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Without Fail by Lee Child

>> Monday, March 8, 2010

Without Fail by Lee Child
Genre: Mystery
Series: #6 in the Jack Reacher series
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 401
Challenges: none
Source: Purchased Used

The Short Version:
Jack Reacher doing what Jack Reacher does best which is being smarter than the government and law enforcement agencies.

Why I Read It:
Because I love me some Jack Reacher. It was next in a series that I thoroughly enjoy.

The Book:
Loner and ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is contacted by a high level Secret Service agent. It turns out that she is the former girlfriend of Jack’s late brother and she asks Jack to assassinate the Vice President-elect (the very man she’s in charge of protecting). She doesn't really want him assassinated, but she wants to test her teams ability to prevent an assassination attempt and says Jack is the man to test them by letting her know if it's possible.

What starts out as a test turns into a reality when Jack learns that the real reason for her request is that there is a very real threat against the Vice President-elect and of course Jack gets involved in the investigation as well as the ongoing protection of the man while the investigation proceeds.

My Thoughts:
As I said, I love me some Jack Reacher. He’s a smart, wisecracking loner who really just wants to be left alone to live his life without really becoming involved in society. He keeps getting involved in solving mysteries and saving people because despite his desires, he can’t seem keep himself from helping out an underdog or old friend. This time around it’s the connection to his brother that draws him in. He still blames himself for his brother’s death and of course it’s no surprise when he starts getting involved with his brother’s ex. Her own unresolved feelings about the breakup (which took place long before the brother’s death) make that an obvious plot element about five minutes into the book.

Unlike most of the other books in this series, the bad guys are not well developed at all. The reader doesn’t really know anything about the people behind the plot ahead of Jack and the rest of the Secret Service and FBI learning about them. It puts the reader in the same place as Jack in terms of knowledge, but it also makes it hard for the reader to really have a ‘bad guy’ in the story beyond the unknown assassination threats.

Maybe I do better with a thoroughly developed bad guy who I can really despise as in an earlier book in this series, Tripwire. That book had one of the most evil and vile bad guys ever written. This time around it’s more of Jack vs. the authorities in how to proceed with both protecting the Vice President-elect and solving the case of who is trying to kill him. Of course, we all know Jack is smarter than they are anyway.

Rating 3.5/5


Sherri 3/08/2010 4:36 PM  

Hi Suzi! Hadn't stopped by in a while so I did today! Take care!

Heather 3/16/2010 6:14 AM  

This character sounds really good. I may have to investigate this series. I like a good wisecracker! hehe

SuziQoregon 3/17/2010 1:52 PM  

Sherri: Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. I've been swamped and terrible about responding to comments or catching up on blog reading lately. Hoping the chaos calms down to a dull roar soon.

Heather: Jack Reacher is one of my very favorite mystery characters. I'd recommend these books to just about anyone.

jenclair 3/19/2010 12:38 PM  

:) I love me some Jack Reacher, too! I'm not reading them in order, but I will get through them all. Just finished The Hard Way and One Shot and will be looking for what else the library holds! These make my 4th and 5th Reacher novels. Such fun!

Literary Feline 3/21/2010 11:16 AM  

I need to pull the first book in the series off the shelf and give it a read. I've heard such great things about Child's Jack Reacher.

I've discovered I like well developed bad guys too. I guess every book in the series can't be a winner. Hopefully you'll enjoy the next book in the series.

SuziQoregon 3/23/2010 6:32 PM  

Jenclair: this is a series that definitely works out of order. Glad to see another Reacher fan.

Literary Feline: Yes you do need to read at least one.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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