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This is a very enjoyable, vintage Reacher adventure. It starts well, slows a bit in the middle, but then picks up with a high body count towards the end. The plot is pleasingly complex and all the strands are sewn up neatly and logically by the end.

It kicks off shortly after 61 Hours. Yes Reacher is alive, although you won't find out how he survived until about a third of the way through. This is a standalone story rather than a continuation of the plot in the previous book.

Reacher is in rural Nebraska. He's on his way to Virginia and only intends to stop for a night, when he is drawn into what initially looks like a domestic dispute but ends up being something much bigger. The town is under the control of a very unpleasant family called the Duncans, who own a transportation company. The local farmers are dependent on the company and therefore live in fear of them. The Duncans have an important shipment coming in, which has been delayed. This is causing problems for their customer and for the customers of their customer. Consequently a food chain of increasingly nasty villains gets involved, with lots of double crossing and mind games going on. Tied into all this somehow is the mystery of a local girl who disappeared 25 years ago and whose body has never been found.

The setting adds a lot to the tension. Reacher needs to hide in a flat and empty landscape where a man can be seen a mile away, with the locals unwilling to help a stranger.

There is one section in the middle that reminded me of Nothing To Lose, with its endless trudging around small town Colorado in the dark, but this lull was temporary and the momentum picked up quickly again. I also liked the way that Lee Child incorporates Reacher's physical limitations. Reacher is no genius this time around: his deductions are logical and he misses a couple of pretty obvious tricks. All in all, it's another nail biting installment in a terrific series.
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on January 19, 2010
I've read a lot of books in this particular genre, and this is the first time I've been compelled to post a review--the book was THAT good. While sticking to the historical facts as to the events which transpired in the build up to and initial invasion of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Eric Blehm presents a fascinating page-turner. I absolutely couldn't put the book down, and at times had to remind myself I was reading a non-fiction book. If you're interested in how low-level, tactical leaders in our armed forces truly influence the nations of the world, this is a must-read. Blehm clearly did his homework and must've conducted hours of interviews with the surviving members of ODA-574, as his insight and account of the harrowing ordeal read as if I was there with them. Read this book--you won't be disappointed.
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on January 22, 2010
As a reader addicted to military history and accounts of warriors who have actually fought the battles, I am blown away by this book. The author has done exhaustive research and portrays the events that took place with this SF team with very detailed descriptions of technology, tactics, mission planning all as if these men were friends of yours. Eric Blehm takes you inside their lives, their personal conflicts and triumphs, and let's you understand how men can do exceptional things with exceptional commitment to their mission and themselves! The men under Captain Jason Amerine depict why the Green Berets and their other SF brothers are capable of overcoming adversity that couldn't be planned for through constant preparation and unwavering committment. Given the ability to think on their feet and to take action as required when required time after time. I couldn't put this book down. I encourage you to pick this book up, strap yourself in, and be prepared to feel tired, dirty, sweaty, and completely exhausted as SF Team ODA 574 accomplish great things under the leadership of a young captain who believes in his men and trusts them to protect each other...and Hamid Karzai, from the Taliban and the 11th century tribal system inside of Afghanistan that could become a civil war destroying everything.
My heart felt thanks to the men and women of our armed forces and to those capable of earning selection into the special forces. You truly stand above the average man...and I'm glad you do!
Now it's time to pick up more Eric Blehm...he is a wonderful author.
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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.
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on October 21, 2010
Great fun!

Not only is this good vintage-style Jack Reacher, it is among the stronger books of this excellent series. The writing is tight, the pacing is excellent, the characters are fleshed out and believable. The cascade of events leading to the inevitable transition to violence happens in a measured, gripping, and believable fashion.

Some of Lee Child's books stand out more than others. This is true for any prolific writer. "Worth dying For" is among the best of the Jack Reacher novels. Familiar readers will likely recapture the thrill and suspense that drew them into Mr. Child's works in the first place. New ones will be in for a unique treat.

Jack Reacher, as a character, displays refreshing ruthlessness in this book. Mr. Child's uniquely practical lessons in the application of violence are both informative and entertaining.

Finally, the underlying mystery of the situation unfolds in a creeping, and creepy, progression. The clues add up, the circumstances evolve, and readers will likely suspect the truth bit by bit, right alongside the protagonist.

