Narator, story line and no more "Right!" It's all bad.
I listened to the first book and wasn't all that impressed but I thought I'd try book two in hopes it would get better. I don't think I'm even halfway through. Thank goodness I can return this and get my credit back.
It is so far fetched that you can't even pretend any of the events could possibly be remotely true.
And please stop with the "Right" although there not as many as there was in book one.
My main complaint is the voices of two characters (I'm not even halfway so there could be more)
The first is the bad guy boss. He's described as being a big man. So big that he almost doesn't fit in a truck front seat with 2 other guys. Well his voice sounds like a 5 year old girls when she's playing with her dolls by herself. Heck the switchboard operator sounds more masculine then the big bad boss.
I'm not even sure who the second one belongs to except he's male and a commander of something. His voice is the exact same voice of the bad guy boss.
First would be remove "Right" unless it's a question, direction or agreement.
Second would be Reacher and Holly getting personal while being held hostage and within a day.
I really couldn't get past the narration to pay much attention.
Waste of a credit. Thank god I can return it and get my credit back.
This second installment of the Jack Reacher series continues where the first left off. It continues to be a shallow, formulaic, tough-guy story, reminiscent of a Steven Seagal movie. Jack Reacher is an unstoppable force who has a special gift for attracting women whose libidos rise with the body count. It's not that it isn't entertaining, but spending time with this story felt as deeply satisfying as channel surfing. "Die Trying" also has a new narrator who lacks the charisma of the narrator from "The Killing Floor" (Book 1). This was merely a 3-star audio book for me, and that's probably being generous by a star.
Note: There are spoilers in what follows.
First, the narrator of the book is basically adequate, though the decision to use a vaguely southern accent for a California native is decidedly odd. I suspect he was hampered by the very weak source material, so I wouldn't be inclined to skip work merely on the basis that he is reading it.
The real problem here is the writing.
I walked into this book having listened to the previous book in the series, so I was willing to accept the conceit of a larger-than-life protagonist caught up by events. The book started well enough, but soon started to go off the rails:
The primary victim of the story is the daughter of the "Joint Chairman", the title bestowed for no discernible reason by the author on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Despite this being a position that is fundamentally both political and powerful, this character is portrayed as ineffectual and incapable of calling in any significant favors. (At one point, the character is to be found sitting with the Director of the FBI and eight marines on a broken bridge in the middle of Montana, facing a hundred militia members, with no other significant backup.)
Similarly, the Director of the FBI finds himself with three agents and no local assistance attempting to rescue a kidnap victim held by a hundred armed men, even though there have been days to organize a team. There's a deeply unconvincing hand-wave at a justification which serves primarily as an insult to the intelligence of the reader.
The intermountain west is dotted with military bases of one sort and another, but for some reason the major locus of the military part of the story is at Peterson AFB in Colorado when the bad guys are known to be in northwestern Montana. There's even a helicopter search and rescue mission sent from Pete. At the time the book was written, Mountain Home AFB in Idaho had a full Air Combat Command Wing, with fighters, bombers, AWACS, and refueling aircraft. There's a short mention of Malmstrom AFB (a missile base) in Montana, but largely as a place that sends a Marine (!) helicopter late in the story. (And that doesn't even consider Hill AFB, FE Warren AFB, and Ellsworth AFB, not to mention Guard and Reserve units that are all closer.
The actions of the protagonist are curiously inconsistent. Early on, there are many occasions for Reacher to make a serious attempt to short-circuit the kidnapping, but he chooses to be passive for 2/3 of the book. When the writer decides that it's time for the action to start, much larger risks than those earlier are taken nonchalantly.
It takes days (reasonably) and many pages to travel from Chicago to NW Montana, but when the last gasp of the bad guys has been on the road for four hours or so on the way to San Francisco, the characters begin to despair. I suppose that if you're going to try to search a 400 mile radius with a single helicopter, despair isn't unreasonable. But since the targets of said bad guys are more than 1000 miles from their starting point, it's not as though time is especially critical. They don't bother to call in Highway Patrol assets, of course.
