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Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
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Without Fail (Jack Reacher #6)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  52,926 Ratings  ·  1,463 Reviews
Skilled, cautious, and anonymous, Jack Reacher is perfect for the job: to assassinate the vice president of the United States. Theoretically, of course. A female Secret Service agent wants Reacher to find the holes in her system, and fast - because a covert group already has the vice president in their sights. They've planned well. There's just one thing they didn't plan o ...more
Audiobook, Unabridged, 14 pages
Published May 17th 2002 by Brilliance Audio (first published May 13th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 24, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I like Reacher. I really do. But Lee Child creates the most flawed scenarios and it drives me batty sometimes. Reacher has been recruited to help deflect an attempt to assassinate the new VP.

Now, if we are to believe this story, the Secret Service is employing idiots. For example, Reacher specifies a church tower that could be used by a shooter. Does the SS put a man in the tower to prevent the possible use by an assassin. Or even to be able to see any other possible danger. No. The lead SS age
I was pretty disappointed with the 6th book in the Jack Reacher series. The first few were brilliant - fast, furious and somewhat believable despite the larger than life protagonist and plot lines.

Without Fail lacked most of the drama that we have come to expect from Lee Child's thrillers. The plot didn't tie up (I won't spoil it, but the antagonists had a very poor motive for killing the VP).

There is also one massive plot hole that doesn't add up. It was to do with the 'messages' and one parti
Abel Keogh
Mar 10, 2009 Abel Keogh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't read any Jack Reacher novels. This is a great place to start. The only thing that stopped this book from getting 5 stars was Child's appalling lack of knowledge about Wyoming.

Near the end of the novel the protagonist, Jack Reacher and a colleague Frances Neagley, are on his way to the fictional town of Grace, Wyoming which is a couple hours north of Casper – a town I lived in for two years. Reacher and Neagley take a plane to Denver and decide to drive to Grace.

Child describes t
Oct 27, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
I bought this book when Cody's - historic, tragic Cody's as anyone in the Bay Area knows - was going out of business. It was 40% percent off, and I was casting about for the type of book that would magically unlock the keys to moving plot forward and making pages turn since, ahem, I was having some slight trouble in that regard. I don't know if I learned anything in the craft dept other than that Jack Reacher is an awesome badass, stone-cold professional, crafty and smart hero who actually made ...more
Mark Chisnell
Apr 11, 2013 Mark Chisnell rated it really liked it
I’m a huge fan of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, and I think I might have mentioned previously that they were the inspiration for some aspects of Powder Burn and my new ‘Burn’ series. So I needed no encouragement to pick this one up when it was also chosen as a Goodreads group read. And as usual, I wasn’t disappointed.

Jack Reacher appeals to the angry and vengeful core in all of us – there are no judges or juries in Reacher’s world, just violent retribution dispatched swiftly, without compunct
Eric Kibler
Feb 21, 2010 Eric Kibler rated it liked it
I'm gradually reading the Jack Reacher books in order, and this is the sixth. After making it through nearly half the extant books, I'd have to say that the other Jack series (Repairman Jack by F. Paul Wilson) is the more consistently entertaining, that is if you don't ...mind a little supernatural horror with your vigilante action. The previous Jack Reacher outing, Echo Burning, was a superb Texas gothic tale. But this one strains credibility in a couple of ways. First, I don't buy the motivati ...more
Jane Stewart
3 or 4 stars, can’t decide. Reacher didn’t beat up as many thugs as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it.

Someone is threatening Armstrong, the newly elected Vice President. Froelich is in charge of the Secret Service team protecting him. She used to date Reacher’s brother who told her about Reacher’s talents and abilities. She hires Reacher to test her security and then to help with the current threat. Reacher hires one of his army buddies to help.

Another go
Apr 27, 2011 Molly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Have you heard of Jack Reacher? He's become a favorite among a handful of people I know. We were each introduced to Reacher at one time or another by the same person, who conveniently has almost every book written about Reacher.

Lee Child's brainchild is a gargantuan man, ex-military, a nomad, and deadly (both to enemies and to women). In previous books, he would tell time without looking at a watch. But in Without Fail, he was constantly depending on his watch. Confusing. Also, this one is less
Sean Peters
Jan 13, 2013 Sean Peters rated it really liked it

I really enjoy the Jack Reacher books, so far, with the Reacher books read, this is my second favourite behind One Shot. Although nice to see a regular character helping and returning in this book to work with Reacher.

Always readable, gripping.

