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Better Off Dead A Jack Reacher Novel Hardcover – October 26, 2021
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Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that morning.
Reacher goes where he wants, when he wants. That morning he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun—until he comes upon a curious scene. A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel.
Dead? No, nothing is what it seems.
The woman is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people. Most of them would rather die than betray their terrifying leader, who has burrowed his influence deep into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. The mysterious Dendoncker rules from the shadows, out of sight and under the radar, keeping his dealings in the dark.
He would know the fate of Fenton’s brother.
Reacher is good at finding people who don’t want to be found, so he offers to help, despite feeling that Fenton is keeping secrets of her own. But a life hangs in the balance. Maybe more than one. But to bring Dendoncker down will be the riskiest job of Reacher's life. Failure is not an option, because in this kind of game, the loser is always better off dead.
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From the Publisher
“The mixture of brute-force and intellectual problem-solving is just right.”—Booklist
“Smart writing, vivid action scenes, and dramatic twists mark this seamless effort. Even those for whom this is their first Reacher novel will be clamoring for more.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Lee Child and Andrew Child return for another jointly written Reacher adventure. . . . Andrew Child smoothly slips into the signature minimalist prose of the iconic series, picking up just where his brother leaves off, for a book that should please old stalwarts and new fans alike.”—CrimeReads
Praise for the Jack Reacher series
“The truth about Reacher gets better and better. . . . This series [is] utterly addictive.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Jack Reacher is today’s James Bond, a thriller hero we can’t get enough of. I read every one as soon as it appears.”—Ken Follett
“Reacher is the stuff of myth. . . . One of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes.”—The Washington Post
“I’m a fan.”—James Patterson
“The Reacher novels are easily the best thriller series going.”—NPR
“Reacher is a man for whom the phrase moral compass was invented: His code determines his direction. . . . You need Jack Reacher.”—The Atlantic
“I pick up Jack Reacher when I’m in the mood for someone big to solve my problems.”—Patricia Cornwell
“[A] feverishly thrilling series . . . You can always count on furious action.”—Miami Herald
About the Author
Andrew Child, who also writes as Andrew Grant, is the author of RUN, False Positive, False Friend, False Witness, Invisible, and Too Close to Home. Child and his wife, the novelist Tasha Alexander, live on a wildlife preserve in Wyoming. He is the co-author of the #1 bestselling Jack Reacher novel The Sentinel.
- Publisher : Delacorte Press; First Edition (October 26, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1984818503
- ISBN-13 : 978-1984818508
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.29 x 1.25 x 9.29 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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It's not a horrible book, but this is just not the Reacher we knew and loved. His lack of concern about crossing lines to get the job done, his violence without hesitation or remorse, his unapologetic appreciation of women; that's what made him stand out and endure through so many books. I love the old Reacher enough that I'll give the new author another chance. But if he doesn't get him back in character soon, I will likely give up.
Sentinel" was bad but not this bad. I won't waste any time trying to finish this mess. This is how you honor
the fans that made you wealthy, Mr.Child ....?? Enjoy my $15
"The truth was, I had no interest in any of those things. But I wasn't about to tell the woman. I figured that the prospect of capturing her brother's killer was a lifeline I could use to pull her ashore. Probably the only thing I could use. It would be stupid to cut it before her feet were safely on dry land. Worse than stupid. Criminal. I might not have been serious about capturing some guy I'd never met. But I meant every word about helping her. Suicide has claimed far too many veterans. One would have been too many. So if I could prevent there being one more, that's what I was going to do.
"I planned to take things slow. Give her time to see that the police were her best option. I was going to deceive her, yes. In the short term. But better deceived than dead"
I ask you - in what universe would Jack Reacher talk like that? Tells a woman he will help her find her brother's killer, but has no intention of following through?!? Waxes sensitively on about veteran suicides?!? Thinks the local police are the best option?!?
You killed the main character. Not worth buying.
Read one of the first 12 books in this series, it will be better the second or third time than this piece of trash is. I read the last one and was disgusted, nothing but a cheap plot for a second rate TV movie. Reacher is now a comic book character without a redeeming feature.
Sadly, the writing style and characterization of Reacher was so different from the other books that I became increasingly disappointed. It was like buying tickets for a Broadway show and discovering that you were instead seeing kids at a local high school doing their version of the play with homemade scenery and some flubs.
I found the book filled with endlessly detailed descriptions of every room Reacher went in without any of the intriguing things he usually thinks. He’s been called “Sherlock Homeless” but here he seemed flatfooted. It’s as if his IQ dropped 30 points.
Here is just one example of the many boring descriptions that seem to be filler between fights.
“The Prairie Rose was as easy to find as Dr. Houllier had promised. It was still in the central portion of the town, right on the edge, in a building with two floors. It was also built around a courtyard. That seemed to be the fashion in the area. The café was on the ground floor. There was some kind of office above it and a store on either side. The interior was simple and square. There were twelve tables. Three rows of four, evenly lined up, each with four chairs. The furniture was solid and durable. The silverware was plain and functional. Nothing stood out, either good or bad. There were no flowers. No ornaments. No knickknacks. No other customers. I liked the place.”
Yet despite the lavish attention to describing inanimate objects, and this drab coffee shop, the main female character was only minimally described. We learn that she has a prosthetic leg, but that about it. She was never brought to life, nor did she and Reacher have much of a relationship. Even the fights somehow seemed dull since the new coauthor doesn’t imbue them with the usual drama and intensity.
Also, the real Reacher wouldn’t be wanting to bring the cops in from the start! And he would have handled things in a more smarter way, using snappier dialogue. I kept waiting for clever twists and didn’t get them, except that one mystery was eventually solved. In the end, the real Reacher somehow got jacked and we were left with a dull boy.
Update: Finished the book. Changing two stars to one star. I'm finished with this series (which I have loved, when Lee Child was writing), until such time that the overall reviews suggest things have improved. The writing in this book lacked all of the brilliance in the previous, Lee Child authored novels.
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I have read all the other books in the series and loved them all - but this just doesn’t feel like a Lee Child book, it feels wrong. I’m not sure wether his brother is now the lead writer or they are out of ideas but this is (in my opinion) the worst Reacher book by a mile.
I wish they were more books from when Reacher was still in the MP’s.
Unfortunately, this book and the previous, both by Andrew Child but with Lee’s input have been a disappointment. So much so in this, Better Off Dead, with the incredibly annoying change to first person (why dear god, why!) and Reacher not behaving the same, that at 30% through the book I’m king about giving up.
Mr Child, we the fans did not approve of the great Tom Cruise in the films for all the reasons that I know you understand. The same is happening to your awesome character now - he has lost a foot in height and a 100 lbs. Please bring him back as he should be!