David's Reviews > Without Fail

Without Fail by Lee Child
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's review
May 30, 11

Read from April 17 to May 05, 2011

Lee Child is back! I heard about the Jack Reacher series about a year ago and figured I would give "Killing Floor" a try. It had an interesting protagonist, great plot and killer scenes of explosive violence. The next book was almost as good. But from there, things steadily declined. The book before this one, "Echo Burning" was easily the worst -- boring and trite.

In "Without Fail", Lee Child returns to form. Jack Reacher returns, this time to defend against a possible assassination of...not the President of the U.S., but the Vice-President elect (notice the hyphen). The book is a nice mix of forensics, mystery, action and the mandatory Reacher romantic interest(s). Lee Child seems to have given up trying to contrive beautiful, six feet tall women. In this one Reacher dates a shawty.

Unlike the last couple of books, the plot twists and turns enough to keep the reader engaged and thinking along with the author. When the assassins are finally revealed, they are tied to an event in the past which is an interesting idea. I am not sure how realistic this idea is, but interesting.

"Without Fail" is not a masterpiece -- I usually reserve Reacher books for audio in my car, because they are easy to follow and if I get distracted I don't miss that much -- but it delivers the goods. The premise is interesting enough, the plot engaging and the characters good enough for an action novel. Lee Child has gotten the train back on the tracks with this one.

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