly men in the training schools. And he had believed them.


To be honest, I don’t know how to write this review without giving the story all away, so I think I’d better stop right here. This is a book that you need to read it for yourself.

**This one can be read as a standalone.

Jumping to the next book! ...more
3

Mar 23, 2010

In this, his second outing, ex-Army Major Jack Reacher is minding his own business, walking past a dry cleaning shop in Chicago, when an attractive young woman emerges from the shop with nine bags of expensive clothes, a bad knee, and a crutch. She drops the crutch and Reacher jumps to her assistance. In the same moment, two armed kidnappers materialize and order Reacher and the woman into a waiting car.

As any crime fiction reader understands by now, Reacher could take these two thugs with no In this, his second outing, ex-Army Major Jack Reacher is minding his own business, walking past a dry cleaning shop in Chicago, when an attractive young woman emerges from the shop with nine bags of expensive clothes, a bad knee, and a crutch. She drops the crutch and Reacher jumps to her assistance. In the same moment, two armed kidnappers materialize and order Reacher and the woman into a waiting car.

As any crime fiction reader understands by now, Reacher could take these two thugs with no problem whatsoever. Unfortunately, there are a number of innocent bystanders who might be hurt if the kidnappers manage to get off any shots. Reacher makes this calculation and then follows the woman into the car and is taken along for the ride.

It turns out to be a very long ride in an Econoline van, all the way from Chicago to northwestern Montana, where a nutty but well-armed militia group is preparing to declare its independence from the United States. The kidnapped woman, Holly Johnson, is an FBI Special Agent. She is also the daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the militia's psychopathic but charismatic leader intends to use her as a high profile hostage.

Under normal circumstances, Holly would be well-equipped to handle herself. She is one of the strongest female characters to appear in this series. But with her bum knee, which she injured in a soccer game, she could use a little help. Reacher, of course, is there to provide it, and he and Holly together will have to struggle mightily both to defend Holly's virtue and to prevent the militiamen from accomplishing thier objectives.

This is a fun read, and fans of the series certainly won't want to miss it. I'm giving it three stars rather than four because it requires more than just the usual suspension of disbelief. In the cold light of day, the whole plot is pretty implausible.

Also, it's clear that Lee Child did a lot of research for this book regarding the weaponry involved. And having done the research, he was apparently determined to use it all. There are a number of points in the book where the action slams to a halt while Child describes in exquisite detail the weapon in question. We then take several paragraphs to watch the powder ignite and the bullet slowly make its way through the barrel of the gun, out into the light of day and arc its way toward the target.

The first time this happens, it's kind of interesting and it does help to build the suspense. After that, you just want him to get on with it. Still, that's a relatively minor complaint, and inevitably, every series must have its weaker entries. To say that most of the Reacher novels are better than this one is not to suggest in any way that it's a bad book, but clearly at this point, Child was still working his way into what would become an excellent series. ...more
3

May 22, 2017

Once again I accompany Jack Reacher, ex-military policeman-turned-drifter, in his adventure. Die Trying is the second book in the series and here Reacher has gone to Chicago. He tries to help a young, attractive woman struggling on crutches with her laundry. In return for his courtesy he gets kidnapped along with the woman. The woman, Holly, claims to be a FBI and there are other interesting facts about her which would revealed as the story progresses.

In case you don’t know who Reacher is – he Once again I accompany Jack Reacher, ex-military policeman-turned-drifter, in his adventure. Die Trying is the second book in the series and here Reacher has gone to Chicago. He tries to help a young, attractive woman struggling on crutches with her laundry. In return for his courtesy he gets kidnapped along with the woman. The woman, Holly, claims to be a FBI and there are other interesting facts about her which would revealed as the story progresses.

In case you don’t know who Reacher is – he is Sherlock Holmes & Rambo combined. At nearly six and a half feet tall he is extraordinarily strong – an expert marksman - makes deductions like The Great Sherlock Holmes. Needless to say women find him irresistible. He is the embodiment of boyhood fantasies which some men still nurture inside themselves.

While held captive by the kidnappers Reacher impresses Holly with his calm, brains, physical fitness. He even tries psychological games on the kidnappers to gain some upper hand.
Awaiting Holly is a psychotic killer who is referred to as the commander by his followers. He is also building a room from which nobody can escape.

This is an action adventure thriller – it has conspiracies, twists, misdirections, maniacs with guns, undercover FBI agent, traitors, plenty of gunfights and some fistfights, betrayal and whatnot! Lee Child, the author, has tried his best sustain your interest. Parts of the book are so suspenseful that you would keep turning the pages.

I liked three things about this novel.

First, the author had tried to add facets to Reacher’s character. Jack Reacher – the unflappable warrior experienced fear!!! Later he conquered this fear of course, but still. Child has also brought out the soft side of Reacher – his emotional reaction when he thought that his mistakes would lead to the deaths of innocent people, his dilemma over killing dangerous dogs acting under orders – nothing truly original but some efforts were made at fleshing out his character.

