Die Trying (Jack Reacher Series #2)

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Overview

In a quiet Chicago suburb, a dentist is attacked in his office parking lot and forced into the trunk of his Lexus. On a sidewalk downtown, Jack Reacher and an unknown woman are abducted in broad daylight. Wordlessly and without warning, two armed men - confident and rehearsed - hustle them into the same sedan. Then Reacher and the woman are switched into a second vehicle and hauled away. Reacher and this mysterious woman are caught between a group of men holding them for an impossible ransom and her colleagues, ...
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Die Trying (Jack Reacher Series #2)

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Overview

In a quiet Chicago suburb, a dentist is attacked in his office parking lot and forced into the trunk of his Lexus. On a sidewalk downtown, Jack Reacher and an unknown woman are abducted in broad daylight. Wordlessly and without warning, two armed men - confident and rehearsed - hustle them into the same sedan. Then Reacher and the woman are switched into a second vehicle and hauled away. Reacher and this mysterious woman are caught between a group of men holding them for an impossible ransom and her colleagues, who will risk everything - even their lives - to save her. With only their wits and mutual trust between them, she and Reacher must escape an ingenious wilderness prison and the grasp of a man hell-bent on revenge.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review

There are essentially two ways in which gratuitous violence can be used effectively in writing. If it is overwrought, appearing in excess in scene after scene, even the most severe violence becomes commonplace and bland. It's the Mortal Kombat syndrome: You can only watch a guy get his spine ripped out so many times before it loses its luster. For violence to really be exciting, it must either be sudden, so that the shock of brutal imagery you can't help but envision catches you unprepared and makes you cringe, or be unleashed after a careful buildup, so that you anticipate its arrival long enough for its absence to become excruciating, to the point where you're lusting after it, needing it. Lee Child, the author of Die Trying, is a master of both techniques.

Die Trying is Child's second book featuring Jack Reacher, an ex-Army Military Police major who is everything you want in an action hero and more. He is intimidatingly enormous. He is shrewd to the point of deviousness. He is good, but only when pushed. This is a guy who you just know, from the moment you meet him on the page, is capable of the most horrendous mayhem. And you want to see it, as soon as possible. Child, who is pretty shrewd and devious himself, makes you wait.

In Die Trying, Reacher gets tangled up in a kidnapping he's not supposed to have anything to do with. Gallantly stepping in to help a beautiful woman on crutches who is struggling with her dry cleaning, he puts himself in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time. The woman is FBI agent Holly Johnson,andoutside her dry cleaner's she, and Reacher along with her, is forced at gunpoint into the backseat of a car (which has been stolen in the opening scene in a breathtakingly sudden explosion of violence).

Their kidnappers are members of a highly organized neo-Nazi militia conglomerate who want Holly because she is very important to some very important people in the American government, and they have big plans to use her as a bargaining chip in a plot to mount a massive political insurrection. They really don't want any part of Reacher, but they don't quite understand that until they get him back to their Montana compound.

On the trip there, several days' journey in the back of a stolen delivery truck, Reacher's anger has time to fester and build. He has several chances to escape, but he is too calculating to take unnecessary risks. When these moments arrive, the pent-up violence waiting to be released swells off the page. But again and again, you have to wait — until finally the driver of the truck steals into the barn where Reacher and Holly are chained to the wall in facing horse stalls for the night. He takes advantage of her injury and the fact that she has only one free hand to viciously beat her into submission, intent on having his way with her. Reacher is ten feet away and bound by a heavy iron chain looped through a ring in the wall. After desperately defending herself and almost defeating her assailant, Holly is conquered. The moment has arrived.

She undid the top button. Reacher counted: one. The driver leered down. Her hand slid to the next button. Reacher tightened his grip again. She undid the second button. Reacher counted: two. Her hand slid down to the third button. Reacher turned square-on to face the rear wall of his stall and took a deep breath. Turned his head and watched over his shoulder. Holly undid the third button. Dark peach brassiere. Skimpy and lacy. The driver shuffled from foot to foot. Reacher counted: three. He exhaled right from the bottom of his lungs. Holly's hand slid down to the fourth button. Reacher took a deep breath, the deepest breath of his life. He tightened his hold on the chain until his knuckles shone white. Holly undid the fourth button. Reacher counted: four. Her hand slid down. Paused a beat. Waited. Undid the fifth button. Her suit fell open. The driver leered down and made a small sound. Reacher jerked back and smashed his foot into the wall. Right under the iron ring. He smashed his weight backward against the chain, two hundred and twenty pounds of coiled fury exploding against the force of his kick. Splinters of damp wood burst out of the wall. The old planks shattered. The bolts tore right out of the timber. Reacher was hurled backward. He swarmed up to his feet, his chain whipping and flailing angrily behind him.

