It wasn't the welcome Reacher expected. He was just passing through, minding his own business. But within minutes of his arrival a deputy is in the hospital and Reacher is back in Hope, setting up a base of operations against Despair, where a huge, seething walled-off industrial site does something nobody is supposed to see...where a small plane takes off every night and returns seven hours later...where a garrison of well-trained and well-armed military cops - the kind of soldiers Reacher once commanded - waits and watches...where above all two young men have disappeared and two frightened young women wait and hope for their return.
Joining forces with a beautiful cop who runs Hope with a cool hand, Reacher goes up against Despair - against the deputies who try to break him and the rich man who tries to scare him - and starts to crack open the secrets, starts to expose the terrifying connection to a distant war that's killing Americans by the thousand.
Now, between a town and the man who owns it, between Reacher and his conscience, something has to give. And Reacher never gives an inch.
©2008 Lee Child; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
I've listened to all 11 Reacher novels prior to this one and I think author Lee Child lost some of his magic with Nothing to Lose. After a typical strong beginning, Child has his listeners wandering aimlessly between Hope and Despair along with his protagonist. The sub-plot centering on the plight of other visitors to Despair did little more than give Child an opportunity to turn Reacher into someone who more convincingly resembled Jeanine Garofalo than he did Superman. Officer Vaughn was not a believable character, even for a Reacher novel. And the reception that Vaughn and Reacher received during one of their visits to Despair ruptured credulity. My biggest question during the listen was whether Child was going to let Reacher and the Giant finally get it on before the book ended. Luckily Child didn't disappoint me here. Even with its weaknesses, Nothing to Lose will keep Reacher fans entertained. I'm taking a Lee Child break before moving on to Gone Tomorrow. I remain hopeful that the Man of Steel returns for the 13th installment.
Only die hard fans will want to do this one. Lots and lots of questions and mysteries for the plot. And then even more questions are created through every day conversation. For example, when Vaughan and Reacher are driving he asks her “where are we going?” She says “you’ll see.” When Reacher is traveling with Thurman he asks the same question. Thurman says “you’ll see.” Toward the end, Reacher has figured things out. When Vaughan asks him what’s going on with the plant. He says “I’ll tell you later.” When she asks what’s going on with the boyfriends. He says “I’ll tell you later.”
So, I’m at the end of the book, and the mysteries have been revealed, and my reaction is “what?...Oh....Not very good.” In all other Reacher books he is frequently up against several bad guys at once and wins. I’m wondering if the author was thinking “what if he was up against a whole town?” Maybe that’s how the story started. Maybe it could have been good. But it didn’t work. Things weren’t supported logically enough. Even at the end, I was asking why would everyone in town be so aggressively against every traveling outsider? I know he answered that, sort of, but it wasn’t a good answer. And then other things were not justified or explained well enough.
I always have to suspend disbelief in Reacher stories, and I don’t mind. But in this book, the reasons were not fun. And the action was not as exciting. There was an occasional fight. But it’s mostly just mystery upon mystery with unsatisfying reveals at the end.
SOMETHING FOR TRIVIA BUFFS:
We learn that Reacher used to smoke Camels. He quit before any of these books.
WHAT I LIKED:
A couple scenes. I liked what he did to the two Despair police cars. That surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it. When told that the Despair police would be coming to Hope to search for Reacher, Reacher went to Despair for the night. Reacher wanted to search all the rooms at the rooming house in Despair. He told the owner to give him the pass key. If not, the owner would have a lot of expense to repair all the broken doors.
The narrator Dick Hill was very good.
Lee Child is my favorite writer. But in this one, you feel like you are the one trudging back and forth from Hope to Despair, the two towns in the novel. Many parts are not believable but mostly it is just boring.
I have read all Reacher novels and have liked all of them to date. I wait for a new novel to be published every year and could not wait until this one was available.
This book started off ok but jumped the shark when reacher threw his hand into the political arena. I feel Lee Child wrote this novel to take a shot at the military and administration. Seems like a lot of setup for a lackluster and frustrating ending.
Dick Hill's narration
He is unbelievable story teller and addictive.. I will keep listening to everything he narrates just for the tone, incantation of his voice etc. He is the best!!
It kept me on my iPhone for hours and in the middle of the night till I finished
God Bless Dick Hill.. I feel like he is a special friend
This Jack Reacher, had nothing to lose. Actually, this Jack Reacher was a stranger to me. After reading all the other reviews about this book, it is very clear that we, the readers know Jack Reacher better than the author who created him. Lee Child was intellectually dishonest and unfair to his readers by giving Jack Reacher a personality transplant after 11 previous books. I have listened to every previous Reacher book in order, and I know Jack Reacher, and I tell you, this was no Jack Reacher.
So, to Lee Child I would say, you wasted my time, and caused me to waste my money on this poor excuse for a book. Do us all a favor and kill Jack Reacher off, rather than put him through this kind of humiliation again. The Jack Reacher your readers know would prefer that, I'm sure. It's painfully obvious, that you no longer know who Jack Reacher is.
Until listening to "Nothing to Lose" I was a loyal fan of Jack Reacher. He was a patriot and a man with a moral compass who believed in always doing the right thing. Suddenly he has morphed into a christian-hating, anti-war, cardboard superhero. Hollywood should love this one!
When did Lee Child decide this was the lecture that his (previously) loyal readers needed to hear?
Jack Reacher really does have "nothing to lose". He has already lost his soul.
Definitely the worst Jack Reacher saga and possibly the worst book ever. Its cardboard characters CRAWLED to the finishing line. First time that I've ever set the audible speed on my iPod to "Fast" (only because I'm one of those people who can't NOT finish a book, no matter how bad). And absolutely the most convoluted plot ever.
Once authors develop a following, why do some of them feel the need to start using their books as soap boxes? Get off your soap box, Lee Child, and go back to what you're great at doing: telling edge-of-your-seat stories through Jack "Dirty Harry" Reacher. PLEASE, turn off your inner Michael Moore. It just doesn't jive with Jack Reacher.
This was my first Jack Reacher, the man with Dan Rather's mind in Chuck Norris' body. I don't see how an internally conflicted person with no money, no job, and no unifying principles has survived as many novels as he has--only to hitchhike off into the sunset. If you listen to this you're going to have to endure lectures against military leadership, Christians, and care of veterans, lectures in favor of desertion by thinking soldiers issued by a wooden military policeman who should know better. If you're like me, when Child springs his trap on you 5/8s of the way through the book, you won't want to admit the last 10 hours have been a waste and you'll persevere to completion. With all these popular books by Child, I feel like I chose the booby prize with my first pick on Let's Make a Deal.
Very disappointing, to my mind Jack Reacher would never promote desertion and he would never dis the military. It was a slap in the face the men and woman serving. I really liked the character up until now. Time to drop this author.
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