Friday 30 August 2019

Without Fail - Lee Child - Jack Reacher Book 6

Without Fail
Jack Reacher Book 6
Lee Child
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780425264423
eISBN 9781101052792

First, I can state I love the Reacher stories. I have read 26 of them in the last 24 weeks. And only have a few to go to have read all of them in well under a year. I started on a whim by picking up the current release because the description caught my attention when I was looking at it as a gift for my father. That first one, Past Tense, was great and many since have been excellent reads. But there are a few things that I feel are inconsistent in this volume over the rest of the Reacher canon, enough so that it distracted from the story for me. Now admittedly I have jumped around a lot, not read them in the published order nor the chronological order. So, it could be my vast and short exposure to so many Reacher stories. 

I will call out the inconsistencies in this story and then get down to reviewing it with that in mind. First, I do not recall Reacher wearing a watch in any of the other stories, and do not recall him ever checking a watch. He always goes by an internal clock, that has been tested in more than one story and he is always within a minute or 2. So the fact that he is not only wearing a watch but checks it several times just does not fit. The second and a bit of a spoiler her, but Reacher sleeps with his dead brother’s ex girlfriend. Again, based on the 25 other stories I have read I just feel that is out of character. 

In this story Reacher is tracked down by M.E. Froelich a secret service agent, responsible for the protection detail of the vice-president elect. She wants to hire Reacher to test their security, sort of an outside audit. And she happens to be his brother Joe’s ex. Reacher call in Neagley and the two not only find holes, they find that it would be impossible to guarantee protection. And that is when they find out it is more than just an exercise though up by Joe years earlier. There is a credible threat and they are asked to consult.

The story involves a lost of examination of past assassinations both in real life and in film. It compares and contrasts killers that will succeed and not make it out alive, and those who succeed and disappear afterwards. They are being taunted by clues being left in the office, homes, and mailed. But the cross a line and Reacher needs to see this through. 

Taking aside the 2 considerations listed before, this is a good novel. The concepts presented and the method is very interesting. The practice and protocols of personal protection are informative. And of course you have Reacher and Neagley doing what they do best, messing up someone’s plans. 

Not my favorite Reahcer story but a really good read none the less.  

Books by Lee Child:
Jack Reacher Books Publishing Order:

Killing Floor
Die Trying
The Visitor /Running Blind
Echo Burning
Without Fail
The Enemy
One Shot
The Hard Way
Bad Luck and Trouble
Nothing to Lose
Gone Tomorrow
61 Hours
Worth Dying For
The Affair
A Wanted Man
Never Go Back
Make Me
Night School
The Midnight Line
Past Tense
Blue Moon

The Sentinel Jack Reacher's Rules

Reacher Short Stories and Novella’s:
No Middle Name – Complete Collected Short Stories
Stories in No Middle Name Collection:
Too Much Time
Second Son
Deep Down
Guy Walks into A Bar
James Penney’s New Identity
High Heat
Everyone Talks
Not A Drill
Small Wars
Maybe They Have A Tradition

No Room At The Motel
The Picture of the Lonely Diner

Other Short Stories:
The Fourth Man
The Christmas Scorpion
Faking a Murderer with Kathy Reichs
Cleaning the Gold with Karin Slaughter
Good and Valuable Consideration with Joseph Finder

Other Books by Lee Child
The Hero
Jack Reacher: A Mysterious Profile

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