Monday, September 19, 2011

Worth Dying For

Worth Dying For by Lee Child

There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska…and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved, decades-old case of a missing child that Reacher can’t let go.

The Duncans want Reacher gone—and it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world. For Reacher, it would have made much more sense to put some distance between himself and the hard-core trouble that’s bearing down on him. For Reacher, that was also impossible.

--Worth Dying For
by Lee Child
Copyright © 2010 by Lee Child
Published by Dell

My Review

All he wanted was a cup of coffee and a place to stay for the night. (Isn’t that what he always wants?) Instead, while trying to do the right thing for a woman in trouble, Jack Reacher manages to make an enemy out of the most powerful family in the county. (Isn’t that what he always does?)

The Duncans rule their corner of Nebraska with an iron fist. They own the only produce trucking company in the area, so if you’re a farmer with produce to get hauled, you call the Duncans or you don’t get your produce hauled. But shipping corn and alfalfa isn’t the company’s only business and if anyone in the area finds out what else they’re shipping, they could find themselves in a world of trouble.

So it’s in their best interest if Reacher would get out of town.

Problem is, he won’t.

He could walk away, head south toward the highway which will take him to Virginia, his intended destination and several times he’s on the verge of doing just that, but it’s the story of an eight year old girl, missing for twenty-five years, that keeps drawing him back. Children and women in trouble are two of his soft spots, and mysteries that remain unsolved bother him. So Reacher is going to stay until he gets to the bottom of the mystery, and he will get to the bottom of it, no matter who gets in his way.

In most of the previous novels in this series, Reacher always has a compelling reason to stay and figure out the mystery he’s presented with. In The Killing Floor, Reacher stays in Margrave, GA because that’s where his brother was killed, and he’s determined to find out who did it. In Die Trying, he was kidnapped and needs to get himself and his fellow kidnappee to safety. In Tripwire, the woman he loves is in danger. Et cetera, et cetera. In Worth Dying For, the reason isn’t quite so compelling. This time, it’s his own personal sense of justice that keeps him in town until the mystery is solved. And while that can be a very strong reason to stay and fight, somehow, it just didn’t feel like enough to me.

Granted, this is a good story with an interest cast of supporting characters with ulterior motives. I love the scenes with Reacher at the Courtyard Marriott and the almost-comically crossed wires the supporting characters get tangled up in. But for all its good points, it fell a little short for me.

I give this story THREE STARS.

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