Die Trying (Jack Reacher Series #2)

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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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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 Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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: 9780857500052
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Jack Reacher Series , #2
  • Pages: 557
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.40 (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

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 563 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(268)

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(163)

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(80)

2 Star

(23)

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(29)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 566 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Person

    Perverted fuqer.

    1 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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