Nothing To Lose is a good read – Reacher novels usually are – but it is not up to snuff. It is proof that Child has also continued on the path where Reacher solves a woman’s problems (regardless of how complicated they may be) by rolling them in the hay. When you put aside the “romantic” entanglements of Jack Reacher you are still left with a very quick paced read that will have you staying up late to finish just one more chapter.
The result of yet another of Reacher’s spur of the moment decisions he finds himself travelling through and between the city of Hope and the city of Despair, Colorado. As a former military police officer traveling through the big bad world it is of course inevitable that Reacher find an anomalous situation which begs his attention. The beauty of the Reacher character is the frequent believability of his situations but such is not the case with Nothing To Lose though it does not have an adverse effect on making Nothing To Lose a good read.
Nothing To Lose delivers most of what a Jack Reacher fan has come to expect from this series of action/adventure/mystery novels. Lee Child keeps a crisp and even pace throughout every chapter with the only lulls being the “love” scenes between Reacher and the female character in the novel who needs psychic healing via Reacher’s penis and his polemics.
There are a few moments of complete lack of Reacher believability (Reacher being Reacher) one is when Reacher describes the Canadian Army as three guys with a dog. A life time MP who had travelled all over the world would not describe the military that has been holding fort for the U.S.A. in Afghanistan since 2002 losing (as of writing) 118 servicemen in the process. That one note rang so false as to make me wonder if the author was just lazy or has a political agenda that has nothing to do with his fiction. It would be nice if it was just being lazy – an action, adventure and mystery writer who lets politics take over their work is of little use to anyone (witness the decline of Michael Crichton before his death). Reacher’s take on war, the industry of war and deserters seems out of character but more importantly it adds nothing to the story. It could be that Reacher is growing as a character but I would rather he did his growing on his own time.