Lee Child has had his readers biting their fingernails even more insistently than usual since his last novel. The author usually delivers one book a year featuring his laconic, super-resourceful hero Jack Reacher, but we were informed by his publishers that there would be a very briskly delivered successor to the last book, 61 Hours -- and the reason was not hard to see. A significant number of Reacher admirers had been startled by the fact that the ex-military policeman appeared to be dead at the end of his latest outing. But we can relax -- here’s the new book, Worth Dying For, with the tough Mr Reacher alive and kicking, and more than ready for another helping of pulse-raising action.
Initially, we are not told how Jack Reacher survived the seemingly-terminal events of the last book, as he makes his way south to an unwelcoming part of Nebraska in the dead of winter. He fetches up in a town in the grip of the powerful, manipulative Duncan family, and the cowed townspeople have no fight left in them. In a sleazy hotel, he encounters the town's alcoholic doctor, and the two end up driving to a house where they come across a grim case of domestic violence. And Child admirers won’t be surprised to learn that Jack’s life is soon on the line -- as usual. The stage is set for violent confrontation.
Lee Child, with each new book, effortlessly sails to the top of the bestseller charts – a feat already achieved with Worth Dying For. The secret? There are no frills with the business-like Mr Child - just copper-bottomed storytelling skills, fully on display with this new book. The frigid Nebraska setting here contrasts tellingly with the hot action. --Barry Forshaw
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"A sequel to the terrific 61 Hours (try to read it first)... one of the great storytellers of the thriller genre" (The Times)
"His is an ironclad storytelling ethos, a gift for narrative that grips like the proverbial vice... Reacher, as ever, is sui generis - a violent force for good set down by the author to eliminate evil and move on. But what counts is Child's ability to keep the reader turning the pages. If anyone can put down Worth Dying For after the first few pages, then they shouldn't really be reading thrillers at all" (Independent)
"As a warrior who lacks a car, credit card, phone or weapon of his own, and has no continuing human ties or home, he is even more of a lone, denuded outsider than Lisbeth Salander, the heroine of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. Both are avengers who play on our atavistic instincts: when we cheer their lethal justice - if we do - we're acknowledging the pull of a primitive hatred that demands death and can't wait, scornful of the protracted pussyfooting of the law" (The Sunday Times)
"Worth queuing up for" (Sun)
"Explosive as ever" (Daily Mirror)