Book Review: Lee Child’s Without Fail

Posted August 10, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lee Child’s Without Fail

Without Fail


Lee Child

It is part of the Jack Reacher #6 series and is a thriller that was published by Jove on February 26, 2008 and has 550 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books in this series include MatchUp

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Killing Floor, Die Trying, "Second Son", Tripwire, Running Blind, Echo Burning, Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, Bad Luck and Trouble, Nothing to Lose, Gone Tomorrow, 61 Hours, Worth Dying For, The Affair, A Wanted Man, "Deep Down", Never Go Back, "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp

Sixth in the Jack Reacher suspense series revolving around an ex-military policeman whose brother believes in him completely. His mandate? To assassinate the Vice-President.

In 2003, Without Fail was nominated for the Barry Award for Best Novel and the Dilys Award.

My Take

It’s definitely a Reacher with his deductive abilities, but there’s something missing in this one for me. It might’ve been the suits…

M.E. was clever in the way she found Jack.

I do enjoy reading Reacher’s analysis of situations and people. The way he assesses the threat and calculatingly determines the best approach to deal with it. And he’s do damn cheeky about it!

Interesting bit about the origin of the Secret Service. And ironic. As was Reacher’s assessment of the Lone Gunman theory per the Warren Report. The comments M.E. made about studying video and literature for possible ways to assassinate someone have stuck with me as well. A sad bit as well when M.E. and Reacher get into it about whose fault it was that Joe died. Interesting analysis. Then there’s Reacher’s comment about his family. They don’t own property. Nurture.

Child confused me thoroughly with that one “message”. I kept going back and re-reading it. There is something to be said for knowing how to proofread, knowing history, when it provides one of the clues that Reacher finds.

The cleaners being scared…was this ever explained?

Maybe we should just shoot all the bullies…

The Story

Threats to the vice president-elect are all taken seriously by the Secret Service. But there’s something about these particular threats that find M.E. Froelich considering Jack Reacher’s words and recommendations very seriously. It may be five years later, but even M.E.’s boss has faith in Joe’s judgment.

M.E. finds him in Atlantic City, protecting an old couple — she sings like Dawn Penn; he’s a keyboardist. The deal is the Secret Service escorts them out of town when they finish their act. They’re planning on a gig in New York City.

The Characters

Jack Reacher is an ex-military policeman and he’s enjoying taking his time exploring the country he’s protected for thirteen years but so rarely spent any time in. He’s one of those guys who can’t take injustice and, lord, he can be pretty cold-hearted. I like that in a man. Frances Neagley was a master sergeant under Jack but now works as a security consultant. Hired by Jack.

M.E. Froelich is promoted ahead of other men in the Secret Service to head up the vice president-elect’s protective detail. Her boss, Stuyvesant, thinks she’s earned it. Since she’s a woman, the others are questioning it. Nendick is their tech guy. Swain is a researcher with the Office of Protection Research (the ones who watch the movies); he worked with Joe.

Brook Armstrong is the vice president-elect. A nobody from North Dakota brought into prominence.

Bannon is the FBI agent in charge of this assassination attempt. He thinks it’s an inside job.

Detectives Richard and Peter Wilson.

The Cover and Title

It’s a pearlescent cover — a pearly white with splotches of gold fading diagonally from top right to bottom left through more gold that fades into copper. The lower left corner is a collage of the U.S. Treasury seal, a law enforcement shield, and what appears to be the deeply grooved lines of a map.

The title is what M.E. was reaching for, what the Secret Services strives to achieve, what Jack Reacher is all about, Without Fail.


One response to “Book Review: Lee Child’s Without Fail

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