Jim's Reviews > Die Trying

Die Trying by Lee Child
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did not like it
bookshelves: action, 1audio, mystery-thriller, 3series, did-not-finish, 2fiction

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. The heroine just had her bad knee kicked a few times. Reacher just tore his chains from the wall. One of 3 bad guys is now dead - the driver. Does Reacher check his pockets for keys, like maybe to the van? Nope. What time is it? Dawn, right when his enemies would be at their lowest ebb - his favorite time. Does he think about scouting the area & going after them? Nope.

He sits down & gets a big hug & thank yous from the heroine for saving her honor & the chapter ends with them blissfully consoling each other. Have you ever had a limb with a torn ligament knocked around even a little? Feel like cuddling afterward? I haven't. I wanted everyone to stay far away!

Besides, accepting just made Reacher look stupid. He's supposed to be the tough, logical operator. Time is wasting. Take care of business, have tender moments & take care of nerves afterward.

The shotgun was an issue again. If you're loading a shotgun for people, what do you put in it? Buckshot is likely. There's about 20 #4 shot in a 12 gauge shell, less if #00. The lightest shot might have 50, but we have 'hundreds of small holes' in the roof of a van after being shot at from 10'-15' with no big center hole. Anyone who has ever fired a shotgun at a board, tree, or car from fairly close wouldn't make that mistake. There are also enough shot scattered around that Reacher piles them up. Hyperbole is allowed, idiocy though? No.

Then there was the bad guy. He is apparently the leader of a cult. What do all cult leaders have in common? They are charismatic. Child paints this guy like a cross between Bo Radley & Hannibal Lector. Who would follow such a person? Most would cross the street at the sight of him.

And the guy is hiring people, then killing them, just to be evil, I guess. We're under the working assumption here that he laid his plans far enough ahead that he's had the heroine followed for at least a couple of weeks, but he has to hire a crew to gut a room & then kill them for fun? Why not his own people? Tearing out plaster & floor boards doesn't take skilled labor. Killing people in a rural area where everyone knows everyone else's business is just stupid. If it was in my neck of the woods, one of them would be the sheriff's brother or cousin. Guaranteed to get exactly the kind of notice a person doesn't want.

Nope, just can't take it any more. I'm done with Reacher. The movie was better than the books have been & I don't expect much from Hollywood. When a Tom Cruise movie is better than the book, then the book is drivel.
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Reading Progress

September 20, 2013 – Started Reading
September 20, 2013 – Shelved
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: action
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: 1audio
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: mystery-thriller
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: 3series
September 20, 2013 – Shelved as: could-not-finish
September 20, 2013 – Finished Reading
October 22, 2014 – Shelved as: 2fiction
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: did-not-finish

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Eddie I thought the same thing about the "love scene". Poor decision.
But I give a pass on The bad guy, I thought everyone loved him till they were in the compound by then everyone was too scared to cross him. (accept the true believers) You showed me how stupid that van rescue scene was, I guess Child just tricks me. I am still reading his books. On Personal now.


message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim Try some of Donald Hamilton's books, Eddie. I just finished a really good one by Lance Charnes, too. Both write far better.


message 3: by Erskine (new)

Erskine I'm not an expert on guns, and didn't care enough to fact check the number of shot that went through the roof. I did smell a rat, though, when he described the sniper rifle as a .50-inch rifle. Who does that? Why not just say 50 caliber? And then the crap about how bullets follow the curvature of the Earth, *and* are affected by gravity. What? I don't know guns, but I did take Physics. Bullets travel in a parabola because of gravity. Period. They don't follow the curvature of the Earth.

Then there was the whole thing about having to aim way above the target in order to adjust for the drop of the bullet. Wouldn't you just adjust the scope to account for the distance? That's what sights are for, right?


message 4: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim Agreed, Erskine. IF you could trust the scope after the way the gun is treated. IIRC, he humped it around like it was a canteen - not the way I would treat fairly delicate equipment. While I can gloss over a lot of things in a movie, I can't in a book. When I read, I fill in the world with my own knowledge & experience.

I'm not an expert on guns, but I did grow up shooting a fair amount. Worse, I read Donald Hamilton's On Guns and Hunting, a collection of some of his nonfiction articles for hunting/sport magazines, a couple of years before reading this book. In it was a great article on shotguns since he was dealing with a bad shoulder & still wanted to hunt. The article dealt with how many shot were delivered at various ranges by several different gauge shotguns & choke settings. It's the sort of information guaranteed to ruin books like this since it simplified & solidified the information for me.


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