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Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  68,201 Ratings  ·  3,114 Reviews
When a woman is kidnapped, Jack Reacher's in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's kidnapped with her. Now he has to save them both.
ebook, 576 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Jove Books (first published July 20th 1998)
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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
Jun 25, 2016 Alp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 readin
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 t
Jul 02, 2012 Harry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 03, 2012 Jim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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 wh ...more
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. (view spoiler)
James Thane
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 pr
May 21, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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 t
Sep 09, 2011 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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. Th
Jun 20, 2014 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"If you go down to the woods 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, a
Nov 13, 2012 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, let me get this off my chest, this is a very good novel, very, very good. We're talking Ian Fleming good. But there are two problems, though from the look of other reviews this might be a personal problem rather than a literary one. Decide for yourselves.
The first problem is that Jack Reacher is billed as being a Arnold Schwarzenegger type character, a modern Conan the Barbarian (the novels not the movies, the literary version is very different to the film portrayals) or even Bernard Cornw
Dec 30, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A much better effort than the first novel, Killing Floor, which flows better overall due to the change in style from first person to third person and has a more interesting plot because of it. Not only that, but the fact that it was in the third person allowed for longer sentences, some even had more than 5 words in them. The author was making huge steps in that regard.

By no means was this a tour de force, it was a generic airport read if you will. Easy to get into, easy to read, easy to f
Arielle Walker
I'm trying to convince my boyfriend that reading is not boring, pointless, or just plain stupid, and so I'm on a quest to find him things to read that might change his mind. I have a feeling he may like Jack Reacher, so I'm going to re-read the series I think, just to make sure.

It's a tricky business - if I give him a book that doesn't beat his expectations, he may not make another attempt. I have to tread carefully.

Oh, and I can hear you thinking "why would you start with Die Trying, it's not
Johnny Williams
Aug 20, 2012 Johnny Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 nothin
Nov 25, 2011 Ithlilian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The Reacher books overuse the words "right" and "ok." Seriously, it is extremely annoying. Go get the notebook ok? He looks like he's mad right? Every other piece of dialogue has the words "right" or "ok." Other than that, these books are decent. Typical action based shoot em up style books. Reacher is a badass and doesn't follow whatever rules or laws you have in place to govern your society. He's a loner, and doesn't like to be in any place for more than a few days. As far as I could tell from ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Pamela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While I found this book entertaining, I remember now why I hadn't picked it up sooner -- because I read the first book in the series and didn't care for it much. I find the writing style annoying. The choppy sentence fragments are bad enough. The long strings of descriptive synonyms just about drove me spare. In an industry which pays by the word, I can't believe some editor did not put her foot down and cut out some of those redundant descriptors. The characters also all seem mildly retarded be ...more
Tara Gabor
Aug 29, 2012 Tara Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am Jack Reacher's newest fan. My mother has read all of the books, so I am lagging behind, but having heard her speak about the character so often, I decided to try Lee Child's short story, "Deep Down". I was hooked Jack Reacher is a cross between 007, a Texas Ranger, and Dr. Kimble. He is loveable but deadly. After finishing the short story, I eagerly consumed the first two novels. Jack Reacher appears to always find himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. He is misunderstood by authori ...more
Jane Stewart
Fun, escapist entertainment, exciting adventure, mostly action and suspense. Rambo and Die Hard fans should like this.

A group of neo-Nazi militants in Montana plan to attack something in America. They kidnap Holly off the street in Chicago. Holly is an FBI agent. Jack happens to be walking by when the kidnapping occurs, and the bad guys take him as well. Holly and Jack are tied up in the back of a van and being transported to Montana.

Jack was a major in the military police for 13 yea
3.75 stars. Great premise, gang kidnapped just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but Jack Reacher isn't a bad guy to have with you in a tight spot. Holly Johnson sounds like a cool, tough agent.

In some ways, I liked this story better than the first one. Jack Reacher is one of the only series that I listen to, even though it's good enough to read!

* Multiple story lines depicting actions in 3 different places
* FBI Agent Holly Johnson being smart, tough, well-dressed, pretty and
May 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this immediately following the first novel in the series, Killing Floor. The first thing I noticed was the first person narrative of the first book was gone. What became apparent the more I read was that Lee Child’s sophomore effort suffers because of it. The short, choppy writing style felt natural written in the first person. It fit Jack Reacher’s character perfectly. From a third person perspective it comes across, well, short and choppy. And annoying. All the characters speak in the s ...more
Aug 19, 2016 Panagiotis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Δεν ήμουν ο ίδιος αναγνώστης που διάβασε το πρώτο του βιβλίο και ενθουσιάστηκε ή όντως ήταν τόσο κακό το βιβλίο; Νομίζω το δεύτερο. Η τριβή μου με τα βιβλία μου έχει δώσει μια μικρή θωράκιση από τις αναγνωστικές περιστάσεις. Το γούστο μου δεν είναι έρμαιο των ανέμων.

