Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher, #15
At the end of a harrying week, there’s not much better than settling down to read about Jack Reacher kicking whatever, taking names, and meting out justice.
The last couple of novels have been a little more on the cerebral side for Reacher (not that they haven’t had plenty of violence), which is fine — Reacher’s more than just brawn, he’s got a brain. But by page 43 of this book when the first fight (well, the first real) starts you can tell this us going to be a lot different than the last couple of books, there’s going to be a good deal of violence, and the reader’s blood is going to be pumping a lot. And wow, is there a lot of fighting going on — I haven’t kept notes or anything, but I don’t remember as much hand-to-hand fighting in a Reacher book in ages — if ever. Well-exectued by both Child and Reacher, I should add.
There is a misunderstanding involving one representative of the for parties that Reacher is up against here. The kind of misunderstanding that would make classic sit-com fodder, but here serves to ratchet up the paranoia and mutual suspicions between the parties. I had a lot of fun watching how one chance encounter and a million to one happening unravels something that really could’ve taken Reacher down, particularly in his weakened condition.
That weakened condition is one of the best things about this book — there’s a strong link between Worth Dying For and 61 Hours, the strongest since Tripwire and Running Blind — 11 books back — and, from what I’ve learned from a couple of TV interviews, this link continues in his latest, Never Go Back (further incentive, not that I need it, to catch up with this series). His body is still recovering from the trauma endured, and his mind is set on the officer who’s taken his old position. I really appreciated that, it’s good to see that these aren’t just random adventures, but there’s some continuity at work here, even if the novels are completely stand-alone in nature.
The villains at the center of this mess are probably the vilest that Child has yet cooked up — and that’s saying something. Once everything about their criminal activities is revealed, you’re more than ready for Reacher to do his thing. Which he — naturally — does with aplomb and efficiency.
Take your blood pressure meds, get in your comfy chair and kick back for a heck of a read.