Better Off Dead: Jack Reacher, Book 26 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Number one New York Times best seller Jack Reacher is back in a brand-new thriller from acclaimed number one best-selling authors Lee Child and Andrew Child.
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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|Listening Length||9 hours and 11 minutes|
|Author||Lee Child, Andrew Child|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 26, 2021|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #1,497 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#12 in Action Thriller & Suspense Fiction
#22 in War & Military Fiction
#30 in Mystery Action & Adventure
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Top reviews from the United States
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Given the setting, and the fact that Reacher is aware of real-world recent events, it took him far too long to spot the obvious truth of the giant hole he stumbles across... (No, that is not a metaphor...) He knows where he is, what barrier is very nearby, and even thinks about the very people that would use such a hole... So why didn't he figure out what it was the first time he came across it?
My next gripe is that this book read more like a melodramatic Reacher. I've enjoyed the first person perspective Reacher books before this one. But this one just read like an old timey detective B movie... Like that episode of Lucifer in New York in the 50s...
Then there is the obvious elephant in the room... Reacher is getting old... But he acts like he's still pretty fresh out of the Army... He is still a walking tank with enough stamina to take on a bigger, albeit less experienced, tank and all the goons the bad guy can throw his way...
And that's another thing... It felt like Reacher goes out of his way to make sure every single minor bad guy ends up lifeless in this outing... Well, 1 might've lived this time... In the past, Reacher has been fine with bad guys beaten to a pulp but left alive... Even most of them... It's normal enough that the big bad ends up dead... But the dumb minions don't always...
I'm fine with the overall plot and characters. I just think Reacher himself is getting a little too unbelievable... Maybe I'm just picking up on the change in writer.
For the future... I think it's less important for Reacher to keep up with the modern day. Go back in time and give us a more realistic (younger) character. In the 25+ years that Reacher has been wandering our great USofA, there are bound to be other incidents he's walked into that haven't been read. Maybe he rescued a potato farmer in Idaho being held by a homicidal big ag CEO because the farmer wouldn't sell out?! Or he stops a casino backroom beat down of some brain whiz kid counting cards and stumbles on a Native American conspiracy that's changing blackjack into an unbeatable game. Anything works..m just give us the Reacher from Trip Wire again... Or something like it... Not a 60 year old drifter taking on linebackers... 🤷🏼♂️
I have often wondered why, with all the money that Lee Child must have brought in from his writing, he can’t seem to afford a staff who will proofread and correct the many mistakes throughout his books. Same goes for his publisher.
I held onto hope with each successive book that he might learn something about writing and make his books easier to read. I hoped, with the addition of his brother on the last couple, that the books would improve but seemed to get only worse. Sometimes, 2 whole pages of back-and-forth banter are written with nothing to occasionally let you know who is speaking, so multiple readings may be needed at times to sort it out. I think almost all, if not all, of the pages have sentences with commas where none are needed, periods where commas are needed, clauses used as sentences, and a new paragraph starting from a clause that belongs in the previous sentence of the preceding paragraph. As I said, hard to read if you understand basic sentence structure.
There are often times where I wish Lee had done one iota of research to get facts right. I refer to passages in the stories where it was apparent that Lee Child had no experience or knowledge; I guess, more or less, the writing is off the top of his head.
Some problems are:
1: He thinks the flashing emergency lights of vehicles in the western states are the same as in much of the New England states (blue on fire trucks and red on police).
2: He didn’t know what the average shoe size in America is actually 10 ½ (stating it as 9)
3: He thinks a large man like Jack Reacher would have what Lee evidently thinks of as a large foot size of 11, instead of something closer to 14 or 15 (I am 6’1” and wear a 13.) I assume Lee has a small foot.
4: Lee has never been near a fast-moving train, thinking there is violent ground movement when the train is even over a mile away and hurricane force winds near one traveling 60 mph.
5: He seems to think that all gas stations and quick marts sell khaki pants and various shirts, packs of socks, and underwear.
6: Jack Reacher can knock anyone unconscious and very often dead with one punch. I can remember only a couple times when it took two.
7: He thinks face bones will “shatter” from a Jack Reacher punch and can knock out a gorilla or even an elephant. Jack also never has injuries to his hand or elbow from such amazing blows.
8: Jack Reacher’s hands are said to be as large as a dinner plate and his fists as large as Thanksgiving turkeys…really?
Yes, his books are hard to read for these and other reasons caused by lack of oversight by his publisher and lack of staff. Please, I hope never to find out he has a staff that lets this stuff through. Good storyteller, other than the lack of research on details and no idea as to sentence/paragraph structure..
Rating would be five for the story.
Won't buy future books
Top reviews from other countries
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!
Is Child going the same way as Wilbur Smith? Wilbur's name prominently on the cover but not actually written by him. The difference between the genuine to the upstart small print author was obvious. The books are very far short of the Smith only originals.
Ok, we have to wait and see what sort of a job Child the Younger does in his first solo Reacher book but it will never be the same again.
I won't bother about going into the analysis of the book, the plot and everything else that so many other reviewers have done such a brilliant job with. They are right. This is just an insulting money spinning attempt to get money from so many thousands of loyal Reacher fans. Enjoy your money Lee but just call a halt to the gravy train. Let Jack go and put an end to this sham.