Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2) by Lee Child

Jack Reacher #2 Die Trying by Lee ChildFrom the back cover:

When a woman is kidnapped off a Chicago street in broad daylight, Jack Reacher’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s kidnapped with her. Handcuffed together and racing across America toward an unknown destination, they’re at the mercy of a group of men demanding an impossible ransom. Because Reacher’s female companion is worth more than he imagines. Now he has to save them both–from the inside out–or die trying.

This Jack Reacher story took me by surprise in a couple of ways. First of all, it was not written in first person, like Killing Floor, the first Reacher story I read this summer. I actually prefer the first person perspective, but the third person narrator didn’t really diminish my enjoyment of Die Trying. The other thing that surprised me was the change of locations. I don’t know why, but for some reason I think of these stories in the same vein as an episode of Quantum Leap or even The Incredible Hulk where the hero arrives in a town where there’s trouble, takes care of the problem, and then moves on to the next location. And maybe that’s how the majority of the Reacher novels are, I don’t know. But in any case, I was surprised by the amount of movement in this book, and I enjoyed their final location because it’s someplace I’m familiar with.

As for the story itself, it was just as entertaining as I was expecting. Anyone who likes the Bourne stories or the most recent James Bond movies with Daniel Craig will find themselves right at home with Jack Reacher.

Similar to Killing Floor, this Jack Reacher book also mentioned blues music, but only one song by name, “Cold Blooded Woman” by Memphis Slim.

Die Trying by Lee Child
First edition New York: Putnam, 1998
Printed Length: 552

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

2 Responses

  1. I’ve read these first two Jack Reachers as well. I really liked Jack’s voice in the first book and thought that the second story suffered from the change to third person perspective.

    I also found that the body count in this second installment was astronomical – certainly high enough to put me off reading any further in the series.

    • Deacon Nick says:

      Yes, the second one is more violent than the first, but not enough to keep me from reading more in the series. And it looks like there are several other books in the series that are first person. Interestingly, the Wikipedia list of Reacher novels actually includes the type of narrator. That must be a common topic of discussion for Reacher readers.

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