"Five!" he screamed.

What Reacher does to the hapless driver is pretty satisfying, all in all, but it's nothing compared with what happens when his captors get him back to Montana, where a ruthless psychopath named Beau Borken, a huge, hideous, brilliant monster of a man, lives like a god, ruling by fear over hundreds of militia men and women. The FBI, struggling to piece together the kidnapping from scant evidence, believes that Reacher has masterminded the entire thing and has tracked him back to Montana. Borken has some awful plans for both Reacher and Holly, as well as for the country as a whole, but when Reacher gets loose in the compound (it's only a matter of time, but you'll be fidgeting as you wait for it), the pure, unthinkably brutal mayhem he unleashes changes everybody's priorities.

Die Trying starts off brilliantly, gets wilder, and finishes up way over the top. Though the plot becomes a bit too implausible, it's of little consequence — it involves you early on, and by the time the heavy artillery starts going off, you only want to see more and more. You're in it for Reacher, for the violence. You want the full theater of pain, and Child gives you everything. This one is definitely worth the price of admission.

—Olli Chanoff

Chicago Tribune
A suspense writer to be reckoned with.
Rocky Mountain News
A thoroughly engrossing tale.... Jack Reacher is one of the more fully realized and intelligently resourceful heroes to come along in years.
Playboy
The guy must be channeling Dashiell Hammett.
Chicago Tribune
A suspense writer to be reckoned with.
Rocky Mountain News
A thoroughly engrossing tale....Jack Reacher is one of the more fully realized and intelligently resourceful heroes to come along in years.
Kirkus Reviews
Furiously suspenseful, but brain-dead second volume in Child's gratuitously derivative Jack Reacher action series (Killing Floor, 1997). Reacher, a former Army Military Police Major, has now moved on to Chicago, where he gallantly assists a beautiful mystery woman hobbling on a crutch with her dry cleaning. Seconds later, Reacher and the woman, FBI agent Holly Johnson (also daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as goddaughter of the President), are kidnaped by armed gunmen. Handcuffed together and tossed in the back of a van, the two are taken to the Montana mountain stronghold of Beau Borken, a fat, ugly, psychopathically vicious neo-Nazi militia leader given to sawing the arms off day laborers and making windy speeches about how he brilliant he is. Of course, the kidnappers don't know that they have a former military police major in their clutches who, in addition to having a Silver Star for heroism, is one of the best snipers the Army has ever produced, can pull iron rings out of barn doors, and kill bad guys with lit cigarettes. Meanwhile, a team of FBI agents, at least one of whom is a mole leaking information to Borken, identify Reacher from a reconstructed photo taken from the dry cleaner's surveillance camera. Borken, impressed with Reacher's military record, lectures him about his brilliant plan to overthrow the US using a hijacked Army missile unit, with Holly held as a hostage in a specially constructed, dynamite-lined prison cell. Borken stupidly lets Reacher best him in a shooting match, then grandiosely turns his back on his captives enough times for Reacher and Holly to escape, cause havoc, get captured, escape, make love in the woods,cause more havoc, and get captured again, as General Johnson, FBI Director Harlan Webster, and General Garber, Reacher's former commander, plan a covert strike on Borken's fortress thatþs certain to fail. Another Rogue Warrior meets Die Hard with all the typical over-the-top plotting, blood-splattering ultraviolence, lock-jawed heroics and the dumbest villains this side of Ruby Ridge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515125023
  • Publisher: Jove
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Series: Jack Reacher Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Child
LEE CHILD is the author of ten Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, the Barry Award Winner The Enemy, and One Shot, which has been optioned for a major motion picture by Paramount Pictures. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry Awards for Best First Mystery. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have sold in thirty-nine territories. Child, a native of England and former television writer, lives in New York City, where he is at work on his eleventh Jack Reacher thriller.

