Title: Die Trying
Author: Lee Child
Date: 2010 (1999)
Publisher: Bantam Press
Started: 20th September 2015
Completed: 19th March 2016
Summary: Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere.
A Chicago street in bright sunshine. A young woman, struggling on crutches. He offers her a steadying arm.
And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach.
Chained in a dark van racing across America, Reacher doesn’t know why they’ve been kidnapped. The woman claims to be FBI. She’s certainly tough enough. But at their remote destination, will raw courage be enough to overcome the hopeless odds?
Die Trying is the second book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. The book does not directly follow on from Killing Floor and can be read as a standalone. The Reacher books are written in either third person or first person.
I previously reviewed Killing Floor.
I’m not going to lie, this book was weird for me. I did give it 4 out of 5 stars because it’s a good book but I still find it weird. I’ll start with the things I really enjoyed and then move onto what I found a bit strange.
Die Trying introduces a new female lead, FBI agent Holly Johnson, and she’s a pretty badass woman even with an injured knee. She’s the daughter of a high-ranking military official and her godfather is the President. These facts are incredibly important to the story but I don’t feel like they’re important to Holly’s characterisation. She’s an interesting, strong character despite her family and I really liked her. I love that she’s not a damsel in distress. She’s almost a love interest for Reacher but not really and I think that’s why I like her so much. Reacher is excellently written, especially from a third person perspective rather than first person like in Killing Floor. Reacher seems more vunerable in this novel despite being a killing machine. I also really liked Beau Borken, the main villain. I mean that in a sort of ‘I love to hate him’ kind of way. He’s ruthless.
The plot is where it starts to get weird for me. I did enjoy it but I didn’t understand some of the references etc. Holly and Reacher are kidnapped and taken to some sort of Milita group who want to seperate away from the USA since they think that the UN controls the world. I don’t know. It seems a bit far fetched to me but I imagine that some people do believe in that. There are a few plot twists, which I won’t spoil, and overall the plot is great. I just don’t understand it fully, I guess. It did keep me guessing though so that was great.
One thing I disliked about this book is how long it took me to read it. I genuinely couldn’t get into it for months. The start is very slow and there’s only small bits of action until Holly and Reacher are dropped off at the Militia camp. The pace is a lot slower than Killing Floor but it’s still an interesting book. I think that it’s slow because the narrative cuts between Reacher and the FBI who are trying to locate them. The dual POV just slows the plot down in my opinion.
Overall, it is a very good book even though I found it slow initially. I did prefer Killing Floor but I’d still recommend this book. I did give it 4 out of 5 stars afterall.
Have you read any of the Jack Reacher books? What did you think?