Book Review – Better off Dead by Lee & Andrew Child – Usual exciting fare
My Rating – 3.5 out of 5
Plot Summary – Better Off Dead
The annual Jack Reacher extravaganza is here! While that anticipation fills the heart of a fan like me to the brim, the sadness in the knowledge that it’ll be another year of waiting for the next one, keeps tugging away. The 6’5”, 250 pounds of a fighting machine has long since reached cult status in fiction folklore. He was a Major in the US Army, in the 110th Division as MP. Since his retirement, he’s been a drifter, hitchhiking across continental US, from one small town to another, thumbing his way with his toothbrush and passport in pocket. Never to shy away from an altercation or challenge, his adventures are what the novels are all about.
Even if you haven’t read the earlier ones, you can always start, before you realize what you’ve missed, and going back to finish the series. At least, that’s how it started for me ten years ago. Better off Dead, finds Reacher in Los Gemelos, a nondescript town on the US-Mexico border. He is on his way to San Francisco, to the ocean, but not before he cleans the town. As he reaches the outskirts, he comes across Michaela Fenton, ex-FBI, a military veteran, looking for her twin brother Michael. Michael, another vet, has been caught up with local crime lord Dendoncker, who has a thriving smuggling racket in town.
Fenton can’t locate her brother and Dendoncker’s goons have come to take her to him for information. That is when Reacher stumbles upon them. Always willing to help another vet in trouble, Reacher acts as the one seeking that information and when that doesn’t work, he decides to stay back and help Michaela find her brother and in doing that, if Dendoncker’s empire falls apart, so be it. As Reacher gets deeper into the operations of Dendoncker, he realizes that there is more to his smuggling operations under the guise of flight catering services, and that is diabolical.
Like in his earlier stories, Reacher reaches out to contacts from his past life for aid in certain matters, but when it comes to the actual action on the ground, it’s Reacher all the way. The pulse pounding which start almost from the first page is explosive to say the least, and exactly what Reacher fans have come to expect. Reacher’s fascination with numbers, even when in the middle of an intense fight scene, is unique. Every step, every move is explained in terms of the physics behind it, which makes it all the more interesting. Five guys against Reacher? No problem, none of them are going back…
Conclusion – Book Review of Better off Dead
With the disappointment of The Sentinel behind us, Reacher fans have been skeptical of the writing baton being passed from Lee Child to his brother, Andrew. Better off Dead is almost back to the earlier Reacher levels, well almost. It is still a fabulous page turner, and much as I promised myself to go slow as the next one will be a year away, my resolve crumbled, and I finished this in two days. There are some incongruencies in the plot, but you won’t be able to pick at those because you’ll get carried away with the flow. That’s the beauty of Jack Reacher and I can hardly wait another 360 odd days for number 27!
To be honest, this cannot be termed as the best Jack Reacher ever, but when all looked lost for us Reacher fans when Andrew Grant (aka Child) took over, this is kind of back on track of the vintage Reacher. That’s somewhat reassuring and we can look forward to some more Reacher adventures. At least till Reacher reaches the Pacific…
*I hope you have enjoyed reading this book review as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *
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