Second, the character of Holly. Compared to Roscoe in Killing Floor, Holly is a much stronger character. She needs Reacher but can use her brains, courage and strength when the situation demanded. Again, not so original but an improvement over the last character.

Third, the FBI investigation into the kidnapping of Holly.

These efforts have earned the book a rating of 3 from me.

On the flip side, the behavior of some of the villains did not make any sense. They had planned such an elaborate conspiracy but acted like fools at times. My “no spoiler” policy forbids me from saying anything else.

Lee Child writes entertaining novels – the very nature of action thrillers makes the stories unrealistic. I get that. I really do. But, what I would have preferred was a more believable plot. The execution could have been a bit better.

I was not very impressed with the first book (Killing Floor) but still read the second one because

1. The series has been highly praised by Stephen King and Jeffery Deaver – the best endorsements a thriller writer can get

2. My friends keep encouraging me that Reacher grows on you with time

My library has got some books in the series and I shall try out a few more. In fact I am in the waiting list, for the next book in the series-Tripwire, from my library.

Just suspend your disbelief and you might enjoy this novel. If you prefer your thrillers to be more realistic and cerebral then this book is definitely not for you. But, if you like action then why not! ...more
3

Jun 30, 2019

3.5
“Extreme violence, awesome force. Whoever did that, I wouldn’t want him to get mad at me, that’s for damn sure.’”

The “whoever” here was Jack Reacher, and that pretty much sums up the tone of this long ‘adventure’. I’ve read a couple of Child’s Jack Reacher novellas and short stories, but this is the first full-length novel. It's #2 in the series, although they can be read in any order.

Plenty of action, some of it suspend-disbelief-worthy, I have to say, a little bit of character background, 3.5★
“Extreme violence, awesome force. Whoever did that, I wouldn’t want him to get mad at me, that’s for damn sure.’”

The “whoever” here was Jack Reacher, and that pretty much sums up the tone of this long ‘adventure’. I’ve read a couple of Child’s Jack Reacher novellas and short stories, but this is the first full-length novel. It's #2 in the series, although they can be read in any order.

Plenty of action, some of it suspend-disbelief-worthy, I have to say, a little bit of character background, mostly Reacher’s, and more lessons than I cared for in weaponry and which handgun suits which kind of hand and which rifle shoots how far or obliterates how much.

Reacher stops to help a young woman with her dry cleaning while she’s limping along with a crutch when he’s caught up in her kidnapping by a trio of not-very-nice fellas with a van. He’s got no idea what’s happening, but being more than a pretty face, he quickly figures out all kinds of things about her, her identity, and about the men.

She doesn’t seem quite as surprised as she should, and the men seem a little amateurish. It’s a long haul across country for them all, with no indication of which way they’re going or why, or what their final destination is. Meanwhile, we learn a bit about Reacher’s background and his powers of deduction.

Raised in a military family and serving for several years himself, he has a soldier’s instincts and bearing. And quite a bearing it is, too. 6’5”, 220 lbs, solid muscle and quick reflexes. Well-trained, experienced, with lots of service medals as well. But he missed out on a lot. He’s always been able to figure out where he is and what’s going on, but back “home”, he’s at a loss.

“. . . he’d lived and served all over the world most of his life. Outside the United States. It had left him knowing his own country about as well as the average seven-year-old knows it. So he couldn’t decode the subtle rhythms and feel and smells of America as well as he wanted to.”

For him, he might as well be in a foreign country. But with weapons, he really is right at home, and I did feel as if the author could have left a lot of the information in an appendix rather than fill so many pages with it.

Something he does know, is what time it is wherever he is.

“. . . he knew what time it was to within about twenty seconds. It was an old skill, born of many long wakeful nights on active service. When you’re waiting for something to happen, you close your body down like a beach house in winter and you let your mind lock on to the steady pace of the passing seconds. It’s like suspended animation. It saves energy and it lifts the responsibility for your heartbeat away from your unconscious brain and passes it on to some kind of a hidden clock.”

Handy. As for his other skills, I’d sure like to see someone actually do this trick. And then pick a lock.

“Reacher nodded and finished his coffee. Sucked the fork from the stew clean. Bent one of the prongs right out and put a little kink into the end with pressure from his thumbnail. It made a little hook.”

Ok, I suspended disbelief and read on, but really, it was too long and too grisly for me. I quite like Child’s short, choppy style of writing action sequences, while some of his descriptions can get almost poetic. There’s a lot of blood and guts and torture, which will appeal to a lot of readers. I just like a good story with interesting characters – I don’t want to see the horrific brutality, thanks.

This is told in the third person, which is necessary, as there are times when Reacher isn’t with the kidnap victim, and we need to know what’s happening with her.

I’ll no doubt read some more of the series, but I think I’d better let the blood dry first. The good thing about a series is that you know he lives to fight another day. (No guarantees about anybody else, of course). ...more
3

Mar 20, 2018

Ex-military MP drifter Jack Reacher gets into trouble again and fights, kicks, breaks and shoots his way out.

