Worth Dying For (A Jack Reacher Novel) by Lee Child

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  • Friday, December 7, 2012
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  • Thriller Central
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  • Jack Reacher is passing through a Nebraska town but, in typical Reacher style, he can't just "pass through." Soon he finds himself helping an oppressed group of townspeople who can't stand up to the most powerful family in their tiny hamlet. Soon, Reacher finds himself unraveling two mysteries while squaring off against not only the locals, but two different sets of organized crime baddies.

    There are plenty of reasons to love the Reacher novels, including the rapid pacing and the intriguing mysteries, but there are a few areas where the books really stand out to me.

    The action scenes are excellent. They're not the highly orchestrated, overly dramatic scenes you find in movies and many contemporary thrillers. They're gritty, realistic, and usually quite short. Many last only a couple of punches and perhaps a kick, which is much more realistic than the usual fare. Whether it's hand-to-hand fighting or combat with firearms, Reacher gives us insight into what he does and why. Some readers might find it too technical, but it works with the character and works for me.

    I'm also fascinated by Child's writing style. He uses many sentence fragments and simple sentences, and much of what he does breaks "the rules of writing," but it works. His descriptions are simple, yet he always chooses the perfect word or image for maximum impact. All in all, the style melds with the Reacher persona, distilling things to the essentials and only focusing on what is most important.

    Worth Dying For is among my favorite Reacher novels. The books can be read in any order, so if you've never tried this series, this is as good a spot as any to begin.


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