Thursday, May 02, 2013

Review: Worth Dying For: A Jack Reacher Novel

A couple weeks back, I came across a post mentioning a fictional character I'd never heard of before: Jack Reacher. I was curious enough to do a Google search, and learned that he's the main character of a book series. Last weekend, I left town in a hurry, but before I did, I downloaded a Reacher audio book to Overdrive. Before I knew it, I was totally hooked on listening to Lee Child's Worth Dying For.

It's not the first in the Reacher series, but it only takes about 3 minutes to figure Reacher out. He's smart, strong, a loner and of course, has a thing for justice.

I found the storyline of Worth Dying For pulled me, and for the last few days, whenever possible, I've been listening to it. I was quite sure that everything was going to work out in the end, but the slow reveal of the full storyline and seeing how each of the bad guys bites the dust, made for a really fun read (or listen, I suppose).

The main character that Reacher most reminds me of is Mitch Rapp, another fictional series character who's built like a tank and ready to take down any army. Shira's a fan of Rapp, but I tend to find him too political (his view seems to be: civilians are naive, the military is a bureaucracy and if you want anything done, it has to be done by the CIA; rule of law is for wimps) and too sure of himself.

Importantly, Reacher showed himself to be as much detective as he was bad ass. His Sherlock Holmes like deductive skills made for just as much fun as his butt kicking capabilities. Think Gregory House meets John McClane. He can't resist solving the puzzle, and while he's not looking for a fight, he's not going to lose one either.

I make it a point, when possible, to know as little as possible about a book before I start it. I'll skip reading the teaser on the back, the Amazon reviews and even an introduction or preface. I'd rather just have the book unfold as the author intended it. In this case, I was glad I did. It becomes clear pretty early on that the bag guys in the book are moving some sort of "product" around, and was quite proud of myself when I figured out what said product was before it was announced. As is also my habit, after the book was finished, I read the Amazon reviews and was surprised to see a good half of the book was given away in the blurb, including what type of smuggling operation was going on. What a shame that must be to not have a chance to reason it out for yourself.

If you're looking for a fun little distraction, go rent a Reacher book from the library. I have a hunch that it doesn't even matter which one. I bet you'll enjoy it. Or hate it. But it'll be one of those extremes.

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