Tom's Reviews > Die Trying

Die Trying by Lee Child
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's review
Mar 01, 11

bookshelves: fiction, series, mysteries-thrillers
Read from February 24 to March 01, 2011

Jack Reacher is the ultimate badass loner. A legend in the Army's Military Police, Reacher mustered out after 14 heroic years, and now wanders the U.S., staying as anonymous as possible.

In the first Reacher novel, "Killing Floor," Jack wandered into a small Georgia town that just happened to be the site of his estranged brother's murder.

In "Die Trying," Reacher is in Chicago. He helps a struggling lady with her dry cleaning, then POUF! He and the mystery lady are kidnapped.

Novels featuring giant badass loners who just happen to find trouble are not meant to be realistic. I get that. What's fun is Lee Childs' casual way of introducing different skills to the narrative. This is a guilty pleasure genre for me, and my main criterion is, "Did the book draw me in and hook me?"

Yeah. "Die Trying" hooked me. It took awhile for me to fall completely, but I did. Lee Child is a skillful writer. I like that he doesn't overwrite climaxes or indulge in manipulation. Best of all, sometimes it just makes sense for the badass loner to kill a bad guy without any dramatic speeches.

If you liked "Killing Floor," you'll likely find "Die Trying" a worthy successor. If you're an Alex Cross fan, or big on Tom Clancy's work, I recommend this book. Reacher isn't funny or horribly exciting, but if you're going to be kidnapped by a nutball militia leader, then he's somebody you'd want around.

(I give "Die Trying" a bonus point for the cute female rescuee being named Holly Johnson, same as the lead singer of the very un-Reacher-like 80's band Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
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