Worth Dying For, a Jack Reacher Novel

Similar to 61 Hours, this is a gripping, fast-paced story that is extremely engaging. Whereas some books work well reading five minutes at a time and stretching over multiple weeks (reading a few pages before bed, for example), this is not one of them. For this, I would recommend a long road trip, where you can have this guy’s voice telling the story — his dramatics are exceptional.

The story itself seems a similar pattern to the other Reacher novel I’ve read, and my presumption is that it tends to be a similar story structure from book to book (Dan Brown basically used the same style across his ultra-famous series of mysteries as well). The framework was recognizable, but the setup and specifics are different. One fun part was that there were a few references back to the previous book, and having listened to it, I knew the broader background behind the responses Reacher gave. The story is set in Nebraska, having just wrapped up some activity in South Dakota. This excited me, but ultimately Childs wasn’t very kind to my home state — the nice people were timid, the strong guys were dumb, the smarter guys were evil. There weren’t any great local characters; Reacher was the only really good guy, with morality, confidence, and strength on his side. It was an unflattering picture of Nebraskans, though in recalling the prior story, I’m wondering if that’s the typical approach: make Reacher a giant among people, having more of all the good qualities and less of all the bad qualities than anybody else. It’s unnatural, of course, but makes for good storytelling. The story subject matter itself is mature, and wraps a small-town economy with a sordid underbelly into a wider part of a global supply chain.

Overall, it really is great, engaging fiction, and the worlds that Lee Childs creates are truly spectacular. There’s a reason they are best-sellers and that the character has been adapted by Tom Cruise. It’s a fun, fast, and well-written novel that keeps your attention right up until the end.