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Worth Dying For: A Reacher Novel    by Lee Child order for
Worth Dying For
by Lee Child
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

After barely surviving an underground blast in his last adventure Jack Reacher just wants a little time to heal as he heads back to the east coast to have coffee with his intriguing military counterpart, Susan, the woman who helped him stymie the bad guys back in Minnesota. Unfortunately, his trek through snowy Nebraska is delayed when Jack stops to overnight in a tiny town and gets involved with the Duncan clan.

It all begins when the local doctor refuses to treat one of his patients, who is suffering from a bad nose bleed. Knowing that this type of malady could have any number of causes, including abuse, Jack forces the drunken doctor to make a house call. The patient, Mrs. Eleanor Duncan, does not thank Reacher for his concern, saying the visit will probably result in yet another beating at the hands of her husband, Seth. Curious about the Duncan family dynamic, Jack does a little research and soon discovers that the three aging bachelor brothers and their adopted son Seth run a successful trucking company that has all the corn farmers in the county in a stranglehold.

Certain that the Duncans didn't get filthy rich just from their monopoly on the local corn crops, Jack digs deeper and discovers that the brothers are also involved in illegal trafficking - and very likely responsible for the decades-old disappearance of a local eight year old girl. He just needs to prove it. When a couple of minor Las Vegas drug lords and their hit men come gunning, it takes every bit of Jack's cunning - plus a little bit of luck - to stay alive long enough to expose the Duncans for what they really are.

While this was another crackerjack story in the popular Jack Reacher series, I still have a bit of a problem with the timeline - or lack thereof - after Reacher is caught in the fiery underground blast in the cliff hanger ending of 61 Hours. Other than discussing his injuries with the town doctor, there's no mention of how Jack managed to survive his fiery ordeal. Let's hope Child addresses these questions in upcoming instalments as Jack makes his way back to the east coast to hook up with the mysterious Susan.

That aside, Jack is definitely back with a vengeance in Worth Dying For as the ex-military cop once again doles out his special brand of justice to a particularly nasty bunch of villains. The plot does get a little convoluted at times when Jack finds himself seriously outnumbered, yet manages to outsmart or out punch all bad guys. Even so, I enjoyed every moment of Jack's latest adventure and I suspect all the other Reacher Creatures out there did too.

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