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Mystery Books - Lee Child - Without Fail - A Jack Reacher Novel

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416 pages
Berkley Trade (January 3, 2006)


Without Fail is another excellent offering from Lee Child. Anyone who has not had the good fortune to read a Jack Reacher novel could start here or at any other point in the Reacher series and have a good read but Without Fail is a superb example of everything Lee Child does right.

Jack Reacher is a tough guy's tough guy. He gets along well with those who are good at their jobs and don't put up with bullshit: In other words he likes people who are like him. As a character the success of Reacher is ensconced in his simple approach to the world. There are good guys and bad guys and you have to decide where you stand in relation to them. As a former MP with the rank of major Reacher is a consummate detective with high level security clearance and all the martial skills one would expect a police officer who has to investigate everyone from Rangers to grunts to have in their repertoire.

In Without Fail the reader gets a good run down of how a secret service detail works and how the Department of the Treasury goes about handling investigations into threats to one of their most high profile clients: The Vice-President of the U.S.A. The simple set up: The lead secret service agent, and Jack's brother's former lover, needs a favour she wants Jack to see if he can kill the Vice-President and he has ten days to let her know if it is possible.

This sixth book in the Jack Reacher series does not disappoint. There are no red herrings here the investigation is clear and straightforward and you do get to see the way in which different investigative bodies in the U.S. approach law enforcement, crime prevention and crime investigation. The really interesting idea at the center of all of this though is very clear – the secret service has an impossible job and just the fact that people of such talent put themselves into the line of fire as part of their contribution to the democratic process is a testament to that fact that idealism is alive and well.

It should come as no surprise that Jack Reacher helps out the secret service in doing their job but it should be noted that nothing about Reacher's efforts detract from the job of the Secret Service. This is just another superb thriller from Lee Child.

Denis Bernicky

Other Lee Child Reviews

Running Blind - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher inadvertently draws the F.B.I.s attention while dispensing his own brand of justice he finds himself a suspect in an ongoing F.B.I. investigation that he must either solve or resign himself to prison.

One Shot - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher investigates a sniper shooting in which a former Army sniper is accused of being the sniper. All the evidence is there but something is not quite right.

Tripwire - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a private eye finds Reacher in Key West then suddenly turns up dead Reacher becomes interested in why the man was looking for him in the first place.

The Enemy - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a two star general from Amoured division dies in a seedy motel almost 300 miles from where he ought to be Jack Reacher gets the call to look into things.

Persuader - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself chasing a ghost and living with one of the biggest dealers on the eastern seaboard while doing the scut work for the DEA.

The Hard Way - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher helps find the kidnapped wife and child of a mercenary

Bad Luck and Trouble - A Jack Reacher Novel: Do not mess with the special investigators takes on a whole new meaning when Calvin Franz turns up dead and Jack Reacher takes on the case.

Killing Floor - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher wanders into the town of Margrave he is quickly arrested on suspicion of murdered and the strength of an unimpeachable eyewitness.

Nothing To Lose - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself moving between Hope and Despair while trying to figure out why he is being kicked out of the township of Despair Colorado.

61 Hours - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is trapped in a small town under lockdown and snowed in while a drug lord makes arrangements to kill a witness.

Gone Tomorrow - A Jack Reacher Novel: Reacher thinks he is dealing with a suicide bomber on a train but he is only half right and comes up against an enemy as strong and clever as he is.

Worth Dying For - A Jack Reacher Novel: It is the Duncan s versus Jack Reacher in the middle of a Nebraska county they control with an iron fist. It is irresistible force meets immovable object.

Echo Burning - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is wandering through Texas and gets picked up by a beautiful woman looking to hire a killer.

The Affair - A Jack Reacher Novel: Still with the 110th Jack Reacher is sent undercover to Carters Crossing to investigate the death of a local woman that may have met her fate at the hands of a soldier.

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