Book Review: Lee Child’s Nothing to Lose

Posted October 29, 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 Nothing to Lose

Nothing to Lose


Lee Child

It is part of the , series and is a thriller in Hardcover edition on June 3, 2008 and has 416 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Killing Floor, Die Trying, "Second Son", Tripwire, Running Blind, Echo Burning, Without Fail, Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, Bad Luck and Trouble, 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, The Midnight Line

Fourteenth chronologically in the Jack Reacher thriller series (and twelfth publication-wise) about an ex-M.P. roaming the world on his own terms and protecting the innocent.

It’s been ten years since he left the army.

My Take

I think this was one of the scarier Reacher novels. To think that a town would exist that was so far out of the norm. And how easy it was for its “rulers” to govern! Part of that “easiness” depended upon how the majority of us were brought up: Keep out of your neighbors’ business and follow the rules.

The people in Hope know there’s something hinky and they simply accommodate their nutty neighbors. Of course, to be fair, they had no idea that Despair was that crazy! It certainly helped Despair protect its way of doing things that the feds had an interest there!

I would’a gone around the town after being tossed out on my butt. And the U.S. would be minus some pretty useful territory if I had been in charge and not Reacher.

I don’t understand why Child writes in the beginning that Reacher was “angry at himself later, for being so inflexible”. Seems it was a good thing! And just the type of action Reacher is good at, so, I’m confused.

Reacher worries me. He’s getting older and he still plunges into some scary situations! Although, I do love how Child provides us with a step-by-step of how Reacher plans to thwart the bad guys! He does do some rather stupid things in this story. Makes me wonder what’s gonna happen in Gone Tomorrow.

Oh, lordy, Reacher has weaknesses! He can’t run very fast. He’s a terrible driver. Here I was beginning to think he was Superman.

It’s a busy story. There is so much going on and Child keeps it pretty hidden until the end. Oh, there are plenty of clues and loads of red herrings, but I remained pretty clueless about most of it.

The Story

Jack Reacher had a new plan in mind — crossing the country diagonally from Maine to San Diego. There was just this little hiccup with the guy and the comfy Grand Marquis. Then there was the little town of Despair, Colorado, that threw him out. Nuh-uh, nobody keeps Jack Reacher from going where he pleases and it’s game on.

The heady delights of power and the crazed interpretation of the Rapture has created a despotic mayor — he’s more of a king, really — in Despair. A town that truly lives up to its name.

It’s a chance encounter with a preacher in a U-haul that provides the tip that cracks it wide open.

The Characters

Jack Reacher is a big, powerful man with a firm belief in fairness. He served his country for a number of years and he is intent on continuing to serve it and its people. In his own way.

Officer Vaughan is a cop with the Hope PD. A sister town to Despair, but only in that it shares a boundary line. Vaughan has her own reasons to despair. David Robert Vaughan is her husband. In name only. The army was too cheap to properly armor his Humvee and now he’s warehoused in a disgusting building run by private contractors. You’d think we could honor the soldiers who serve better than this…

Lucy Anderson, Maria Ramirez (her husband, Rapahel, had been a Marine), and Mrs. Rogers are just a couple of the women waiting on tenterhooks, wondering about the safety of their men.

Jerry Thurman owns the metal recycling plant, he owns the town, and he’s their preacher. A gen-yew-ine born-again Christian. Judge Gardner simply does what he’s told; Mrs. Gardner is much more human. Although that’s not saying much.

Corporal Morgan is part of an M.P. unit guarding the major road into Despair.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a gritty, well-textured target of concentric oranges with a smoking bullet hole in its center.

Hey, when you’ve got Nothing to Lose, it’s easy to destroy.