Die Trying by Lee Child
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"If you go down to the woods today...you are in for a BIG surprise"
Die Trying improves on some of my issues with the previous instalment, though there are also some downsides. Which is a good thing, as hopefully those issues will be improved later in the series. I whizzed through this book. I took the father to a game of cricket (please note I'm not a fan... of... very... slow... sports). But it gave me a chance to finish this novel, BOOM.
Jack's just taking a leisurely walk downtown Chicago, and happens to be walking into a dry cleaning store (not sure why, but there you go). He bumps into a woman (surprise!) who he later finds out is named Holly. She's just picked up her weekly dry cleaning (handy that), then all of a sudden two guys surround them and are bundled into the back of a van. Four days later, there in Montana and 'guests' of rather a loopy bunch of individuals who believe there is some kind of UN conspiracy to over-throw America (among other... things). We're talking over a hundred people in this little Waco-style nut-house. The whole posit on why there are doing what they're doing was unbelievable. I laughed, good comedy, although unexpected is always welcome.
Holly is a high-flyer in the FBI, up and coming and loved by all her colleagues. The good thing about Holly is she can hold her own. She isn't the traditional damsel in distress. She kicks arse, even with a busted knee. I liked her in the sense she didn't need rescuing, well not as much as Roscoe in the previous novel Killing Floor. So kudos to Lee Child for that, as it seems he must have listened to his reader's after receiving feedback about that novel. McGrath, Brogan and Milosevic begin the hunt for her (there all FBI "FBI FREEZE SUCKER"), but it's slow going for them. McGrath I particularly liked as he came across as a 'older' mould of Jack Reacher. Throw in General Garber, who was Reacher's former commanding office, then it makes for good reading - if a little samey.
Talking about samey - how many times does Lee Child's need to describe in 'second' detail what happens when a firearm is fired. Seriously, it's literally every time a M-16 or a Barreta was fired, BOOM... "Gas chamber, 5000th of a second, sending the bullet to speeds of 2000 mph..." - then next time that weapon is fired, the exact same thing again. Sure it was interesting to read the first time, but rein it in a bit. We get you've down your research on weaponry, which is obviously needed for such a character as Jack, but well.. just *yawn*.
Here is the real problem. I've mentioned this before in another review. Jack Reacher is invincible - he is untouchable. He's been up against no one who can challenge him physically or psychologically. No wounds so far, oh apart from a nick on his wrist from a handcuff. No competition means you know how fights are going to play out. You've a bunch of Southerners who are about as organised as a village meeting in Killing Floor then in this novel, a bunch of deluded revolutionaries who have little or no military training. There's a hundred of them. A hundred for Jack to take down "with a little help from his friends." Beau Borken, the villain and bad guy "que Marvel villain music please." He has brainwashed all these people, all these families. It is said in the novel he is charismatic and a born leader. Personally I found him to be the reverse, a deluded guy with inflated opinions. Welcome to the real world I say! Lee Child's is on to a winner, obviously with Jack Reacher. He is the type of person everyone wants to be; strong, athletic, deceive and a winner with the ladies. Hey, I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but for me it's all a bit one-dimensional - again.
There's no realism here, which is good as it's a piece of fiction right? Wrong, surely Jack Reacher is meant to be living and breathing in a real world. The bullets that propel from guns seem to confirm to physics, hmm *rubs his head*. No one can hit Jack, no one can shoot him. Maybe it's actually a science fiction novel? He is surrounded by a invisible force field? Maybe he was mind probed, hence why is stronger than oak and fights harder than any other man ever born. When it comes to a fight, I've always believed your only as good as the next man put in front of you. This is true to a extent, Reacher can only fight who is put in front of him - much like a boxer. So hopefully the man who invented Jack puts more worthwhile adversaries in front of him to take on.
I've not much else to say really. Good points? Holly is a good point as I've mentioned. The chemistry between Jack and Holly is just about right. Mutual respect and a lot of eye-goggling going on. Not sure on the potential rape scene that went on, made me cringe a little. These type of books, your either going to love or loath them. I'll give anything ago... it's good to have a open mind about fiction, but not erotic fiction - why read it when you can do all that for real, haha. You can't do what Jack does for real, otherwise you'd be a smelly vagrant who will most likely land in jail for murder #1, twenty times over.
View all my reviews