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Without Fail | [Lee Child]

Without Fail

Jack Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States," she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP's security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team's shield. He has the skills and the stealth and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective?
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Publisher's Summary

Jack Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States," she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP's security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team's shield. He has the skills and the stealth and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective?

What she doesn't tell Reacher - but what he soon discovers - is that a very real and deadly team of assassins has just put the VP in their sights and will stop at nothing to realize their objective. These men have planned well, but they haven't planned on Reacher. For only Reacher has the head and the heart to corner his prey and bring them to justice - without fail.

Don't miss any of Jack Reacher's adventures.

©2004 Lee Child; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

“The book is a joyride for listeners, full of false leads, dead ends, concussive bursts of action, and characters who are fully realized and individual. This is as much fun as an audiobook performance can be.” (AudioFile)

“The sixth time's a charm for thriller meister Child, whose latest escapade starring ex-military cop Jack Reacher is handily his most accomplished and most compelling to date.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“…a thriller of unequaled emotional depth.” (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2435 )
5 star
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Overall
4.4 (1745 )
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Story
4.5 (1760 )
5 star
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4 star
 (544)
3 star
 (101)
2 star
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1 star
 (8)
Performance
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  •  
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 12-04-10
    Joseph Austin, TX, United States 12-04-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    853
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    243
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    99
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    Overall
    "Series is getting better."

    I'm listening to the books in order, so I don't know what's coming, only what's come before, but this is a better novel than the ones before it. Jack Reacher is a wandering hero with an absolutist, but not always convincing, sense of justice, who somehow always finds trouble. He's a fun hero without a lot of complexity, so you're unlikely to find yourself changed by this novel, or staying awake nights working out the ethical connundrums or processing the intellectual insights you've learned. Just a fun listen. It's more John Wayne than Martin Scorcesse, in other words.

    This story gets more complicated and less dramatically unbelievable than his previous works, and Reacher, while still retaining his superhero status, loses some of the invincible omniscience of Child's earlier novels. That's not to say he is any less heroic or more ambiguous, just that the story itself is a little more believably written--once past the unlikely premise of an outsider becoming part of the Secret Service's inner sanctum, that is.

    The plotting is better, the mystery more hidden and intriguing, and the characters a little harder to get a firm grip on, than in previous novels. In short, Child is becoming a better writer. He still relies on his detailed descriptions of weapons or plots or strategies to add credibility and stretch out suspense, and from the reviews it seems some people hate this. I think it adds to the story and gives it more weight.

    Overall, a good book for thriller/adventure serial fiction. The writing itself is better than average without pretension, the storytelling is always engaging and suspenseful, and the emotional ride is satisfying. Not a bad place to dive into the series if you are new, either--it doesn't rely on past knowledge to make the story work.

    The reader is okay. Terrible with female characters. Makes them whiny even when the story doesn't. He's good with the flow of the story, though. Good travel listening.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Sebastopol, CA, USA 01-12-09
    Sam Sebastopol, CA, USA 01-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    18
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Good, but not the best."

    This book is not my favorite of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels but still good. If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Child's action star Jack Reacher, I would not start with this one, but for those who already like the well written, ever engrossing Reacher series this is worth the time.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-20-08
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-20-08 Member Since 2006

    Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 11-year-old daughter.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2259
    ratings
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    213
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2252
    0
    Overall
    "A little different than previous Reacher novels"

    One of the nice things about Child's Reacher series is that they are not carbon copies of each other. Without Fail had a plot twist that none of the previous stories had. That's about all I can say about it without spoiling things. But the consistent thing about the Reacher novels and the thing that keeps me listening to them is the ultimate triumph of good over evil and Reacher's superhero exploits. Another satisfying listen.

    32 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Frankfort, IL, United States 09-19-11
    Patricia Frankfort, IL, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific"
    Would you listen to Without Fail again? Why?

    In a few years I would take it up again because it kept me riveted start to finish. very good, very logical, good suspense, good romance.


    What other book might you compare Without Fail to and why?

    Among the Reacher novels this one is the best. can't compare it to other books.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Hill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. this was great, as expected.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No..just a satisfaction after a good story is wrapped up the right way.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Giorgio Illinois 09-19-11
    P. Giorgio Illinois 09-19-11 Member Since 2001

    TheWriter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    424
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    307
    89
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    80
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific"
    Would you listen to Without Fail again? Why?