Read this book when you have some time - it is a page turner that will keep you up late.
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on October 14, 2011
The vast majority of the reviews have rated this 5 stars. I would rate it higher if possible. The author, Eric Blehm has done an excellent job explaining the life of a SF team and what they can be assigned to accomplish. As indicated by the book the team was given a job in a new environment following 9-11 and as usual for SOG given very little specifics. They were making some of it up as they went along and by all accounts doing the job and accomplishing their assigned goal. Their problems started when the REMF's arrived from HQ to only "observe" the operation. Never in my lifetime have I ever experienced an observer who out ranked the troops on the ground "strictly observe". There is some defect within these "observers" brain that malfunctions when they arrive onsite. In this case the observers were an 0-5 and a 0-4 watching over the shoulder of a 0-3. The 0-3 was a team leader and was qualified for the position or he would not have been there. We have all seen it before the REMF's wrangle a way to get to the action so they can get a notation in their 201 file that says "he was there" and maybe pick up a medal. In this case their involvement was to interfere by directing the team leader to follow their orders and then they involved themselves into an unnecessary airstrike that took the lives of over 50 friendlies and crippled most of the survivors. Their obvious desire to earn battle stories for the "O Club" cost these men their lives. If these observers had of admitted their "war" had past them by and stayed in the rear where they belonged those who died might still be with us today. Both Officers should have faced a court martial. Excellent book but rotten result. It is a must read.
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on October 7, 2010
Who'd have thought it? Jack Reacher survived an explosion that can be seen from space. Read this in a few hours. Usual Reacher, breaks bones with scientific accuracy and speed. Utterly ruthless and barely a suggestion of sarcasm. Can't help thinking that if I was that good, I'd be sarcastic as hell. The Vegas villains seemed to be portrayed as if they were in a Cohen Brothers film. Stylish but stupid and incompetent. It made their outcomes fairly assured from the moment they were introduced. The ending tells us that the East Coast may be an eventful journey and personally I want to be on board. Jack Reacher is a character for our times. I've passed some time trying to work out who would play him on the big screen and the problem is there really isn't anyone who comes close. Russell Crowe? Too short and getting too old for the series (of films), but has the look. Making of the film would be fairly inexpensive as the action is real world, well, real Reacher world. Keep em' coming
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on January 19, 2010
This is the first book I've read by author Eric Blehm. I was absolutely impressed by his ability to spin war history into a story you can't put down. In my opinion everyone should read this book to gain a better understanding of the war in Afghanistan. More importantly; with the current state of conflict it reminds us of how it all began.

I found the story insightful both politically and humanistically; the type of novel that is discussed in history class or thoroughly enjoyed at home. Mapping the big picture area of operations following 911 down to small team tactical decisions and finally the personal stories/relationships of the Special Forces Team ODA 574. The team members are developed to an extent that I internalized their experiences, family and know them by first name. The book also gives an interesting, candid first hand understanding of Hamid Karzai's journey to the presidency, focusing on his faithful deep connection with Afghanistan.

This book is very real, I laughed and cried. As a brutally, touchingly honest story of men at war, I cannot recommend this book too highly.
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on February 15, 2010
I have just finished this book and must say that I am still stunned and appalled by the behavior of the senior
officers who forced their way into the mission of ODA 594. This is the story of how our brave Special Forces
soldiers were caused to agree to the whimsy of those who thought they knew better just because they were senior
in rank to Capt Amerine and his team. Due to their need to play with what they saw as toys for field grade officers to use, members of ODA 594 and uncountable friendly Afghan soldiers were killed by "friendly fire", many others wounded,and to the disgust of a combat veteran like me, the senior officers tried to blame the authorization on
Karzai. I guess they thought they could get away with that lie. I hope they rot in a very hot place for this behavior.

I am an ex-officer and Vietnam Combat Veteran.
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on November 20, 2010
As I start to type this review I note the black color of the keys, the white of the letters and the squareness of the entire board. I wonder why the keys are not round to make them more comfortable to my fingers. I then realize I can fill half of any book just by describing simple things, over and engines, knives, screw drivers, garage doors, bar lighting, ruts in the road, etc. I can fill another quarter with fights and explosions then complete the rest of the book by changing the names of people I had used in other books and make half of them good, half evil...some drunk.

I have a fear that Lee Child has "jumped the shark" and is now phoning it in....ala Patricia Cornwell. The people in his books are all the same, the evil guys are all the same and the locations are always remote. Reacher never grows or changes.

I have read all the Reacher books. I am afraid my journey has ended. Thanks for the memories Lee.
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