So this is the way its going to be … and that’s cool. Lee Child is keeping the plot and credibility fast and easy and choosing the formula that works: hero gets in trouble, fights the bad guys and kicks ass. There could be a pretty woman needing saving along the way and of course she’s going to be attracted to our man.

This time around Reacher is at the wrong place at the wrong time (and I Ex-military MP drifter Jack Reacher gets into trouble again and fights, kicks, breaks and shoots his way out.

So this is the way its going to be … and that’s cool. Lee Child is keeping the plot and credibility fast and easy and choosing the formula that works: hero gets in trouble, fights the bad guys and kicks ass. There could be a pretty woman needing saving along the way and of course she’s going to be attracted to our man.

This time around Reacher is at the wrong place at the wrong time (and I’m guessing this will be a ubiquitous narrative device moving forward) and gets mixed up in some domestic terrorist assholery that also involves high levels of government. There’s plenty of fists and lead flying, blood and gore and big explosions.

Sort of reminded me of John D. MacDonald’s 1979 Travis McGee novel The Green Ripper, and there are similarities between Reacher and McGee, but obliquely and MacDonald is the more thoughtful writer. While Child has Reacher making some astute social and cultural observations, this is nowhere near the level of subtly intellectual commentary MacDonald was able to pull off.

There’s also plenty of writing surrounding marksmanship and Child does some nifty work describing the ballistics in a technical fashion that is fun to read.

What I like most about the Reacher storyline is that (and stay with me here) is it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite TV shows: Kung Fu.

OK, OK, I know what you’re saying, WHAT IN THE HELL??? does Jack Reacher have in common with Kwai Chang Caine???

Besides that they are both drifters? And they both find adventure and kick ass and fight bad guys and solve problems and invariably save the day and then keep drifting into the sunset? Both keep an intractable cool, stay above the fray with a calm, measured, disciplined stoicism. Reacher has an almost Zen like ability to stay in the moment and be situationally aware. While this is certainly due to his life in the military and his extensive training, was that background so different from Caine’s exhaustive and isolated training as a Shaolin monk? Are they not both deliberate outsiders who earn respect with their courage, fighting prowess and extraordinary ability?

Just saying.

So this was another good book, Reacher is a way cool tough guy and charismatic protagonist and this is a very entertaining series.

...more
4

Feb 21, 2017

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2), Lee Child, Lee Child
Die Trying is the second novel in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published in 1998 by Putnam. It is written in the third person. While in Chicago, former military policeman Jack Reacher is helping a young woman with an injured leg with her dry cleaning when they're captured at gunpoint by three men and thrown into a car, then transferred into a van and driven cross country. On the way, Reacher learns the woman is an FBI Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2), Lee Child, Lee Child
Die Trying is the second novel in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published in 1998 by Putnam. It is written in the third person. While in Chicago, former military policeman Jack Reacher is helping a young woman with an injured leg with her dry cleaning when they're captured at gunpoint by three men and thrown into a car, then transferred into a van and driven cross country. On the way, Reacher learns the woman is an FBI agent named Holly Johnson, though she doesn't tell him she's the daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or goddaughter of the President, having been accused of being the beneficiary of nepotism all her life. ...
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفدهم ماه آوریل سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: تا پای مرگ - کتاب 02 - از سری جک ریچر؛ نویسنده: لی چایلد؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ ویراستار: گودرز پایکوب؛ تهران، تندیس، 1393؛ در 559 ص؛ شابک: 9786001821301؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 20 م
دومین کتاب از سری «جک ریچر»، با عنوان: «تا پای مرگ؛» و به قلم: «لی چایلد» است. «جک ریچر» در زیر آفتاب دلپذیر «شیکاگو» قدم میزند، که زنی عصا به دست، به همراه مقداری لباس، از یک خشکشویی بیرون میآید. «ریچر» برای یاری به سوی او میرود؛ اما ناگهان، افرادی آن دو را گروگان گرفته، داخل یک کامیون میاندازند، و این، آغاز سفر سه هزار کیلومتری «ریچر»، و زنی مرموز به ناکجاآباد است. ا. شربیانی ...more
5

Apr 05, 2017

My Rating : 4.8/5

Die Trying is the second installment in the Jack Reacher Series. Die Trying is wrote in a third person perspective where as the first book was in first person. I really loved the person perspective but the third person perspective covered more ground. So, No problem. The prose and writing in this book is better than the first one but stilled the pacing felt a bit more slow. Here and There. The characters are well written and yeah, The dialogues are exceptionally good and correct My Rating : 4.8/5

Die Trying is the second installment in the Jack Reacher Series. Die Trying is wrote in a third person perspective where as the first book was in first person. I really loved the person perspective but the third person perspective covered more ground. So, No problem. The prose and writing in this book is better than the first one but stilled the pacing felt a bit more slow. Here and There. The characters are well written and yeah, The dialogues are exceptionally good and correct for the characters who speak it. Jack Reacher shines as the hero as always and the book is a very good thrill ride. I loved it and I am going to read the next book in the series soon. Bye, Thank You for reading this.<> ...more
2

Sep 10, 2011

So, this time Jack Reacher is captured by some Waco style militia group. They've also captured a, coincidentally beautiful, FBI agent with a sports injury. Together they must escape, trust each other, fall a little bit in love, foil the bad guys, and maybe have a little bit of nookie on the way...

