Bookazine store in the Big C Extra center had a stand featuring Lee Child’s
Jack Reacher thrillers. How could I pass that by? Worth Dying For (ISBN
978-0-553-82549-7, Bantam Books, 2010) is another 500+ page epic and is
actually the one published before The Affair, the Jack Reacher book reviewed
a few weeks ago.
To heighten the ‘realism’ there is a CV of Jack Reacher in the beginning of
the book, letting you see that he is 6’5" tall, an expert in small weaponry
and even a 37" inside leg measurement. From that moment on you have become a
fan of the man.
This tale is another in the 16 book Jack Reacher series, with the
ex-military policeman able to take on multiple adversaries as always. And
win. In my last fight I was aged eight and I ran away, so Jack Reacher and I
have little in common, but author Lee Child lays out Reacher’s strategy so
that even craven cowards (like me) can understand.
This time Jack Reacher is in Nebraska, in a red-neck farming community, and
comes across a situation that he feels is morally wrong. He decides to break
his trip to Virginia and assist the local farmers, and this is an
explanation of the character of the ‘hard as nails’ Reacher. He is not
afraid, he can kill with his bare hands and yet literally helps little old
ladies across the street.
Lee Child is a master story teller and his larger than life hero Jack
Reacher is the man we would all like to be. The thinking man’s bare knuckle
pugilist. The infinite small details give the needed touch of reality to the
tale, compelling you to continue reading, just to see what will happen next.
Extremely detailed descriptions are also there to add to the realism. A
simple barn door becomes “...a slider made of great baulks of timber banded
together with iron, hung off an iron rail by iron wheels, but the gradual
tilt of the building had jammed it solid in its tracks.”
His descriptions of how to use weapons make you think about it yourself. A
heavy hand tool such as a wrench or a hammer “…would have to be swung
backwards first, then stopped, then brought forward again. The first part of
the move would be a clear telegraph. All the warnings in the world. No
surprise. They might as well put a notice in the newspaper, or send a cable
by Western Union.” I must remember that the first time I am menaced by two
300 kg thugs.
The book is a definite thriller/horror story, and one in which the pace does
not let up all the way through. If anything it becomes even more frenetic as
the finale is prepared for. And the finale is not as you might imagine, but
I guarantee will leave you breathless.
Even after reading just one of the Reacher novels, you will be looking for
the next one, that is after your heart rate returns to normal. Just find B.
360 in your wallet and get this one.