    In a few years I would take it up again because it kept me riveted start to finish. very good, very logical, good suspense, good romance.


    What other book might you compare Without Fail to and why?

    Among the Reacher novels this one is the best. can't compare it to other books.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Hill???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. this was great, as expected.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No..just a satisfaction after a good story is wrapped up the right way.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony WA 03-06-12
    Anthony WA 03-06-12 Member Since 2007

    Audible has opened up a whole new world of reading that I could not make work in the traditional page turning world. I am on a mission to listen to a wide variety of adventures, mysteries, thrillers, classics, etc. Thank you Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    593
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining until..."

    I would say "Entertaining until the end," but unfortunately the ending was not there. I am a big fan of Lee Child and the narration of Dick Hill and during the first 7/8ths of the book I was really enjoying the listen. This book has less action and more ???who did it,??? but the plot has many twists and keeps you guessing/thinking. Sadly at the end it seemed that Mr. Child had a page limit or closing deadline and he just quickly, with little depth, touched on wrapping up several loose ends and then the story comes to a quick finish, which left me feeling unsatisfied. I actually listened to the end about 5 separate times as I kept thinking I must have missed some parts.

    I would still recommend the listen to fans of Lee Child, but if have not read several books in the series I would strongly recommend reading a few of the other stories first before this one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this IL, United States 06-23-13
    Think about this IL, United States 06-23-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    427
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    262
    219
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    139
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's not to like"

    I haven't been disappointed yet, listening to the Jack Reacher novels. He's truly an interesting character, and Dick Hill brings him to life. This is another suspenseful "who's the bad guy?' story, that keeps you guessing til the end. Don't want to give anything away, except, if you follow the series, don't miss out on this one.
    Only thing that really bugs me.....I really wish Reacher would do some laundry and quit throwing away good clothes.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Hanover, IN, United States 03-08-13
    Mark Hanover, IN, United States 03-08-13 Member Since 2010

    Markus

    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
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    33
    26
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    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listenable"

    I would rather listen to a Reacher novel than do most other things, and that is true of this book as well; but the novel is oddly lacking in action. The bad guys are not encountered in person until the very end, and Jack spends a lot of time discussing his feelings, which is not what I look to a Reacher novel for. I am glad I listened, and Reacher fans will not want to skip it, but it is not up there with the best ones.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-29-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 09-29-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    623
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    332
    332
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    76
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "3 ½ or 4 stars, can’t decide."

    Reacher didn’t beat up as many thugs as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed it.

    STORY BRIEF:
    Someone is threatening Armstrong, the newly elected Vice President. Froelich is in charge of the Secret Service team protecting him. She used to date Reacher’s brother who told her about Reacher’s talents and abilities. She hires Reacher to test her security and then to help with the current threat. Reacher hires one of his army buddies to help.

    REVIEWER’S OPINION:
    Another good suspenseful exciting escape with tough guys’ tough guy Reacher. I’m doing all of them in order and enjoying each one. However, this one did drag a bit in the middle. It took a long time (most of the book) to solve the mystery and find the bad guys. I think there were only two scenes where Reacher was beating up or shooting bad guys. Other Reacher books had more than that, so I was disappointed. Instead this book is mostly wondering who could be doing this and how are they going to catch them. But it’s better than no Reacher at all. The ending is good. We know Reacher will win because there are sequels.

    I liked the way Reacher hung up on the bad guy when the bad guy wanted to talk to Reacher. The Secret Service boss was angry because he had asked Reacher to keep the bad guy on the phone for as long as possible, but Reacher didn’t. Reacher explained it’s a game. There were a few other chuckling moments as well.

    Narrator: Dick Hill was very good.
    Series: This is book 6 in the Jack Reacher series.
    Genre: Mystery suspense thriller.
    Ending: Good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith ROCKMART, GEORGIA, United States 07-14-09
    Keith ROCKMART, GEORGIA, United States 07-14-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "lots of talking & meeting"

    Lots and lots of talking, group meetings of strategy, motives, acting and reacting and it does on and on...to the point it became somewhat boring. the book was somewhat agreeable but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for future listening or reading.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
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