Biography

Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee has three homes —an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

Good To Know

Lee Child is the author of sixteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and #1 bestsellers Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have sold in forty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures.

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    1. Hometown:
      Birmingham, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Coventry, England
    1. Education:
      Sheffield University
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Before the live bn.com chat, Lee Child agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q:  Beau Borken is a ruthless neo-Nazi leader. Do you think neo-Nazism is a serious threat here in the United States? What are your thoughts about the increasing number of neo-Nazis in Europe?

A:  I would be much more worried about the neo-Nazis in Europe because they have the history. I think the extremists in the U.S. are pretty harmless. They are a freak show.

Q:  Have you read any book or seen any movie recently that just blew you away?

A:  "Titanic." As a movie, I thought it was two things at once. It was a tremendous movie and a very frustrating movie. It made me wish that it would be just a little better, in which case it would be truly sensational. I just read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, and it may be the best thriller ever written.

Q:  Do you miss living in England?

A:  I lived in England up until nine days ago, when I immigrated to the United States, and I now live in New York. And I hope to live there always.

Q:  Holly Johnson is a tough female FBI agent. I was wondering if you based her on any strong female figures from your life.

A:  Not specifically, no. But I wanted to have a very tough female character because I hate it when in this genre women are just depicted as decorative sidekicks.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 564 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(268)

4 Star

(164)

3 Star

(80)

2 Star

(23)

1 Star

(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 567 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    this was a great book

    Die Trying was an incredible book. One of my favorite Lee Child books so far. I have read most of his books but I especially liked the theme that he used for this book. It starts out in typical Lee Child fashion when Jack Reacher finds himself swept into some kind of mischeif. In this book though the bad guys are a malitia group that want to turn the state of Montana into their own country. As always Lee Child adds lots of action and twists and turns. Who can he trust? One particularly tense part of the book involved crawling through a small tunnel in the middle of a mountain with a small flashlight that of course dies so that he is left in the dark and the tunnel narrows till he is stuck! Great book and I highly recommend it!!

    25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    why do ebooks of old books cost more than peperback versions

    this is seriously offensive. i really wanted to put the Reacher books in elibrary, but I don't really appreciate being treated like asucker.

    23 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Another great read!

    I have finished the first 4 books in the Jack Reacher series. Jack is a really cool character.

    I have truly enjoyed them. I recommend the series to everyone.

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Drags a little bit but finishes with a bang...

    I started this book with little in mind. I had read Killing Floor a week prior to this and in my mind I had an idea of what the second novel would hold within. A light-read with a heavy romance between the main character and a broad he meets. Boy, was I wrong about this installment. Mr. Child follows up with a story that takes some getting used to and understanding but soon enough you can't put it down. You HAVE to know what will happen to Jack.<BR/><BR/>Basically, the book starts off fast. Reacher (the main character) is helping Holly, an FBI agent located in Chicago. She hurt her leg and carrying her laundry out from the laundromat has proved more troublesome than ever. Reacher lends a hand and shares the butt of a gun in his gut from a mysterious man who forces both of them into a car that speeds away from Chicago. Reacher has just been the victim of the old proverb: "wrong place at the wrong time." Only, Reacher soon realizes Holly is not just your ordinary FBI agent.<BR/><BR/>The first 100 pages or so are very interesting. They speed by fast as you you need to know what happens. Reacher causes an epic fight in the first 100 pages or so and you are locked in. However, it starts to drag when the two of them are finally prisoners at a militia camp in Montana. It got to a point where I was questioning myself. "Should I stop?" It wasn't leading anywhere and frankly, I was a tad bored. I had other books on my mind.<BR/><BR/>I decided to keep reading and I am glad I did. The book picks up and the last 100 pages are so thrilling and so suspenseful, you can't help but keep the book plastered in front of you. It finally finishes in a "bang" and ends almost abruptly leaving you hungry for more. The mysteries within the book are surprising however I was picking up on some clues in the beginning and analyzed them to conclude the mysteries and on some I was right and others wrong. In a way, the end of the novel also leaves you a little shocked as the question "Who is it?" is finally answered.<BR/><BR/>I'll be picking up Mr. Child's next installment soon. Die Trying was an amazing sophomore attempt and is showing bright things for this author's future. And judging from his large array of installments in this series currently, I'd say Mr. Child will be writing Reacher novels for a long time to come.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2001

