Book Review: Lee Child’s WORTH DYING FOR

In Worth Dying For (Delacorte, Oct. 19), Jack Reacher is making his way to Virginia to hopefully meet the woman with the sexy voice with whom he spent much of 61 Hours conversing on the phone. But a driver who gives him a ride drops him off in Nebraska where Reacher intends to spend only one night at the sole motel in a desolate town.

His plans change when he runs into a drunk doctor at the motel bar and offers to drive the man to a patient’s house to treat a broken nose. When Reacher realizes how the woman’s nose got broken, he tracks down the husband to teach him a lesson. This gets him embroiled in a power struggle between the townspeople and the nasty family of four men who control almost every aspect of the residents’ livelihood. When the fight is over, as Reacher says, “some will be dead, some will be sheepish, some will have self respect.”

You’d think that by this time, the fifteenth book in the series, Reacher has seen and experienced everything. But something happens to him in this installment that has never happened to him before. And boy, is he not happy about it. He kicks butt a plenty and engages in some spectacular fight scenes but we also see him in pain. There’s a sense that the wear and tear of his exploits are catching up to him but this only humanizes him. At one point, he even frets if his roughed-up appearance would be acceptable to Susan, the woman he’s traveling across the country to meet. I can’t remember any instances in the other novels where he worried about his looks.

The situation Reacher gets entangled in carries more emotional resonance than some of his previous cases. The locals have long been beaten down by their hard lives but Reacher lights a spark that restores their fighting spirit. One resident in particular, Dorothy Coe, has such a heartbreaking story, it demands the kind of justice Reacher excels in doling out.

Nerd verdict: Worth the price

Buy Worth Dying For from Amazon| B&N| IndieBound| Powell’s

Note: I’m heading up to Bouchercon so I’ll be back next week with a report on all the hijinks!



  • Reply
    October 14, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Thanks for the sneak peek. Really looking forward to this one.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Ooh, can’t wait! Thanks for the preview.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Fine review, Elyse. Something to look forward to. Thanks.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    All you have to say is Lee Child and Jack Reacher and I drop whatever I am reading. Looking forward to this installment.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      What Eirego said!

      • Reply
        October 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        Ummm, OK, maybe if I’m reading Crais or Connelly, I’ll finish reading that book first. But that doesn’t mean I won’t go out and buy the new Reacher on the day it comes out so it’s right there to dive into. 😉

  • Reply
    October 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I must admit that I have “dropped out” of this series lately…last three or four books, but I think I’m ba-ack!

  • Reply
    Eric Edwards
    October 14, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I am a true fan of Lee Child’s work and especially with the Reacher character. Nice to know we agree on a few things, PCN. LOL!

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    October 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I’m thinking I’ll stay on my Elvis Cole/Joe Pike/Robert Crais catch-up for now, but this series is definitely on The List. Have a great time at Bouchercon, PCN. I’m imagining all kinds of mischief…

  • Reply
    Naomi Johnson
    October 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I think this book may make for some unhappy Nebraska football fans. But how many of those can there be? Glad it wasn’t Ohio State that got picked on.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Glenn
    October 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Hi. Thank you for this review. I linked to it today in my weekly New Release Tuesday post.

    You’ve gained a follower with this one!


  • Reply
    October 21, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    WOW! Could not put this down….the glimpse of his “humanity” is still great and you can’t keep a good man down….GO JACK!

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