Molly's Reviews > Without Fail

Without Fail by Lee Child
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's review
Apr 27, 2011

it was ok

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 action (and violence) packed than the ones I've read before; a tad too tame. Usually, Lee Child is very creative when it comes to horrifying me--he's not the type who will bank on the typical blood and gore. (You'd think with a character that uses guns a lot, you'd know how people will get killed; but Lee Child is more imaginative than that.)

That aside, everything in Without Fail was still quintessential Reacher. He emanates a clear don't-mess-with-me-or-my-friends vibe that makes you want someone to cross him. Of course someone will, which is why me and my friends keep borrowing the paperbacks and passing it on to one another.

Lee Child's Reacher books are plot driven and easy to read (perfect for long MRT rides), peppered with interesting military stuff (intriguing for clueless civilians like me). Absorbing, thrilling, doesn't demand much attention or comprehension; a good book to read in between other more literary fare, every now and then.

What really hooked me to Jack Reacher is the consistent portrayal--in description, in language, in plot twists, in his action and decisions, everything is crafted to make this fictional character come alive. When I read Lee Child's books, as in Without Fail, Reacher is undeniably more than just a hero in a novel; he's someone I've met before and is now writing me a long letter to let me know what mess he's getting himself into.

I'm giving 2 stars for Without Fail, but 3 or 4 for these other Jack Reacher books: The Hard Way, Back Luck and Trouble.
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Mcgyver5 LOL. Maybe one of those blows to the head from the previous books knocked out his innate timekeeping ability.

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