In fact coincidence is the key word in this novel, coincidence and cliché. Frankly there's way too much of them both throughout. The novel wavered between a 2-star and a 3-star for me. On the one hand So, this time Jack Reacher is captured by some Waco style militia group. They've also captured a, coincidentally beautiful, FBI agent with a sports injury. Together they must escape, trust each other, fall a little bit in love, foil the bad guys, and maybe have a little bit of nookie on the way...

In fact coincidence is the key word in this novel, coincidence and cliché. Frankly there's way too much of them both throughout. The novel wavered between a 2-star and a 3-star for me. On the one hand the story was good and engaging. I wanted to keep reading to the end. On the other hand, some of the descriptive writing was so heavy handed it was laughable. I'm happy to put this down to second-novel nerves though. Just trying too hard to be better than the first success.

Finally, some of the story devices let it down too. Can anybody (even Jack Reacher) really pick up a sniper rifle they've never shot before and write a letter on a tree trunk several hundred yards away. And would they really want to 'make out' right next to the grave of the guy they just buried – especially as she keeps professing her love for some other chap we don't know about. They didn't ring even close to true. ...more
4

May 20, 2014

I wish I knew Jack Reacher. That he was a friend of mine. Reacher takes care of his friends. No matter where you might be in the world he will come and find you. Reacher is loyal. You can always count on him.

Jack Reacher likes women. He likes intelligent women. Reacher looks out for women.

Reacher is not someone to mess with. He's smart, courageous, patriotic, and extremely well trained. He has a calm about him that works well in tough situations. He is an avenger for those less fortunate.

Jack I wish I knew Jack Reacher. That he was a friend of mine. Reacher takes care of his friends. No matter where you might be in the world he will come and find you. Reacher is loyal. You can always count on him.

Jack Reacher likes women. He likes intelligent women. Reacher looks out for women.

Reacher is not someone to mess with. He's smart, courageous, patriotic, and extremely well trained. He has a calm about him that works well in tough situations. He is an avenger for those less fortunate.

Jack Reacher has high morals. He keeps his promises friend or foe. Their is no better man than Reacher.

I wish I knew Jack Reacher. ...more
3

Feb 27, 2019

3.5 Stars

I enjoyed this a little less than book one (Killing Floor) in terms of plot, but that's mostly due to the fact that the whole dangerous militia group thing annoys the shit out of me as a rule.

The bad guys here were just straight up wacko, whereas I prefer my bad guys to be a little more complex and captivating in their level of crazy, if that makes any sense.

Jack Reacher, as usual, was fairly badass and heroic. I like the guy. He's definitely someone I'd want protecting my back if 3.5 Stars

I enjoyed this a little less than book one (Killing Floor) in terms of plot, but that's mostly due to the fact that the whole dangerous militia group thing annoys the shit out of me as a rule.

The bad guys here were just straight up wacko, whereas I prefer my bad guys to be a little more complex and captivating in their level of crazy, if that makes any sense.

Jack Reacher, as usual, was fairly badass and heroic. I like the guy. He's definitely someone I'd want protecting my back if shit hit the fan.

I very much appreciated that the female character featuring in this story (Holly) was a strong, brave, intelligent woman, totally badass in her own right. She played a good supporting role.

My issues mostly remain with the writing itself. I find it choppy and very basic in terms of skill and delivery. The dialogue, too, often bothers me, especially with all the constant "he said this/he said that" nonsense. It's repetitive and often annoying, reading the exact same lines over and over.

Overall, I like the series and the lead character of Reacher enough to continue on at some point, but I hope that the quality of the writing improves over time. ...more
5

Nov 27, 2019

Dear Readers,

I highly recommend any and all books written by Lee Child. This book is very well written, wrought with action, suspense and high energy. This was a hard book to put down. A page turner.

The character development is superb. All are three-dimensional and feel very real. Some of these characters were bad beyond bad and well described.

A neat thing about these books is one can learn things. If you are looking for a page turner, here you go.

I thank Mr. Child for having written and Dear Readers,

I highly recommend any and all books written by Lee Child. This book is very well written, wrought with action, suspense and high energy. This was a hard book to put down. A page turner.

The character development is superb. All are three-dimensional and feel very real. Some of these characters were bad beyond bad and well described.

A neat thing about these books is one can learn things. If you are looking for a page turner, here you go.

