Sunday, November 14, 2010
Book review: Another fast-paced action tale with Jack Reacher
This is the 15th Lee Child novel featuring ex-army military policeman Jack Reacher.
In the previous book, "61 Hours," set in South Dakota, Reacher got into all sorts of trouble.
And although "Worth Dying For" is a sequel, Childs gives enough background information for this book to stand on its own -- though having read the previous book might well explain some puzzling things, such as why Reacher's arms are so damaged and why it is imperative to get to Virginia.
"Worth Dying For" opens with Reacher hitching rides across Nebraska on his way to Virginia, stopping for the night at a run-down motel in the middle of nowhere.
Reacher gets talking with a drunken doctor at the bar when a call comes in from a woman with a serious nosebleed needing help.
Reacher offers to drive the doctor out to treat the woman. Reacher is convinced that the woman, Eleanor Duncan, is an abused wife and goes in pursuit of her husband, Seth, to convince him of the error of his ways.
Seth and his three bachelor uncles own a trucking company and rule this remote local community by fear and brutality.
The Duncans also are engaged in smuggling some sort of high-priced merchandise from abroad; fearing that Reacher is far too nosy and with their smuggled goods due to arrive any minute, they decide to eliminate him.
However, things do not go according to the Duncans' plan and they appeal for help to others in the chain of the smuggled items and are pleased when reinforcements arrive in the shape of six thugs from Las Vegas.
They expect a quick solution, but had not reckoned on Reacher, who is remarkably tough and resourceful, overcoming all the odds including solving the 25-year-old mystery of a missing child before proceeding to Virginia.
This book is a fast-paced action thriller. Readers who like to have lots of detail and background of the characters portrayed in a book will be somewhat disappointed, but those readers who like lots of action, including violence and shootings, will be delighted.
I read the book in less than two days, including far too late into the night, so it can properly be described as a true page-turner -- absolutely ideal for long journeys.