Monday, June 10, 2013

Die Trying

Title: Die Trying
Author: Lee Child
Series: Jack Reacher, book 2
Genre: Mystery
Published: 1998
Rating: 7.5/10

Review: I decided to continue with the series featuring Jack Reacher and was glad since I enjoyed this book better than the first one. In this installment Jack gets kidnapped along with a lady whom he's helping carry her dry cleaning and who turns out to be an FBI agent. Together they unravel the kidnappers plot.

Once again, the beginning of the book was probably the best part. Lee Child is just very good at drawing you into the action and getting you hooked on the story. It literally takes just a couple pages before I can't stop myself and keep reading. The pacing in the second half of the book is still fast, but I think slightly less gripping since we understand much more of the overall story and despite slim odds it's clear that the good guys are going to win.

I liked the supporting character better in this book as well. She was smarter and had a bit more personality than the cop girl in The Killing Floor. She actually saves Jack's life at some point rather than just act the damsel in distress, which I appreciated. Though in general, I feel like Child's much much better at writing interesting men than writing interesting women. Neither book passes the Bechdel Test, but what else is new, really?

Once again, there was lots of gory violence, but I think I rather expected it more this time around and so it went down a little easier. There were also a bunch of little things that didn't make sense to me during the book, and one big thing. The big thing happened at the end, where after plot resolution (in which FBI and Militia were involved), the parties just dropped Jack Reacher off at the side of a random road to continue wandering in his adventures. Yeah, right, those guys would just let him go without any accounting of what happened, etc, etc.

All-in-all, it's a fun book if you don't look too close at the particulars and the likelihood of it going down the way the author describes it. I think I might actually keep going with the series.


  1. I'd never heard of that test before: pass or fail, I'm not sure what you achieve.

    For some reason I'm surprised to see you staying with this series. I've got a weak stomach so the violence would have turned me away.

    Apropos of nothing, is your 'reading pile' up to date?

    1. The reading pile books are the books sitting on my shelves waiting to be read.. Sadly they've been sitting there for quite some time -- I am currently reading The Summer Prince by Alaya Johnson. It's sort of interesting, but I am not entirely into it yet.

      As for Bechdel test, the point I was trying to make is that Lee Child does not have the best grasp on female characters. I do like to see women make an appearance in books as more than sexy props every so often. Just sayin'.

  2. "I do like to see women make an appearance in books as more than sexy props every so often. " I can totally understand that. Even as a guy, when female characters are communicated that way it makes me roll my eyes.