Βαρετό, δίχως καθόλου αγωνία, με έναν Τζακ Ρίτσερ μουντρούχο και βαρύ. Δεν υπάρχουν οι έξυπνες ατάκες του πρώτου, δεν υπάρχει ο ρυθμός του. Η υπόθεση είναι βαλτωμένη και, αν και στηρίζεται σε μια ενδιαφέρουσα ιδέα, τελικά ξεθωριάζει
Robert Michael
Why isn't he dead? That is what I kept thinking.

High stakes thriller. Things that kept bothering me, though:

The "damsel in distress" was capable, but crippled by a sports injury
This is lame, pardon the pun. Three things grow from this and none of them are good.
1)She appears to be helpless and reliant on the men in her life (love triangle, btw)
2)Her apparent strengths are muted, therefore outside of one heroic moment that confuses the heck out of me, she failed to show her charisma, training a
Jun 23, 2013 Rizwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good overall, not great or superb by any means. After Killing Floor's full-on first person narrative, I didn't much care for the always shifting third person narration from multitude of viewpoints. And that's another problem for me, there were way too many characters who shared the same amount of detailing and focus, so much so that Jack Reacher himself had almost gotten reduced to a supporting character in his own series!

The first part was good, but as we discover our main antagonists a
Jun 07, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
It all began with an act of kindness. Reacher sought to help a woman with her dry-cleaning and ended up being taken hostage along with her in Chicago. Over the next number of hours, they are handcuffed together in a transport van, but Reacher cannot piece together the rationale behind this apparent forced confinement. It is only when he learns that Holly Johnson is actually FBI Analyst Johnson that some form of sense can be made with the kidnapping. The more they travel together, the more the pl ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd complicated Jack Reacher thriller is a pleaser !

We were hardly the first to become enamored with Lee Child's new thriller hero Jack Reacher, an ex-military police investigator extraordinaire who beat all odds in his debut in "Killing Floor". He's back in his sophomore outing, and every bit as tough, smart, and determined to save the day as before. This time he's just being a Good Samaritan to an injured woman struggling with her dry cleaning when the two of them are captured by what turns ou
Jan 22, 2011 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
Like many action novels one has to suspend belief so certain plot twists can occur. In the first Reacher novel there was the coincidence with his brother's investigation. That was ok for me. I enjoyed the story, the plot twists and discovering a new character that seemed to have interesting potential.
I wanted to like this novel and I'll probably give the third one a try but not for a while. There were too many incongruities for me. Bad guys who burn innocents in the trunks of cars and kill thei
While I still really liked the book, it did seem pretty long. Some of the descriptions of guns and trajectory and calculation were a bit long. Not quite as good as the first book, but still entertaining. Totally related to his first, terrifying crawl under the mountain where he thought he was stuck. I liked all the conspiracy theories. Cars do have tracking devices - onSTAR. I read that soldiers were getting implanted tracking chips so if a plane went down, they could be found. Then talk of putt ...more
Jennifer Louden
Okay, fair warning: I hate thrillers. No, hate is not too strong of a word. HATE. Then why did I read this book? Because Lee Childs wrote this brilliant column for the NYT Draft column. So I thought I should read one of his books. And yes, this guy can create suspense - I spent all day reading this book. The characters are not believable but they are incredibly well constructed to work with the plot. And the plot is flawless. I mean, he throws every obsta ...more
Sep 23, 2010 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is back in Lee Child’s second instalment “Die Trying”. Following on from his first novel and critically acclaimed “Killing Floor” Child is not only back on form but is better than ever!

In the “Killing Floor”, Jack Reacher stumbles upon a web of corruption, murder and money laundering. Unable to escape due to corruption at the highest level of the local police Reacher is hell-bent on proving his innocence and bringing those guilty to his own unique level of just
Close to 600 pages in an almost 4 - hour sitting, that's how easy it was to read this work. I'm not impressed by anything it had to offer, starting with the character it builds upon and ending with the writing. It's bland, simple and puts too much emphasis on technicalities, as if the author decided more detail about the kind of rounds a Glock 17 fires would make for a fluffier book. I can recognize the winning patter here: it is highly readable, suitable for any kind of consumer and frankly, ju ...more
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Why is Dick Hill not narrating this audio book???? 21 376 Dec 19, 2016 07:39PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing Covers - Die Trying 3 15 Jan 09, 2016 01:26AM  
First person vs. third person 14 169 Oct 12, 2015 09:51AM  
Jack Reacher 12 65 Feb 21, 2015 09:45PM  
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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 22 books)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3)
  • Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
  • Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
  • 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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“I had a teacher once, grade school somewhere. Philippines, I think, because she always wore a big white hat. So it was somewhere hot. I was always twice the size of the other kids, and she used to say to me: count to ten before you get mad, Reacher. And I've counted way past ten on this one. Way past.” 48 likes
“People, Reacher was certain about. Dogs were different. People had freedom of choice. If a man or a woman ran snarling toward him, they did so because they chose to. They were asking for whatever they got. His response was their problem. But dogs were different. No free will. Easily misled. It raised an ethical problem. Shooting a dog because it had been induced to do something unwise was not the sort of thing Reacher wanted to do.” 31 likes
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