I thank Mr. Child for having written and published this book, and am looking forward to reading more. ...more
1

Mar 03, 2012

I really enjoyed the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor, but this second attempt was utter bilge. From a ridiculous opening set-up, the novel descends into a mixture of adolescent fantasy, incredible happenstance, laughable set pieces and ridiculous plot twists. On the other hand, it says something about Lee Child as a writer in that he very nearly gets away with it, because much as I was groaning at how amateur the whole thing seemed, I kept reading, almost to the end. Almost. I gave up I really enjoyed the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor, but this second attempt was utter bilge. From a ridiculous opening set-up, the novel descends into a mixture of adolescent fantasy, incredible happenstance, laughable set pieces and ridiculous plot twists. On the other hand, it says something about Lee Child as a writer in that he very nearly gets away with it, because much as I was groaning at how amateur the whole thing seemed, I kept reading, almost to the end. Almost. I gave up when I realised I didn't really care enough about any of it - the characters, the plot, the impending climax where, as in a James Bond movie, everyone will get what they deserve. In fact, Jack Reacher is James Bond, really, and even by book two I know what I'm going to get with this series. Jack will get the baddie, make love to the beautiful woman he's been thrown together with and pay scant respect to any authorities who happen to get in his way of delivering justice.
I won't give up with Lee Child and the Reacher series, unless the next one I read is as bad a stinker as this, because there is no doubt the man can write thrillers. He even managed to shoe horn a reference to Aston Villa in this one, reflecting his Brummie roots, but it wasn't enough to redeem what I think must have been one of his very first attempts at getting published, rejected until he hit one out the park with The Killing Floor. ...more
1

Sep 20, 2013

I tried & kept giving Child the benefit of the doubt, but just can't take it any more. Child has some great overall plots, interesting places & characters. He really got my hopes up with this one. The FBI part is well done. It's a shame they are all ruined by making Reacher a super hero in human form. Child never passes up any opportunity to make Reacher 'look good', but it keeps backfiring.

My breaking point came in a horse barn. The heroine just had her bad knee kicked a few times. I tried & kept giving Child the benefit of the doubt, but just can't take it any more. Child has some great overall plots, interesting places & characters. He really got my hopes up with this one. The FBI part is well done. It's a shame they are all ruined by making Reacher a super hero in human form. Child never passes up any opportunity to make Reacher 'look good', but it keeps backfiring.

My breaking point came in a horse barn. The heroine just had her bad knee kicked a few times. Reacher just tore his chains from the wall. One of 3 bad guys is now dead - the driver. Does Reacher check his pockets for keys, like maybe to the van? Nope. What time is it? Dawn, right when his enemies would be at their lowest ebb - his favorite time. Does he think about scouting the area & going after them? Nope.

He sits down & gets a big hug & thank yous from the heroine for saving her honor & the chapter ends with them blissfully consoling each other. Have you ever had a limb with a torn ligament knocked around even a little? Feel like cuddling afterward? I haven't. I wanted everyone to stay far away!

Besides, accepting just made Reacher look stupid. He's supposed to be the tough, logical operator. Time is wasting. Take care of business, have tender moments & take care of nerves afterward.

The shotgun was an issue again. If you're loading a shotgun for people, what do you put in it? Buckshot is likely. There's about 20 #4 shot in a 12 gauge shell, less if #00. The lightest shot might have 50, but we have 'hundreds of small holes' in the roof of a van after being shot at from 10'-15' with no big center hole. Anyone who has ever fired a shotgun at a board, tree, or car from fairly close wouldn't make that mistake. There are also enough shot scattered around that Reacher piles them up. Hyperbole is allowed, idiocy though? No.

Then there was the bad guy. He is apparently the leader of a cult. What do all cult leaders have in common? They are charismatic. Child paints this guy like a cross between Bo Radley & Hannibal Lector. Who would follow such a person? Most would cross the street at the sight of him.

And the guy is hiring people, then killing them, just to be evil, I guess. We're under the working assumption here that he laid his plans far enough ahead that he's had the heroine followed for at least a couple of weeks, but he has to hire a crew to gut a room & then kill them for fun? Why not his own people? Tearing out plaster & floor boards doesn't take skilled labor. Killing people in a rural area where everyone knows everyone else's business is just stupid. If it was in my neck of the woods, one of them would be the sheriff's brother or cousin. Guaranteed to get exactly the kind of notice a person doesn't want.

Nope, just can't take it any more. I'm done with Reacher. The movie was better than the books have been & I don't expect much from Hollywood. When a Tom Cruise movie is better than the book, then the book is drivel. ...more
5

Jul 02, 2012

I'm going to add the same review for all of the Reacher series, so if you've read this one, you've read 'em all. If you feel a certain affinity for the lone hero, a man of principle, of unwavering knowledge and assent as to his own actions, than Jack Reacher's your kinda guy.

Lee Child has created an unforgettable and unique character in his creation of Jack Reacher. Jack seems to implicitly understand that he is a unique animal/human running around on this planet and that in spite of social I'm going to add the same review for all of the Reacher series, so if you've read this one, you've read 'em all. If you feel a certain affinity for the lone hero, a man of principle, of unwavering knowledge and assent as to his own actions, than Jack Reacher's your kinda guy.

