Without Fail (Jack Reacher) Paperback – April 2, 2013
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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“If Without Fail doesn’t hook you on Lee Child, I give up.”—The New York Times
“Relentlessly paced...and absolutely mesmerizing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Everything falls into place like a well-assembled time bomb.”—The Boston Globe
“A stunner...The suspense becomes nearly unbearable.”—Booklist
“This is a knockout.”—Library Journal
“[The] plot is ingenious…This is a superior series.”—The Washington Post Book World
“If you haven’t read a Reacher story, do yourself an exciting and engrossing favor and pick one up. Grade A.”—Rocky Mountain News
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Lee Child is skilled at writing a modern thriller. It can’t just be his short, direct sentences that do it. He can somehow imbue his stories with a sense of urgency and panic. Sometimes, I find myself reading faster as if that will help Reacher get out of his current predicament. Whatever the author is doing, he’s a master at it. These are hard books to take a break from, make sure you go to bed early so you can have extra time to read before sleeping, or you’ll be sorry.
I like the Jack Reacher series. It's a predictable flow for each book, but you just have to accept that. He's a badass, always one step ahead of the bad guys, always the smartest guy in the room, figures things out before everyone else, etc. And, of course, he hooks up with some hot woman, gets into a serious relationship with her, and breaks up by the end. All that, no problem. Just accept that that's how it's going to go, and read on to see how it is handled this time around.
In this book, Jack is a little TOO smart. A little TOO good. I think it was just pushed a little too far, while other things didn't make a lot of sense to me. For instance, the knowledge and skills of the would-be assassins don't add up considering their background. Also, in one attempt at making Jack seem so much smarter than everyone else was just off-base, and that had to do with the Beretta in the kitchen drawer. Most law enforcement or military folks I know advocate that a gun being used for self-defense should be loaded and ready to fire - that extra step of inserting the magazine, pulling the slide, etc - could be the difference between life and death. In this case, the Beretta was in the drawer with the mags next to it. A professional such as a secret service agent wouldn't have had it that way, and a military professional such as Jack wouldn't have considered it a mistake to have the bullets in the mag. I think BOTH would have kept the gun in the drawer, bullets in mag, mag in gun, ready to go. Not a big deal except that the whole idea becomes a major plot twist at the very end of the book.
Anyway, it's a good book, I recommend reading it, there were just a few things that bugged me and made me think that the author was trying too hard to be clever.
With that being said, in frustration, I quit reading this particular book about a third of the way through it. Why? It wasn't interesting to me to read about Jack in a security role protecting a politician. It reminded me of the old, worn and boring Hollywood story line about some government employee saving a President. (Yawn and Yawning more) Unlike most of the other books in the Reacher series, I also found this book to be off from Jack's personality and character - enough so to want to kick myself for paying $10.00 for it.
Top international reviews
Jack Reacher appeals to the angry and vengeful core in all of us - there are no judges or juries in Reacher's world, just violent retribution dispatched swiftly, without compunction or mercy and, in this case, unusually cold-bloodedly.
The book was written right after the 9/11 tragedy and I think its influence can be seen in the way that in Without Fail it is acceptable for Reacher to assassinate the bad guys. In many of the other Jack Reacher books that I've read, Reacher's own life is at stake from quite early in the story, and so the ruthless killing of the bad guys is softened morally by his need to survive. This is not the case in Without Fail where he could and should have left them to the Secret Service or the FBI - both agencies are intrinsic to the story - but instead goes after them with intent to kill.
Child does a good job of making this aspect as believable as possible, and as the issue only comes up at the very end, it doesn't spoil what is otherwise a fine story. The rest of the book has the usual impeccable mix of tight plotting, tighter writing and great minor characters, and I had no problem awarding four stars.
Kindle version makes for easy reading, dipping in and out of Reacher's sixth plot line, although I found it hard to put down, as the intricate ups and downs of 'Without Fail' guarantee long sessions concentrating on both the stoically romantic connections of Jack's deceased brother while trying to retain his tough outer skin.
Then before you know it you're skipping to the highly tactical side of Jack's attempts to protect a Vice-President from his grudge ridden assassins.
I particularly enjoyed the denouement, as our hero, along with a tough female colleague, track the bad guys through a snow storm.
Shockingly descriptive, wonderfully adjective ridden, with sometimes short, sharp technically beautiful explanations of weaponry makes Without Fail' a must have Reacher book.
This was an 'after holiday' read, I now feel as if I require another to recover!
Onto Jack Reacher seven ... Blimey! can i take more? Of course!
I started this book wondering whether Child had jumped the shark - why do authors feel they can only get readers by giving their characters figures of national importance to interact with? Clancy did it with his Ryan novels and now Child is too - the previous book was just as good focussing on a small family in the south.
As it is however this book moved beyond that feeling once things got going. Reacher's character becomes more three dimensional than ever before and a lot of the narrative is more about him and his relationships than it ever is about the politician. The story moves at a good pace, and there was only one moment where there was a clue so obvious it broke the fourth wall.
I thought at the start that I was starting to drift away from Reacher's adventures but Child has proved that he's growing as an author and able to develop his character into something more than a moral killer. I'm looking forward to more.
Set in Washington, this is a nicely-plotted assassination story as someone wants to kill the new vice-president and Jack is called in to stop them. There are enough twists and turns, with some nice mysteries to keep us on our toes - though sometimes it has to be said Jack's super-powers are a little over the top.
So this won't ever win any literary awards but at the same time it's far better written and plotted than many other thrillers out there. I enjoyed this immensely and look forward to more outings with the laconic but deep superhero.
This time Jack Reacher is helping the Secret Service in their protection detail that draws him back into his dead brothers world of operations. The protection of the Vice President of America is under threat from an unknown source, and only Jack is good enough to get to the bottom of it.
The action follows a similar plot vein as his last story and has a few lapses in the action when the story needed an injection of adrenaline or a unsuspected plot twist.
As usual I already have the next book Persuader lined up and primed.
The only strange thing is that Jack Reacher is supposed to be big and tall, (6'5", 250 lbs) , and Tom Cruise isn't . . . .
Jack Reacher stories move along at a good strong pace and make easy reading. Great if you are going away for a weeks holiday, but make sure you have at least two books downloaded. I find they are great books to read if you need to get away from some other book you are reading. Recommend these books to anybody who read Jack Higgins, Sean Dillon series.