11 February 2011

Worth Dying For (Lee Child)

Available on the Amazon Kindle.

If you’re a Lee Child fan you’ll know that Jack Reacher - former US Army Major, former military policeman and current wandering nomad - can’t leave things alone. 

He’s like a rabid dog that way: he smells a bit of small-town drama, some nasty local lore, and that’s it. He’s mad. And bad people (notably those who hurt women, children, animals or the vulnerable) are going to get hurt in all the ways they deserve to. Impressively. Brutally. Utterly unemotionally. In about three seconds flat.

If you’re not a Lee Child fan, meet Jack Reacher – the coolest hero of contemporary skop-skiet-en-donder fiction. (There are 14 books before this; find them.) But you should know a couple of important and fascinating things at the outset…

Reacher’s a drifter. His only possessions are a foldable toothbrush and, since 9/11, an expired passport. He wears his clothing for a couple of days before discarding it and replacing it at cheap chain stores - because he doesn’t like luggage. 

And although he doesn’t own a cell phone, or know how to use Google, he can tell the time – to the minute – using the ‘clock in his head’. He’s also passionate about strong black coffee, blues music and gamine yet powerful women in positions of authority.

Worth Dying For, host to Reacher’s latest appearance, is a by-the-book Child: there is a small town with an egomaniacal boss family, a couple of broken-hearted locals, a few cases of mistaken identity, some seriously dark and dangerous secret stuff going on, and Reacher in the middle – with the clock ticking towards a showdown.

Here’s a taste of our man, and of this novel: 

"Reacher smiled. He had been raised on military bases around the world, battling hardcore Marine progeny, honing his skills against gangs of resentful native youths in dusty Pacific streets and damp European alleys. Whatever hardscrabble town…these guys had come up in had been a feather bed by comparison. And while they had been studying the playbook and learning to run and jump and catch, he had been broken down and built back up by the kind of experts who could snap your neck so fast you never knew it had happened until you went to nod your head and it rolled away down the street without you."

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