As always he is the ladies man.

very enjoyable


Feb 21, 2016 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone following my progression through the Jack Reacher novels knows of my strange love-hate relationship, whereby I label the Jack Reacher novels as guilty pleasure novels rather than novels I go out of my way to read. I tend to hand out three star ratings to the books, having only given one other four star rating prior to this one… and I think ‘Without Fail’ has earned the spot as my favourite Jack Reacher novel (thus far in the series).

The Jack Reacher novels are never perfect. I know the di
Jun 24, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
It all began with a proposition. "How would you like to assassinate the Vice President?" Reacher is contacted by the Veep's Secret Service lead agent, in hopes of finding some of the loopholes in the current coverage. After learning the agent's his dead brother's ex, Reacher must take a moment to reassess the situation, but soon takes the job and puts his knowledge to the test. After showing the Service many of their faults, Reacher is pulled in to learn of a set of letters seeking to assassinat ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Jerry rated it really liked it
Fine 6th Jack Reacher -- Secret Service thriller !!

We have read the entire Lee Child / Jack Reacher series, so obviously we enjoy these action packed thrillers about nice guy, smart guy, ex-MP Reacher. "Without Fail" is no exception, and a fast start -- a near-miss assassination attempt on Vice President-elect Armstrong -- soon leads the Secret Service to haul in Jack to act as a consultant and help them try to penetrate their security surrounding the veep so that they can plug any loopholes. Us
Jul 21, 2008 Phil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrills-n-spills
Toni Morrison has set me free.

Not in the "Oh, her Beloved is a Masterpiece! I'll never be the same again!" kinda way. But this Harvard professor, Nobel winner admitted that she reads consumes loads of mysteries. So my dirty little habit is validated.

Lee Child is a writer with an austere mind. I like that glimpse into foreign territory. His characters are also logical and nimble enough to surprise. Jack Reacher, the protagonist of his books, was an elite ex-military cop. He's now a vagrant by pre
Jul 02, 2012 Harry rated it it was amazing
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 con
Mike Finn
Oct 09, 2014 Mike Finn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, audio-book
This is a bare-bones thriller, a puzzle played-out in blood and death, with almost no emotional involvement.

Jack Reacher stands at the centre, almost more puzzling than the mystery he is trying to solve. He has insights that stretch credibility, based on a hyper-aware level of observation, remarkable recall and a willingness to run with intuition when logic can't get him there. Yet, the man who sees everything, seems to have no desire to engage with the world unless it is to exact revenge. He li
Kathy Davie
Jun 17, 2015 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Sixth in the Jack Reacher thriller series revolving around an ex-military policeman whose brother believes in him completely. His mandate? To assassinate the Vice-President.

My Take
It's definitely a Reacher with his deductive abilities, but there's something missing in this one for me. It might've been the suits...

M.E. was clever in the way she found Jack.

I do enjoy reading Reacher's analysis of situations and people. The way he assesses the threat and calculatingly determines the best approach t
May Wong
Feb 18, 2013 May Wong rated it it was ok
Jack Reacher is a man’s man, but also a woman’s man. This is the enigma. He lives by his own code of conduct; a law unto himself. He believes in taking an eye for an eye, especially in retaliation for the death of someone he cares about (but not necessarily). Jack is judge, jury, executioner – fans might say “avenger”.

The characters that Lee Childs paints are so nasty; they do not seem to deserve our understanding and certainly not our forgiveness. But do they not deserve the rule of law? Where
The next in the series, and Jack Reacher time has come around again. This time Reacher is approached by the Secret Service to perform a secret audit of their protetion detail for the vice president elect. Reacher realises immediately that there's going to be more to it than that – in fact, Reacher audits the protection so quickly that it doesn't even make it into the book, instead he briefly describes his report to the agent in charge, M.E. Froelich.

We're reintroduced, indirectly, to Reacher's b
Aug 05, 2013 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
The 6th novel in the Jack Reacher series was published in early 2002, but had to have been completed before the events of 9/11 because there is no mention of any heightened security anywhere. That being stated, I was disappointed in one aspect of this novel; (SPOILER) Jack Reacher is recruited to work closely with the CIA's detail in charge of providing security for the Vice President-elect. But throughout the story, Reacher, who doesn't own anything but the clothes on his back (and even those a ...more
Jul 13, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While reading this installment of the Jack Reacher series, I remarked to my fiancee that this just might be the best one so far. She lauhed at me, and chided that I have said that for every one that I have read so far. She's right. I probably have.

But, to me, that's the beauty of this series. It's fun to see the progression, not just in Child's plotting but in his writing in general. It would be difficult, I would think, to keep outdoing your own cleverness. That's one of the dangers of writing
Mar 18, 2009 David rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
If you've been following my reviews very long you know that I am a HUGE fan of this series by Lee Child. Without Fail wasn't quite as strong as the others I've read thus far.. but still a pretty good read.

