DIE TRYING by Lee Child

DIE TRYING

KIRKUS REVIEW

Furiously suspenseful, but brain-dead second volume in Child’s gratuitously derivative Jack Reacher action series (Killing Floor, 1997). Reacher, a former Army Military Police Major, has now moved on to Chicago, where he gallantly assists a beautiful mystery woman hobbling on a crutch with her dry cleaning. Seconds later, Reacher and the woman, FBI agent Holly Johnson (also daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as goddaughter of the President), are kidnaped by armed gunmen. Handcuffed together and tossed in the back of a van, the two are taken to the Montana mountain stronghold of Beau Borken, a fat, ugly, psychopathically vicious neo-Nazi militia leader given to sawing the arms off day laborers and making windy speeches about how he brilliant he is. Of course, the kidnappers don’t know that they have a former military police major in their clutches who, in addition to having a Silver Star for heroism, is one of the best snipers the Army has ever produced, can pull iron rings out of barn doors, and kill bad guys with lit cigarettes. Meanwhile, a team of FBI agents, at least one of whom is a mole leaking information to Borken, identify Reacher from a reconstructed photo taken from the dry cleaner’s surveillance camera. Borken, impressed with Reacher’s military record, lectures him about his brilliant plan to overthrow the US using a hijacked Army missile unit, with Holly held as a hostage in a specially constructed, dynamite-lined prison cell. Borken stupidly lets Reacher best him in a shooting match, then grandiosely turns his back on his captives enough times for Reacher and Holly to escape, cause havoc, get captured, escape, make love in the woods, cause more havoc, and get captured again, as General Johnson, FBI Director Harlan Webster, and General Garber, Reacher’s former commander, plan a covert strike on Borken’s fortress that’s certain to fail. Another Rogue Warrior meets Die Hard with all the typical over-the-top plotting, blood-splattering ultraviolence, lock-jawed heroics and the dumbest villains this side of Ruby Ridge.

Pub Date: July 20th, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-14379-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1998




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