A ton of dynamite is dangerous enough to kill everything within a quarter mile when it's convenient for the writer, but is blown up from 70 yards away by a character in a helicopter without comment when that's convenient. And speaking of dynamite, I find it "fascinating" that a star FBI agent has no real idea of what it might be other than an explosive.
In fact there's a drumbeat of unconvincing writing throughout the book. For the sort of reader that likes this genre, the ridiculous characterization and fundamental misunderstanding of the military, law enforcement, western geography, ordnance, politicians ... in fact nearly everything mentioned in the book, is likely to be fatal to enjoyment.
If I had listened to this early Reacher before later installments I probably would not have continued the series. That is my way of saying, "hang in there folks, it gets better." While the story is helpful in that it fills in continuity blanks suffered by reading ahead in the series, the poor plot and character development by Child damages the story significantly. This time the bad guys weren't bad enough, smart enough, or tough enough. The story signaled the end at every turn but never dug into the details of the plot (which would have at least added depth), leading to a no surprise ending with no punch.
If you are a stalwart Reacher fan and missed this installment as I did because it was not previously available on Audible.com and want to fill in a couple of gaps then Die Trying may be worth the time. If those gaps don't bother you then move on and enjoy later installments with the Reacher we've come to love.
The plot was not very entertaining and I often felt the writer made things happen even when they made no sense or fit into the story. The feeling was the ending was the goal and the trip there did not matter.
I like the first book so I guess my expectations were just to high.
1. Shorter, tighter plot. 2. Good narrator
Overall premise ok, but it is way too long for the plotline so there are many passages that are just filler, with no value to the plot.
Accents were terrible, female voices ridiculous and overall delivery very flat
first few hours are OK, by the end I couldn't wait for it to be over.
Not sure, probably try another.
If you read this after the Killing floor, and appreciated the plot and how the story unfolded then this one, in my opinion does do it as well. The whole story thing seems unlikely.
I never noticed in The Killing Floor, how often the character's conversations end with someone saying "Right?" Almost all the characters say this at the end of sentence,. In this book, with this narrator it's immediately jarring and continues throughout. I found it pretty distracting on top of a mediocre performance. If I listen to another of Child's books, I'll probably listen to a Dick Hill one.
I am a small business owner, writer and frequent traveler. Audio books are my constant companions
This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series and a bad place to visit. This should be called the Holly Johnson series as she takes up too much of the story and offers little in return, at least to the reader. A very exciting open with all kinds of potential descends quickly into a harlequin romance with brief interruptions of gun play. Back up to the Killing Floor and enjoy what Jack Reacher is supposed to be. We will pretend like Rambo Meets the Militia" never happened.
Another action packed Reacher that has a part of the setting in the back of a van and the majority of the action is based in a remote commune. Even so Lee Child has lots of description describing limited background. Into the story is woven the plight of a well connected, silver spoon young woman and overdoing her desire to seem normal and be judged on her own. This was not my favorite Reacher.
This is my fourth Reacher read (I haven't been going in release order) and my least favorite. First, I'm not a big Dick Hill fan, but enjoy his narrative more than McClain's. Second, parts of this story are just plain silly (as pointed out by some other reviews).
For example, [mild spoiler] Reacher winds up burying a body after removing it from a tree where it was staked (made out to be a grotesque scene). Holly watches. An hour later, body has just been buried and boom, they have sex... right then an there. Really? Seems like Lee was looking for SOME place for them to have sex, and that was the only place he could fit in - next to murder location and fresh grave.
Other silliness abounds - at one point Reacher has a 9mm Sig shoved in his ear. The boss is meaning to kill him... but instead of SIMPLY pulling the trigger, he hands him over to someone else to do the dirty work because he "has no time." What? Just a setup for Reacher to escape...
So, disappointing - especially since the other three were rather good.