Top critical review
151 people found this helpful
Definitely worth reading, but not quite worth dying for
on October 4, 2010
I get the feeling like I'm the last person to know; I bought this book still thinking that it would be a shocking resolution to the cliff hanger ending of the previous 61 Hours.
You see I was hooked into the possibilities: could Reacher actually be dead? OK I really doubted it but more likely - would everyone's favourite 00-bearman be crippled with burns? At any rate I thought the pundit prediction that his female counterpart running Reacher's old unit would play the major role of this novel was spot on.
But no. Even just reading the blurb will tell you that Reacher is still functioning. I'm pretty sure Childs plays on our expectations, having Reacher described as "hurting" but at the end of the day he can still kick ass without flinching so one wonders why even bother trying to fool us into thinking Jack Reacher is mortal?
Instead of playing the awesome sequel card, Childs just introduces us to another Jack Reacher adventure - this time versus the Duncans an evil family of hick/pervert/smugglers who control a local farming community with extreme violence and a gang of retired football players (most of whom are named Brett). If that isn't slapstick enough for you, the Duncans answer to a the Italians, who answer to some other bad guys, who answer to some Iranians, who answer to the Saudis - all of whom send a couple of guys to keep an eye on the others, resulting in a small town full of organized criminals who comically murder each other (or get their hearts punched out by Reacher)
While the story is fairly run-of-the-mill for Childs, the prose is solid, and the action is well planned. The drama is somewhat limp as the main characters are nowhere near as memorable as in 61 hours and other Reacher novels, and without attachments the story merely becomes a blow by blow account of Reacher pounding on the baddies, and dressing down the cowering townsfolk.
Still, Child leads the field in thriller writing, and Worth Dying For is a prime example of his brillance, I think as an author not living up to your own works is forgivable when all your works are leagues ahead of everything else in the genre.