Lee Child has created an unforgettable and unique character in his creation of Jack Reacher. Jack seems to implicitly understand that he is a unique animal/human running around on this planet and that in spite of social conventions, cultural trappings, and whatever conventions and abstractions we allow into our mind in order to alleviate this core fact of our singularity (and aloneness)...the truth of it is not something Mr. Reacher denies.

He embraces it. Understands his philosophy implicitly, revels in his physical being,his conventions and values. He defends those he loves, those he does allow into his world, with a loyalty bar none while never letting go of the notion that he is alone and being perfectly comfortable with that.

I read one, and within two months read all 15 books with an appetite that couldn't get enough.

Enough said,
HR ...more
3

Feb 03, 2018

It wasn't bad. The book was on its way to a four star rating for sure and then it just seemed to slow down. Reacher was kidnapped along with a girl in the beginning and it was interesting. The plot moved nicely, and the interjections of deep thought by Reacher added to the story.
At some point I felt like it became an escape and get captured version of Groundhog Day. Its kind of ironic when I think about when I read it. It wasn't a bad read, it just felt like more of the same. After awhile I It wasn't bad. The book was on its way to a four star rating for sure and then it just seemed to slow down. Reacher was kidnapped along with a girl in the beginning and it was interesting. The plot moved nicely, and the interjections of deep thought by Reacher added to the story.
At some point I felt like it became an escape and get captured version of Groundhog Day. Its kind of ironic when I think about when I read it. It wasn't a bad read, it just felt like more of the same. After awhile I started to just want to get it over with.
The ending was definitely satisfying and I like the character Jack Reacher, but I was bored for a little while.
3.5 stars ...more
3

May 09, 2018

This could have been very good, at HALF the length.

The best thing: I very much enjoy Child's strong female roles. Wonderful!

Running around back and forth 50 times across the woods with nutcase Militias got really tiresome. Having to read every tiny little detail of every single action of every character was mind numbing. Ugh.

As usual, the start was great, and the climax was fun albeit far too long.


I will continue with the series in the hope that Child reigns in his verbiage.

One thing about the This could have been very good, at HALF the length.

The best thing: I very much enjoy Child's strong female roles. Wonderful!

Running around back and forth 50 times across the woods with nutcase Militias got really tiresome. Having to read every tiny little detail of every single action of every character was mind numbing. Ugh.

As usual, the start was great, and the climax was fun albeit far too long.


I will continue with the series in the hope that Child reigns in his verbiage.

One thing about the climax: (view spoiler)[Where's the huge hole in the road? A ton of explosives on a highway is going to make a big hole. (hide spoiler)]

(The woman blushes once in this book)

Notes:
Glock 17, first chapter kidnap scene
Seventeen rounds to a magazine, hence the name. And it was light. For all its power, it weighed under two pounds. The important parts were steel. The rest of it was plastic. Black polycarbonate, like an expensive camera.

Full size image

Barrett M82 semi-automatic rifle

Full size pic
. ...more
1

Sep 09, 2011

This was so bad. I started out really enjoying this series, but I'm losing interest. It's disappointing.

The storyline was interesting with unique twists and turns but the minutiae was lame. Like having a love scene just after Holly & Reacher discover the dead body of the FBI spy who was discovered and was basically crucified by the 'bad guys'. It was tasteless and tacky. Plus, then when Holly is finally rescued from being kidnapped, instead of running to her Dad first she runs to Reacher. This was so bad. I started out really enjoying this series, but I'm losing interest. It's disappointing.

The storyline was interesting with unique twists and turns but the minutiae was lame. Like having a love scene just after Holly & Reacher discover the dead body of the FBI spy who was discovered and was basically crucified by the 'bad guys'. It was tasteless and tacky. Plus, then when Holly is finally rescued from being kidnapped, instead of running to her Dad first she runs to Reacher. The clincher was at the very end when they kill the guy driving the car loaded with explosives and then Reacher & Holly say there goodbye as its come to fruition that Holly and her supervisor McGrath are in love with each other. So she leaves Reacher to go off with McGrath. And Reacher stays on the highway and hitchhikes to his next location.....

Plus, all the details of the bullets as they're moving/shooting and Reacher's ability to keep accurate time over a long time in his head is too much. The story dragged on and the ending was lame. ...more
4

Aug 20, 2017

Like the first in the Jack Reacher series, this was both recommended and given to me by a good friend.
Like the first I really enjoyed it, and have given it 4 stars, it was well written and fast paced. And now comes the but, I think, and we shall see, whether I might find these books becoming a little formulaic. As I said so far, after 2, I have enjoyed them and the character, but will he become predictable and boring ??
2

May 29, 2018

I started the Reacher (as everyone calls Jack, Reacher) books a while back and have since picked up one now and then. I watched the movie a while back and decided I'd start to 'try" and catch up with the series.

This one was (for me) the weakest so far. That said it is the second in the series so I live in hope that the books will get better. Here the plot is rather weak and as always there's a certain implausibility about Reacher altogether.

