Book Review: Lee Child’s Worth Dying For

Posted December 24, 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 Worth Dying For

Worth Dying For


Lee Child

It is part of the , series and is a thriller in Hardcover edition that was published by Delacorte Press on October 19, 2010 and has 384 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, Nothing to Lose, Gone Tomorrow, 61 Hours, The Affair, A Wanted Man, "Deep Down", Never Go Back, "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp, The Midnight Line

Seventeenth chronologically (fifteenth publication-wise) in the Jack Reacher thriller series and takes place in Nebraska. I’m curious as to how many states Jack has operated in so far.

I know, why a “4” if I’m not impressed? I figured it’s not fair to penalize the story just because I’m annoyed. Child still writes well and the story hangs together well with characters you can, well, hate and hate more. There are aspects to that I enjoyed, just not as thoroughly as other Jack Reacher installments.

My Take

It’s not as good as the previous stories. I kept wondering “Was it worth reading?” I’m hoping that I’m just being too particular. Too familiar with Jack Reacher. I’m worrying that he’s getting older and he’s still cocky. That one day, he’ll take a fall he can’t recover from. Silly, I know. He’s a fictional character and of course Child can write him in/out of anything. It just goes to show what an amazing character Child has created that I identify with him and want him happy. That I worry about him.

Hmmm, Kathy might need a life…

Too funny. I loved it when Reacher took out the bad guys destroying the doc’s car, turns to the doctor’s wife who is staring in disbelief and seriously asks her, “What?”

The doctor is out of line? For responding to a call for help? What is with these people?

Everyone keeps poking at Reacher to leave and, well, you know Reacher, he’s just too stubborn to take a hint. Even when it leaves him lying, a prisoner, on a cold, cement floor.

Child drove me nuts in this. All the hints as to what the Duncans are doing, what they’ve done, and it’s not until almost the end that the truth emerges. In some ways, the horror of what they’ve done is muted by being held back so long. It’s hideous to think that these people got away with this for so long. Just as bad are the people who let them. Between the inhabitants of the area and the cops, I am appalled!

I did enjoy the misinterpretations along the way. Every link in the chain had their own reactions and interpretations. Funnily enough, each one reacts in the same way, they simply interpret it according to the facts in front of them. The bad guys almost do all the work for Reacher.

Ah, geez, just to show ya what a nice guy Seth is, he bargained the beating Rossi’s men were going to give him into hurting his wife instead. Gee…whatta guy.

The Story

He gets dropped in the middle of nowhere, where the Duncans hold a monopoly on trucking farmers’ crops to market, using their leverage to force the locals to overlook their bad habits, hiring local football heros who didn’t make it to the bigtime. And they are bad. Bad, bad men who dictate the actions of all of those around them. Including the police. Anyone who crosses them is treated to a range of punishments.

It’s Reacher’s experience that sticks him in the middle of this. He knows what can happen after previous domestic disputes. The effects of aspirin. And he forces the doctor to treat Mrs. Duncan, an act that rouses his own protective instincts.

What really stirs things up is the snafu created by Seth and the promises he’s made. Not following through unleashes a much bigger mess with lots of internal strife.

The Characters

Jack Reacher is a moral man with the fists and brains to back it up. But he’s hurtin’ bad after events in 61 Hours and he’s just been abandoned in the middle of Nowhere, Nebraska. I do like that he’s on his way to Virginia. Who knew that he’d seek out a particular woman on purpose?

Eleanor Duncan is determined to stay despite her husband Seth Duncan‘s beatings. Seth’s uncles include Jasper with his “arcane skills, folk wisdom, and backwoods knowledge” along with a supply of veterinary medicine and Jonas. They and Seth’s father, Jacob, live in their own homes in a compound just off the road where they plot and plan their overt and covert operations. They employ Cornhuskers. Huge football players who were feted, but then didn’t make the cut into pro ball.

Mr. Vincent owns the motel where Reacher stops for the night and runs the bar where the doctor drinks.The doctor’s wife supported Dorothy Coe when she made her accusations. Dorothy Coe is trying to run her farm and ekes out a living by working for Vincent as a maid. Her daughter Margaret was eight years old when she went missing twenty-five years ago. Her husband was Artie Coe. Detective Miles Carson investigated Margaret’s disappearance; he sure didn’t spend much time thinking.

Roberto Cassano and Angelo Mancini are troubleshooters who work for Rossi with whom Seth made the deal. Rossi, in turn, works for Safir who sends his own two men to apply pressure. Safir, in turn, works for Mahmeini who has access to Saudi royalty. Asghar is one of Mahemeini’s.

Eldridge Tyler is a for-hire sniper who has a lot to protect.

The Cover and Title

The cover is an overhead shot at night of a vehicle racing down a very straight highway. Thank god for all those reds and yellows to warm us up as there isn’t anything but Reacher to warm us in this story.

The title refers, I think, to Reacher’s own beliefs. That there are things Worth Dying For.