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Publisher's Summary

Two lonely towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, 12 miles of empty road. Jack Reacher never turns back. It's not in his nature. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets is big trouble. So in Lee Child's electrifying new novel, Reacher - a man with no fear, no illusions, and nothing to lose - goes to war against a town that not only wants him gone, it wants him dead.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 08-12-09

Least favorite of all the Reacher novels

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.

39 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Big Lee Child Fan Disappointed

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.

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • Gibsonia, PA, USA
  • 10-06-08

political statement

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.

44 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Reacher walks and walks

There comes a point where I wonder, since Reacher is adverse to owning anything other than a toothbrush, if he could at least consider renting a car?! It did seem Reacher spent hours walking between the towns, admiring the difference in the highway's pavement. This story is a study of contract Hope vs Despair, good cop vs roguish Reacher, loyality vs people unable to be loyal. Reacher seems to be moving from doing nasty things to protect or help people unable to help themselves to just doing nasty things. I cannot suggest skipping this book because I, myself, am curious what situations Lee Child will dream up next for his marvel Reacher but this is not one of Child's really good books.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • Winston Salem, NC, United States
  • 07-11-11

Jack Reacher's Evil Twin?

The Jack Reacher books are pretty predictable: 1) Reacher beats the snot out of some bad people. 2) Reacher gets the girl. 3) Reacher figures everything out before anyone else. All of this is done while regularly consulting the atomic clock in his brain. I enjoy listening to the books, and enjoyed this one to a certain extent, though it seemed that instead of wandering into trouble like he usually does, Jack was looking for trouble. This book also seemed quite preachy to me, on both political and religious issues.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nick M
  • Southport, ME United States
  • 01-15-09


I have thoroughly enjoyed all previous Reacher novels by Lee Child. This offering seems like a ghost written one by a different author, and was very disappointing for many reasons - plot, facts and most of all, for inserting a political agenda that seemed to negate all that Reacher stood for.

Reminds me of Bob McNamara's "awakening" a while ago - something is not right up there.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Georgia
  • Woodbury, PA, USA
  • 12-05-08

Reacher has reached the end

Our boy, Jack, wishes he had been brave enough to be a deserter?

Sorry, Lee. I'm done.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lonnie
  • dallas, TX, USA
  • 10-07-08

Time for a new character

After reading all of Lee Child's books you feel like you know the lead character. In this book, Jack Reacher is not the same person. I do not feel he would support a wartime deserter or even be sympathetic towards them.
The plot is overly complex and borders on boring.
Lee Child has become too smart for his own good. I am not a fan of an author placing their political views in a fiction book, especially when it would contradict the main character's psyche.
It may be time to bury Reacher and work on a new character.

29 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 10-06-08

Get off your soap box, Lee Child

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.

43 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

So much for this character

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.

30 of 40 people found this review helpful