Worth Dying For
A Reacher Novel
By Lee Child
Random House Large Print, 2010, 576 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - November 22, 2010
This fifteenth book by Lee child is his best. There is no letup of excitement or suspense. The writing, descriptions, character development, and plot are perfect. Six feet five, 250 pounds Jack Reacher, ex-military MP, does not stop when he sees injustice done. He is like a heavy steam roller, like a 150 mile an hour Japanese train barreling on its track and rolling over any pieces of sushi that happens to be on its track. While Agatha Christieís Miss Marple analyses crimes by what she saw in her small hometown, Reacher sees the world through his military experiences. While Conan Doyleís Sherlock Holmes deduces what people ate or where they ate it by looking at their clothes, Reacher acts based on his keen knowledge of human behavior, behavior he saw at its worst in combat.
On his way hitchhiking to Atlanta, Reacher is let off in a small town in Nebraska and happens upon what seems to be a case of wife beating, the wife of the youngest Duncan. And Reacher, being who he is, canít let it go. He is soon up against the entire family of four Duncans; three brothers in their sixties and a fourth, the husband, who is said to be the son of one of them. But is he? They have ten ex-football players, taller than Reacher and fifty pounds heavier, working for them as bodyguards and henchmen. The Duncans get six reinforcements from Los Vegas, dangerous men, professional killers. They also secure a rifleman to shoot Reacher. Reacher is facing twenty-one people.
Reacher discovers that twenty-five years earlier an eight-year old girl had gone missing. Police from several agencies, including the FBI, had investigated and discovered nothing. The town was convinced that the Duncans were involved and told this to the authorities, but the Duncans had an airtight alibi. He also finds out that the Duncans have improper sexual needs with young girls, around age eight. This supports the townís conviction. He hears about an illegal transport coming to the Duncans. He is told that every person in town is afraid of the Duncans who are exploiting them; even the police do not interfere.
What is going on? What are the Duncans involved in? Why are professionals from outside the State coming to help them? Did they harm or kill the girl twenty-five years ago? Was she the only one? Did the several police agencies miss something twenty-five years ago that Reacher can find after so many years have passed? What is in the transports coming to the Duncans? How can Reacher help the town people? How can a single man fight twenty-one? Does he leave anyone of them alive?
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes Wagner and Drazin's latest book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah.