Worth Dying For
by Lee Childs
by Lee Childs
Synopsis: Jack Reacher stumbles across a small Nebraskan community that has been frightened into submission by a group of four men. When he hears the story about a young 8 year old's disappearance 25 years ago which is linked to the 4 men Reacher decides it is up to him to get to the bottom of it.
This isn't the kind of book I naturally gravitate towards. My mum bought it at the airport bookstore on her way down to stay with me this long weekend and I decided to give it a read since it was here, really what I should have done was leave it in her luggage!
This was my first in the Jack Reacher series and my first Lee Child book (has he written anything apart from the Jack Reacher series, I don't know?) and I imagine probably my last. The setting in the Nebraskan wilderness 60 miles from the nearest police station made for an interesting premise, but ultimately all we had was an ex-army psychopath who could comfortably take the law into his own hands without fear of the cops breathing down his neck, and that is exactly what he did. I know these action/thrillers are never too realistic, but this book is so far removed from reality it annoyed me. For the action in this story to have a semblance of realism it really should have taken place in a post-apocalyptic society or a lawless community in the middle of a jungle in some un-developed country, not the United States.
The other problem was the 'mystery' aspect of the novel, from the outset we know several details about the young girl's disappearance, but there was no attempt at any red herrings or to disguise the case as something less obvious than a mole on the end of your nose. This was a case that went unsolved by 3 different police organisations and was of great interest to the community but it was obvious from the second her disappearance was noted (which incidentally doesn't occur until about 150-200 pages into the book). Couple this with the two-dimensional characters and you have a book with no drive, there is nothing to hold your interest so it becomes a chore to read. I'm fine with violence in my novels when there is a need, but 500 pages just to describe a series of ways to kill a guy without any real plot progression or character development is boring.