Monday, July 11, 2011

Die Trying by Lee Child

Released: January 1998

Die Trying is the second novel in Lee Child's series featuring Jack Reacher, former member of the United States Army Special Forces and the most bad-ass wanderer and hero of present-day suspense novels.

Speak of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; Jack Reacher is wandering the streets of Chicago when his chivalry takes over to prevent a woman in crutches from falling down. Seconds later, Reacher and the woman are kidnapped at gunpoint and thrown in the trunk of a car. Reacher soon learns that the woman, Holly Johnson, is actually an FBI agent with a prominent father and that she is being held ransom at the hands of a militia group with nutsy views and demands. On the brink of being murdered, Reacher must fight back to save his own life and the lives of other innocents.

Whereas Killing Floor was written in the first-person from Reacher's point of view, Die Trying is written in the third-person and flips back and forth between Holly and Reacher's kidnapping situation and the FBI office in Chicago. Die Trying takes place within the span of just a few days and is suspenseful all the way through, making for a fast read. Reacher's survival and thinking techniques are duly fascinating, especially in regards to the numerous skills he acquired while serving in the military. While Lee Child's writing style rivals that of Jeffery Deaver in regards to plot twists and red herrings, Jack Reacher is unmatched as a hero; he is sincerely one of the most provoking characters in suspense novels today.

Another facet I love about the first two Reacher books is that the romance factor takes a backseat to action and suspense. It bothers me at times how mass-market novels insist on appealing to well, yes, the masses, but if I want romance, I know where to find it -- in the romance genre. Reacher is no-nonsense and all about the business of surviving and beating the bad guys -- this, I would say, is Child's ability to "show" instead of "tell" some of us female readers just how sexy Reacher is as a character.

It is thrilling to know that at this time, there are FOURTEEN more Reacher novels to relish in before I'm caught up on the series. I'm very excited to continue! The 3rd, 4th, and 5th books in the Reacher series are Tripwire (1999), Running Blind (2000) and Echo Burning (2001).

              Tripwire (Jack Reacher, No. 3)      Running Blind (Jack Reacher, No. 4)      Echo Burning (Jack Reacher)

Our review of Killing Floor:
Dreamworld Book Reviews -- Killing Floor

What are your thoughts on Jack Reacher? Do you know of any other literary characters that compare?

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