The book does deliver on the action as that's sort of I started the Reacher (as everyone calls Jack, Reacher) books a while back and have since picked up one now and then. I watched the movie a while back and decided I'd start to 'try" and catch up with the series.

This one was (for me) the weakest so far. That said it is the second in the series so I live in hope that the books will get better. Here the plot is rather weak and as always there's a certain implausibility about Reacher altogether.

The book does deliver on the action as that's sort of the signature of this series. I found myself however struggling not to roll my eyes at multiple portions of this one.

Still if you are simply a Reacher fan you'll probably get along with the book better than I did, I had trouble not just pitching this one and pushed through a lot with major skims.

2 at most for me sorry. ...more
4

May 21, 2012

Whew. After reading a few pages at a time for a couple of weeks, I finally got sucked into the vortex of Die Trying and lost most of a weekend finishing it. The reason it took me so long to really commit to it was that I was afraid—really afraid—of what might happen next. And yet, of course, I had to find out.

One nice thing about vicarious suspense is that, no matter what may befall the characters, the reader almost always survives.

As usual with books by Lee Child, I learned a great deal about Whew. After reading a few pages at a time for a couple of weeks, I finally got sucked into the vortex of Die Trying and lost most of a weekend finishing it. The reason it took me so long to really commit to it was that I was afraid—really afraid—of what might happen next. And yet, of course, I had to find out.

One nice thing about vicarious suspense is that, no matter what may befall the characters, the reader almost always survives.

As usual with books by Lee Child, I learned a great deal about things worth knowing that I wouldn't want to experience first hand (in this case, having to do with extreme right-wing militias). Some of those things I knew intellectually, but experiential learning—even from reading fiction—lodges in a completely different part of the brain. I now know a great deal more than I knew without necessarily having learned much in the way of new facts.

This book has a great many characters and subplots, and it seemed as though (uncharacteristically) the author didn't always maintain perfect control of them all. On the other hand, the strength of his writing—pace, description, word choice, etc.—are good enough to compensate for any minor flaws in terms of plot.

I'm very much afraid that Die Trying was the last Jack Reacher book I haven't read. I'll be scrounging through my used book store tomorrow, hoping I'm wrong. ...more
4

Oct 25, 2012

It was good overall, not great or superb by any means. After Killing Floor's complete first person narrative, I didn't much care for the always shifting third person narration from multitude of viewpoints. And that's another thing, there were way too many characters who shared the same amount of space and focus, so much so that Jack Reacher himself had almost gotten reduced to a supporting character in his own series!

The first half was good, but as we discover our main antagonists and what's It was good overall, not great or superb by any means. After Killing Floor's complete first person narrative, I didn't much care for the always shifting third person narration from multitude of viewpoints. And that's another thing, there were way too many characters who shared the same amount of space and focus, so much so that Jack Reacher himself had almost gotten reduced to a supporting character in his own series!

The first half was good, but as we discover our main antagonists and what's happening (which was a big Meh for me), the middle part really dragged... until the pace with a much needed dose of action-suspense picked up considerably by the climax that was basically the saving grace for the book. Overall, a sometimes really entertaining, sometimes totally frustrating read for me. As I've said about 'Killing Floor', I'll say now too, these books absolutely does NOT need 550+ pages for the scope of the stories they're telling. Child has a tendency to over-analyze EVERY. SINGLE. LITTLE. DETAIL which can certainly be fun if applying correctly, but it also makes the story came to almost a halt in the middle parts. I feel like reducing at least a 100 page would make the plot much much tighter and smoother. Nonetheless, Lee Child is an exceptional writer, his writing style is so effortless and easygoing with a strong no-nonsense vibe that even when the story drags, the reader (like me) just can't help but to read on. Not to mention his Jack Reacher is a strong and interesting character with an old school Clint Eastwood, John Wayne or Schwarzenegger-type simpler 'larger than life' heroism in him that makes the reader very comfortable, which today's ultra-modern, slick, 'dark-gritty-complex' protagonists sometimes sorely lack.

Although this book certainly had its problems and inconsistencies, I will still reward it 4 stars (well 3.5 more accurately). Mostly because Child gave a valiant effort to make the plot fantastically thrilling in the third act and there were some good interesting supporting characters, but mainly because however shorter storytime Reacher got here compared to the first book, he made each and every move count, he never hesitated to pull the figurative (and literal) trigger when necessary, and he NEVER MISSES! So yeah, I love this guy. ...more
3

Jun 17, 2014

"If you go down to the woods today...you are in for a BIG surprise"

Die Trying improves on some of my issues with the previous instalment, though there are also some downsides. Which is a good thing, as hopefully those issues will be improved later in the series. I whizzed through this book. I took the father to a game of cricket (please note I'm not a fan... of... very... slow... sports). But it gave me a chance to finish this novel, BOOM.

Jack's just taking a leisurely walk downtown Chicago, "If you go down to the woods today...you are in for a BIG surprise"

Die Trying improves on some of my issues with the previous instalment, though there are also some downsides. Which is a good thing, as hopefully those issues will be improved later in the series. I whizzed through this book. I took the father to a game of cricket (please note I'm not a fan... of... very... slow... sports). But it gave me a chance to finish this novel, BOOM.