    WOW! This was one great book

    This was one book I really didn't want to put down. (and that's saying a great deal for me) Jack is the man!, the writing was thrilling, a movie for the mind. I'm going to pick up 'Tripwire' tomorrow

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2007

    Intelligent and Brutal, yup I'm a fan

    I really enjoyed Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series, but I think this one might be better. In this book, Lee Childs manages to weave more of an air of antica (waite for it) pation. You KNOW Reacher is going to bring a world of hurt upon the bad guys, you just dont know when. When it explodes, its like real violence, nasty, brutal, bloody and with consequences.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    Good thriller

    Very good, and held my interest and almost a "cannot put it down" read.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Reacher, America's new tough guy.

    Jack Reacher is who Jack Bauer would like to be.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Reacher is the best

    If you read one you have to read them all and wait for the .next one

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Great! Military details add realism!

    I loved the book mainly for the level of detail in it. Mr. Child described each scene and situation with enough detail for me to visualize each and every moment in my head (the only other authors who did that for me were Christopher Paolini and Jean Craighead George). The plot was amazingly paced and very suspenseful, and I loved watching the relationship between Jack and Holly develop as the story progresses. The little, frantic scenes from within FBI headquarters as they tried to track Holly down lended a sense of depth as the reader figured out what was happening on both ends. This book did not seem drawn-out to me at all; on the contrary, I found it to be marvelously paced.
    I give this book a 4.5/5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Person

    Perverted fuqer.

    1 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    Lee Child spins a terrific yarn that is entertaining, fast-paced

    Lee Child spins a terrific yarn that is entertaining, fast-paced and spiced with enough character delineation to keep modern readers interested. Die Trying is a rollercoaster of a suspense novel and if the reader has to work a little harder in spots to buy the action, the pace will sustain.

    Jack Reacher is ex-army, ex-military police. He was a decorated, upstanding officer who slipped through the downsizing cracks of the peace-time military establishment. Reacher is going no place fast now he's in civvies, but that isn't to imply he's become a bum, far from it. Because of his long service career and extensive overseas assignments, Reacher is taking his time and exploring civilian options. He's becoming acquainted with his country. That puts him in sudden jeopardy.

    In the wrong place at the wrong time, he's kidnapped with an FBI agent named Holly Johnson. In a fine twist, Reacher and the reader begin to suspect some unseen dimensions to this woman. That thread carries through for a good part of the novel and adds interesting dimensions to the main plot.

    In some fascinating ways, Jack Reacher is a throwback to the hard-bitten, stalwart, stand-up heroes of an earlier time. If he can maintain the pace and the level of good quality writing readers will find here, his scarred hero will live a long and fruitful life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    Keeps you reading..........

    Lee Child just writes good books. He gets you involved with his characters and keeps you there. This time Jack Reacher is caught up in another situation not of his own making. He is abducted along with a woman he was trying to help and is transported a great distance away where they are held captive. He then begins the process of discovering who this lady is...and why they might be in this predicament. He doesn't let on his own background until it is necessary. The whys and the solution will keep you very interested. I want more..........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    Lee Child is a master-mind! I love his books. This book was my favorite one so far. I could not put it down. Your mind will wonder where it is going even when you are not reading it. I plan to keep reading till I finish the whole series and then wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    BRILLIANT. MAKE THE FILM

    Yet another great Jack Reacher novel. Im your typical John Grisham reader and I think Lee Childs just blows him away. When is a director going to make a film based on the Reacher books. I am the type of book reader who finds it very difficult to get 'into' a book, but once hooked I try to read it in one sitting. This has never been a problem with Lee Childs novels as from page one I am totally hooked.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2000

    Author Lee Child shows a great talent with his second book Die Trying.

    The book by Lee Child, Die Trying, shows a very brite side to this fine writer.the book, i thought, was very good and discriptive. As I read the book i got a mental pictureand that is very good for a person as young as me. I would recomend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    A real page turner

    Have just found Lee Child ane Jack Reacher. I have a lot of catching up to do! Excellent action novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Say WHAT!!!!!!!!

    I'm soooooon going to be in a band... but i will copy this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    To steel

    I killed firepaw. *drops ded body*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Star

    Can you kill thornfur of grassclan at rand all reses i got locked out ofthe camp and dens

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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