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Worth Dying for: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child
Worth Dying for: A Reacher Novel

dhyslop11, January 30, 2013

Jack Reacher is hitchhiking his way to Virginia when his ride leaves him in the middle of corn country Nebraska. Shortly after arriving he runs afoul of the Duncan clan. The Duncans are the most powerful family in the county. Not only do they have a bunch of football players in their pockets, but the nearest police station is 60 miles away. They have scared the locals into submission and they help the Duncans in attempting to track down Reacher. Reacher pays visits to many of the locals, who don't like the Duncans, but are too afraid to openly challenge them. Although reluctant to give any information, they help him to slowly get his bearings.

The Duncans want Reacher out, and not just because of a decades old secret. What is being hidden? It may have something to do with the chain of interested parties that want at the goods the Duncans are offering. How far are they willing to go to get what they want, and who will be left standing? Worth Dying For is a great read. I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Although this book is a good read on its own, it is not a stand alone novel: it is the 15th book in the Reacher series. Lee Child tells you about Reacher's past in a round about way. He gives generalized descriptions that fill in the blanks for the current story, but leaves the mystery of his past in the past. His development of Reacher's character assumes that you know a little about him, but still makes him a well rounded character. At first he seems like a flat character, but slowly Child adds more and more to his personality. This gradual addition makes it hard to determine whether or not he is developing a new character, or refreshing your memories of an old acquaintance. He also does a good job of creating an image of the corn country in Nebraska, although he doesn't spend much time on it. He makes it seem like an series of corn fields stretching on forever. The great part of this is that it frees him from needing to describe the countryside as Reacher travels during the story. Instead of focusing on the over arching imagery of the land, he focuses on the aspects that are unique to an area, namely houses and large boulders in the fields. He goes through great detail about the farm buildings, while giving no more explanation of the fields.

Reacher is not the perfect hero, but has both believable flaws and believable qualities that are worked in well by Child. He is a paradox of mental states. At first he is brutal, vengeful, and merciless; yet he is later gentle, friendly, and kind. This inconsistency really makes the story relatable to Chlid's audience, about 16 years old and up. This story explores the faces of abuse and how sometimes what you think you know is false: sometimes so false that what you don't even think is an option turns out to be the shocking revelation of truth.

I would recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to finish this book because as soon as you get into it, you will not want to stop because this gripping adventure will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, unable to stop reading. Parts of this book sent chills down my spine, while others brought a smile from excitement. While yet others were so shocking, I didn't know what to think. The ending was one such shocking revelation about something that had kept me guessing throughout the whole book, and oh boy was I wrong.
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