“If Without Fail doesn’t hook you on Lee Child, I give up.”—The New York Times
“Relentlessly paced...and absolutely mesmerizing.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Everything falls into place like a well-assembled time bomb.”—The Boston Globe
“A stunner...The suspense becomes nearly unbearable.”—Booklist
“This is a knockout.”—Library Journal
“[The] plot is ingenious…This is a superior series.”—The Washington Post Book World
“If you haven’t read a Reacher story, do yourself an exciting and engrossing favor and pick one up. Grade A.”—Rocky Mountain News
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. The suspense-laden plot kicks off with U.S. Secret Service agent M.E. Froelich telling Reacher: "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States." V-p-elect Brook Armstrong has received a series of anonymous death threats, and Froelich needs to uncover their source and ascertain the effectiveness of Armstrong's security detail. Reacher agrees to masquerade as an assassin because he can't resist a challenge and because Froelich had loved his older brother, Joe, a Secret Service colleague killed in a botched operation. As Reacher pieces together an increasingly frustrating puzzle, Child ratchets up the excitement with several breathtaking set pieces, including a Thanksgiving dinner for D.C.'s homeless that turns deadly, a jaw-dropping coup de th tre and a slam-bang finale in Wyoming's mountains. He even extracts tension from mundane events, as when Reacher searches for clues on a security video of an office cleaning crew. The novel's detailed insider's view of political skullduggery is certain to intrigue readers, and the various characters' relationships, handled with careful restraint, provide an added layer the growing attachment between Froelich and Reacher; both characters' recollections of Joe; Reacher's regard for Frances Neagley, a former colleague whom he calls in for help. And then there's Reacher himself, the stolid, flawed man's man who gives no quarter on any level. Indeed, the novel's final line serves as a pr cis of this quietly fascinating character: "He headed west for the Port Authority and a bus out of town." This Child's play will be a tough act to follow. (May) Forecast: A selection of BOMC, the Literary Guild and Mystery Guild, this Reacher adventure is poised to be Child's bestselling one to date. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Only Jack Reacher stands between Vice President-elect Brook Armstrong and his would-be assassins. But that's enough, because taking out bad guys is what highly skilled ex-military policeman Reacher does best. Recruited by M.E. Froelich, new head of the Secret Service VP detail and former lover of Jack's late brother Joe, Reacher enlists the aid of former U.S. Army master sergeant Frances Neagley, who's as pretty as she is potentially deadly. But it is Reacher alone who finds significance in the hyphen in a death threat and checks out the odd oil on a fingerprint as he puts together the pieces and zeroes in on the killers who are after Armstrong. The political scene adds interest to Child's trademark intricate plotting, and, in his sixth adventure (after Echo Burning), Reacher becomes an even more rounded character, revealing some of his background as his intelligence, intuition, and physical prowess all shine. Child's Jack Reacher thrillers get better every time, and this is a knockout. Essential for popular fiction collections. [BOMC, Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Doubleday Book Club selections.] Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
When the newly elected Vice President's life is threatened, the Secret Service runs to nomadic soldier-of-fortune Jack Reacher (Echo Burning, 2001, etc.) in this razor-sharp update of The Day of the Jackal and In the Line of Fire that's begging to be filmed. Why Reacher? Because M.E. Froelich, head of the VP's protection team, was once a colleague and lover of his late brother Joe, who'd impressed her with tales of Jack's derring-do as an Army MP. Now Froelich and her Brooks Brothers-tailored boss Stuyvesant have been receiving a series of anonymous messages threatening the life of North Dakota Senator/Vice President-elect Brook Armstrong. Since the threats may be coming from within the Secret Service's own ranks-if they aren't, it's hard to see how they've been getting delivered-they can't afford an internal investigation. Hence the call to Reacher, who wastes no time in hooking up with his old friend Frances Neagley, another Army vet turned private eye, first to see whether he can figure out a way to assassinate Armstrong, then to head off whoever else is trying. It's Reacher's matter-of-fact gift to think of everything, from the most likely position a sniper would assume at Armstrong's Thanksgiving visit to a homeless shelter to the telltale punctuation of one of the threats, and to pluck helpers from the tiny cast who can fill the remaining gaps because they aren't idiots or stooges. And it's Child's gift to keep tightening the screws, even when nothing's happening except the arrival of a series of unsigned letters, and to convey a sense of the blank impossibility of guarding any public figure from danger day after highly exposed day, and the dedication and heroism of the agents whotake on this daunting job. Relentlessly suspenseful and unexpectedly timely: just the thing for Dick Cheney's bedside reading wherever he's keeping himself these days. Book-of-the-Month Club/Literary Guild/Mystery Guild selection; author tour