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Die Trying (Jack Reacher, No. 2) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 2,864 customer reviews
Book 2 of 20 in the Jack Reacher Series

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Mass Market Paperback, May 1, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Television writer Lee Child's otherwise riveting first thriller, Killing Floor, was criticized by some reviewers because of an unconvincing coincidence at its center. Child addresses that problem in his second book--and thumbs his nose at those reviewers--by having his hero, ex-military policeman Jack Reacher, just happen to be walking by a Chicago dry cleaner when an attractive young FBI agent named Holly Johnson comes out carrying nine expensive outfits and a crutch to support her soccer-injured knee. As Holly stumbles, Reacher grabs her and her garments--which gets him kidnapped along with her by a trio of very determined badguys. "He had no problem with how he had gotten grabbed up in the first place," Child writes. "Just a freak of chance had put him alongside Holly Johnson at the exact time the snatch was going down. He was comfortable with that. He understood freak chances. Life was built out of freak chances, however much people would like to pretend otherwise." Lucky for Holly--whose father just happens to be an Army general and current head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thus making her a tempting target for a bunch of Montana-based extremists--Reacher still has all the skills and strengths associated with his former occupation. And Child still knows how to write scenes of violent action better than virtually anyone else around. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Jack Reacher is in both the wrong and the right place at the same time when FBI Special Agent and daughter of the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Holly Johnson is abducted from a Chicago street. It is the wrong place because Reacher, a former army major drifting around the country, is kidnapped as well. It is the right place because only he has the instincts to foil the complex, deadly plan of the kidnappers, a Montana militia group headed by a charismatic, brilliant, but psychotic leader. Child's tale, very well read by Dick Hill, engrossingly portrays Reacher's efforts to manipulate the captors; the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of the FBI, the army, and the White House; and the many unexpected roadblocks thrown in his path. Child devotes too much time, however, to the predictable rantings of the militia. Recommended for public libraries.?Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; 37088th edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515125024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515125023
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,864 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,228,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. R. Jeanclerc VINE VOICE on June 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Die Trying" is the second installment in Lee Child's popular Jack Reacher series. Reacher is an ex-Army-MP-turned-vigilante-drifter, a tough guy with an unflinching sense of right and wrong who always manages to stumble into a situation in need of his style of correction.

In this book, Reacher happens on to the kidnapping of a government worker and not only ends up being snatched along with the target but also gets [...] as the prime suspect after being identified by witnesses. Bad luck for Reacher - worse luck for the bad guys. As Reacher uses his MP background to put together the clues, he discovers that this is no ordinary kidnapping of any ordinary person and that the perpetrators are out for much more than simple ransom. He has to solve the mysteries, save the girl, and stop the growing conspiracy - all before the nationwide manhunt mistakenly takes him down. It's all in a day's work for Jack Reacher.

The Reacher series is a throwback in action writing, unencumbered by modern sensitivities and moral ambiguities that plague so many other contemporary heroes. All characters are cut-and-dry either on the side of right or wrong, women are typically fodder for rescue and/or quick, passionate affairs, and all problems can be solved with the right mixture of brains and force. This world view can sometimes lead the books down a path of being overly simplistic or even hokey, but ultimately Reacher's charisma and conviction make for worthwhile Summer reading. Pacing is typically swift as Child's background as a television writer becomes apparent with each passing chapter. Book after book, the Reacher series is a mixture of "24", "CSI" and even a little bit of "McGyver".

"Die Trying" is a good volume in the Reacher series.
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Format: Hardcover
Jack Reacher is walking down a Chicago street when he stops to help a woman with a cane, struggle with her dry cleaning. Three men approach her with weapons drawn and abduct her, bringing Reacher along with them.

They bring the prisoners to their enclave in Montana and hold the woman, FBI agent, Holly Johnson, as a bargaining chip for what they plan with the government.

Reacher shows the reader his many talents in this second installment of his stories. We see him as the lone man against seemingly insurmountable odds. He's highly analytical and possesses keen inteligence. He's also able to rationalize what his captors are planning and figure out a possible escape. In "Die Trying," Reacher shows his feelings and develops a fondness for Holly. His compassion and strength are two of the reasons why readers enjoy Reacher as a character and are able to sympathise with him.

The plot is original and the author provides a number of surprises and plot twists that keep the reader's attention and add to the enjoyment of the story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Die Trying is the sensational sequel to Killing Floor by Lee Child. If you haven't read Killing Floor I would recommend doing so before you read this book as it provides a basis for Reacher's character realism. As before the main character is Jack Reacher, ex military policeman and all round superhero. Reacher is intelligent, deductive and physically prodigous, so if you like heroes of the elite variety then this is the character for you. If you prefer cardiganed librarians and lack the ability to suspend disbelief (an essential criteria for FICTION readers) avoid this book as the storyline is astounding with a capital ASTOUND. Lee Child has produced a book that captivates and ensnares its readers with suspense, intrigue and a plot with more twists than a bowl of particularly tangled spaghetti. A man mountain of a psychopath, a beautiful FBI agent with more secrets than the FBI itself, moles galore and the president of the United States, all come together in the valleys of Montana, in a literary feast. If that isn't enough there's even a spot of romance (but not too much). All in all a book for those of us who believe in a world where heroes do exist.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of the Reacher series, not always in order. But I did start consecutively with numbers 1-5, and I felt that this book really built on the first and elevated Reacher to a new status in action-focused fiction. I can't believe that I - an almost 50 year-old woman - would enjoy reading the details about weapons and military history and combat strategies so much. But, I definitely did. As an author, I really appreciate Mr. Child's ability to make stories appealing to both men and women - a relatively rare skill.

In this book, I also appreciated the presence of a strong female protagonist. Despite being in significant pain during the course of the novel, Holly remained cool-headed, creative, willing to take advice but follow her own direction, capable, determined...wow. That was nice to see in a book with a larger-than-life male lead.

As for Reacher, I think he really comes into his own in this book, and we start to get a glimpse into the components of his make-up. Certainly we see what he's capable of, and we see his ability to isolate emotion (Wait, does he have any? Why, yes. Yes, he does.) when he needs to. He is a soldier at heart - a well-trained, smarter-than average, resourceful and very skilled soldier, but it's at the core of who he is, and that's never lost in the books.

There were some times when a suspension of disbelief was required - the timing of the kidnap, Reacher being kept "in the game" for as long as he was - but that's true in almost any book, and certainly in many in this genre. It was no problem for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. Recommended.
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