Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Worth Dying For: A Review

Worth Dying For, the 15th book in Lee Child's popular Jack Reacher series, picks up a couple of days after the explosive end of 61 Hours. We join Reacher as he is wandering with more intent than usual. He is on his way to Virginia to meet the voice on the other end of a phone, sitting at a desk in an MP Unit that he used to be a part of. He is dropped off from his latest hitchhiking leg just outside a small Midwest town, where he finds trouble the way only Reacher can.

The Duncans, a set of three brothers and one son, own this town through control of the trucks that ship the towns produce out. They make their own law, so much so that even State Police stay clear. Within a few hours of ending up at the only hotel in town, Reacher defies the Duncan's standing order to stay away from the youngest Duncan's wife, who called the hotel looking for help from the town's doctor after she was beaten up.

Reacher, ever willing to even up the odds for women, steps in to lay down a new law for her husband, and puts himself in direct conflict with the Duncans and their ex-college football playing thugs. Along the way, Reacher learns of a very cold case of a missing young girl, from just before the Duncan's solidified their grasp on the town, and he becomes determined to discover what happened.

Watching Reacher juggle his escalating conflict with the Duncans and his investigations into the girl's disappearance 20 years before is as fascinating as ever. The two story lines play off each other, building to the conclusion.

Reacher moves through the conflict with much of his usual flair, but things are a little different than normal this time around. Reacher is clearly feeling the effects of the events at the end of 61 Hours and though Worth Dying For can be read on its own, 61 Hours does add depth to the reading of Worth Dying For.

The pacing of the two storylines, the mystery of the present situation and the girl's disappearance keeps the tension up while giving Reacher plenty to do. Reacher pursues his own type of justice in the town even the county police won't get involved in. He is once again the only one who could put an end to the situation he finds.

If you've enjoyed previous Jack Reacher books, you'll enjoy this one.