Jack's just taking a leisurely walk downtown Chicago, and happens to be walking into a dry cleaning store (not sure why, but there you go). He bumps into a woman (surprise!) who he later finds out is named Holly. She's just picked up her weekly dry cleaning (handy that), then all of a sudden two guys surround them and are bundled into the back of a van. Four days later, there in Montana and 'guests' of rather a loopy bunch of individuals who believe there is some kind of UN conspiracy to over-throw America (among other... things). We're talking over a hundred people in this little Waco-style nut-house. The whole posit on why there are doing what they're doing was unbelievable. I laughed, good comedy, although unexpected is always welcome.

Holly is a high-flyer in the FBI, up and coming and loved by all her colleagues. The good thing about Holly is she can hold her own. She isn't the traditional damsel in distress. She kicks arse, even with a busted knee. I liked her in the sense she didn't need rescuing, well not as much as Roscoe in the previous novel Killing Floor. So kudos to Lee Child for that, as it seems he must have listened to his reader's after receiving feedback about that novel. McGrath, Brogan and Milosevic begin the hunt for her (there all FBI "FBI FREEZE SUCKER"), but it's slow going for them. McGrath I particularly liked as he came across as a 'older' mould of Jack Reacher. Throw in General Garber, who was Reacher's former commanding office, then it makes for good reading - if a little samey.

Talking about samey - how many times does Lee Child's need to describe in 'second' detail what happens when a firearm is fired. Seriously, it's literally every time a M-16 or a Barreta was fired, BOOM... "Gas chamber, 5000th of a second, sending the bullet to speeds of 2000 mph..." - then next time that weapon is fired, the exact same thing again. Sure it was interesting to read the first time, but rein it in a bit. We get you've down your research on weaponry, which is obviously needed for such a character as Jack, but well.. just *yawn*.

Here is the real problem. I've mentioned this before in another review. Jack Reacher is invincible - he is untouchable. He's been up against no one who can challenge him physically or psychologically. No wounds so far, oh apart from a nick on his wrist from a handcuff. No competition means you know how fights are going to play out. You've a bunch of Southerners who are about as organised as a village meeting in Killing Floor then in this novel, a bunch of deluded revolutionaries who have little or no military training. There's a hundred of them. A hundred for Jack to take down "with a little help from his friends." Beau Borken, the villain and bad guy "que Marvel villain music please." He has brainwashed all these people, all these families. It is said in the novel he is charismatic and a born leader. Personally I found him to be the reverse, a deluded guy with inflated opinions. Welcome to the real world I say! Lee Child's is on to a winner, obviously with Jack Reacher. He is the type of person everyone wants to be; strong, athletic, deceive and a winner with the ladies. Hey, I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but for me it's all a bit one-dimensional - again.

There's no realism here, which is good as it's a piece of fiction right? Wrong, surely Jack Reacher is meant to be living and breathing in a real world. The bullets that propel from guns seem to confirm to physics, hmm *rubs his head*. No one can hit Jack, no one can shoot him. Maybe it's actually a science fiction novel? He is surrounded by a invisible force field? Maybe he was mind probed, hence why is stronger than oak and fights harder than any other man ever born. When it comes to a fight, I've always believed your only as good as the next man put in front of you. This is true to a extent, Reacher can only fight who is put in front of him - much like a boxer. So hopefully the man who invented Jack puts more worthwhile adversaries in front of him to take on.

I've not much else to say really. Good points? Holly is a good point as I've mentioned. The chemistry between Jack and Holly is just about right. Mutual respect and a lot of eye-goggling going on. Not sure on the potential rape scene that went on, made me cringe a little. These type of books, your either going to love or loath them. I'll give anything ago... it's good to have a open mind about fiction, but not erotic fiction - why read it when you can do all that for real, haha. You can't do what Jack does for real, otherwise you'd be a smelly vagrant who will most likely land in jail for murder #1, twenty times over.
...more
4

Aug 11, 2012

Jack Reacher is at again-- as Lee Child continues to develop this charactoer the more I like him. The quintessential American hero is taking shape-- and is almost a superman-- with every human trick up his sleeve--
Child gives a lot of facts in his novel as well --- most certainly ballistics and weaponry -- he makes some attempt at a love story but it is more of a hero worship love affair -- surrounded by his near super-heroic antics--
still ya got a love a good action book and this one is Jack Reacher is at again-- as Lee Child continues to develop this charactoer the more I like him. The quintessential American hero is taking shape-- and is almost a superman-- with every human trick up his sleeve--
Child gives a lot of facts in his novel as well --- most certainly ballistics and weaponry -- he makes some attempt at a love story but it is more of a hero worship love affair -- surrounded by his near super-heroic antics--
still ya got a love a good action book and this one is nothing short of excellent in that genre--
I hcw the 3rd in the series now -- and look forward to opening hte cover soon--very soon ...more

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