A Secret Service agent does the impossible-- she tracks down Jack Reacher (she used to date his brother Joe) She is the head of the security detail for the newly elected Vice-President and she asks Reacher to to examine if her operation is truly protecting the V.P. Reacher shows her some holes
Vikas Khair
Apr 26, 2016 Vikas Khair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again Jack Reacher finds himself trapped in a dangerous situation and again meeting people from past. Not only his own but from his brother's too.

This is typical of Lee Child book where in the villains are hidden till the last act/chapter and then revealed but none the less its a rollercoaster of a book which is action filled and fun.

Jack Reacher never be beaten whether in a fight or the fun quotient.

Jul 24, 2010 Nette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. It was chosen by someone in our office book club and I thought, ugh, isn't this guy one of those Tom Clancy/Robert Ludlum clones? I was expecting terrible dialogue and a lot weapons porn ("He shouldered the TEK45 version 4.5 missile launcher and snapped in the the specially modified Glockenspiel drone detector, stolen from a former KGB armory in Turkistan") , but it turned out to be a clever, twisty thriller. It reminded me a bit of a Thomas Perry novel becaus ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Stuart rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, tough-guy
This was a fairly disappointing continuation of Jack Reacher's drifter ways for me. A threat exist against the Vice President and suddenly Jack finds himself employed to seek holes in the VP's security - that was about the jeist of the story.
Sep 28, 2013 Robby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All (esp. Jack Reacher Fans)
Recommended to Robby by: Goodreads Friends
This is #6 in the series. A very good read. I enjoyed the premise of having Jack Reacher taking the job to assassinate the vice president of the United States. Theoretically that is. He is asked to do this by a female (M.E. Froelich) Secret Service Agent who is heading up the vice president-elect's protective detail; to find the holes in her system. Well that's the basis of the story anyway but from there things tend to escalate as is par for any true Jack Reacher storyline. Looking forward to h ...more
Nic Salzwedel
Mar 10, 2016 Nic Salzwedel rated it really liked it
The book titled, “Without Fail” written by Lee Child is from a series of books about a man named Jack Reacher. Reacher is a hired assassin who is approached by a beautiful secret service agent named Mary Ellen, also known as M.E. with an unusual request. She asks him if he could design a way to assassinate the Vice President of the United States. It is not what it sounds like however. M.E. has been given word that there is a group that is planning to assassinate the vice president, so she asks R ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling installment in a high-velocity, entertaining series. This one seemed slightly different from some of its predecessors, with the plot line being less driven by chance and more by design/recruitment (which, frankly, makes more sense to me). Inserting Reacher into a Secret Service operation/situation was interesting, and it worked out pretty well (in terms of story line).

The sustained tension/drama is the defining feature of the book (and, from my perspective, the series). Child begins
Feb 25, 2015 WendyB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Pretty good, the usual stuff you'd expect from a Jack Reacher novel. I didn't much like the reason for the attempts on the VP-elect's life. Seemed kinda anti-climatic after all the build up on how smart and competent the bad guys were supposed to be. Still, it was an entertaining read.
M. Ashraf
The idea is very good, No one really give any attention to the VP so when he is a target of an assassination plot, it's somehow unique...
On a side note, not related to the book, TNT tried to make the VP cool giving him a secret organization to protect the republic in Agent X and the show backfired and got cancelled after only one season with Sharon Stone as its lead star so :/ the VP is still lame.
Anyway, The idea was good but the reason, the why? was :/ same as the end.
The whole situation betwe
Stan Usher
May 23, 2015 Stan Usher rated it it was amazing
I have read a few Jack Reacher books before, seen the movie, and have loved everything I read and seen, so I was looking forward to this one as well. I was not disappointed. From the first chapter through to the end, its relentless action. The characters as I have seen in other Reacher books are all well fleshed out. The plot is plausible, and it roars along at a good pace. We learn a little more about Reacher in this book too. I have read a lot of this genre of book, and Jack Reacher is by far ...more
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Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a pr ...more
More about Lee Child...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Reacher (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
  • Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3)
  • Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
  • Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
  • Persuader (Jack Reacher, #7)
  • The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)
  • One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
  • The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, #10)
  • Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, #11)

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“They found out about him in July and stayed angry all through August. They tried to kill him in September. It was way too soon. They weren't ready. The attempt was a failure. It could have been a disaster, but it was actually a miracle. Because nobody noticed.” 9 likes
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