Without Fail

Without Fail

Book - 2002
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With each new book, more and more join the chorus of praise for "one of the most original and daring heroes in suspense fiction" (The Providence Journal-Bulletin), Lee Child's ex-military cop Jack Reacher. In Without Fail, Reacher is approached by a Secret Service agent who needs a favor. "I want to hire you to assassinate the Vice President of the United States," she asks. She is the newly appointed head of the VP's security detail and wants Reacher to try to penetrate her team's shield. He has the skills and the stealth, and no one knows him. How else can she be sure her protection is truly effective? What she doesn't tell Reacher-but what he soon discovers-is that a very determined and deadly team of assassins has just put the VP in its sights. These men have planned well, but they haven't planned on Reacher. For only Reacher has the head and the heart to corner his prey and bring them to justice-without fail.
ISBN: 9780399148613
Characteristics: 374 pages ;,24 cm.


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May 28, 2018

I'm reading the paperback edition of this, and there are continuity issues with Jack Reacher's past in this book that indicate either sloppy writing or sloppy editing.

Jack Reacher‘s back story, as told in his earlier books, is that he grew up the child of a career Marine officer. Marines, not Army. Yet here we have him alternating from reminiscing about being an "Army kid" and about his dad being a career Marine. A few examples:

Chapter 9, page 243: “I was an Army kid,” he said. “I had a lunch box. Mine was an old ammunition case. We all had them. It was considered the thing back then, on the bases. I stenciled my name on it, with a real Army stencil. My mother hated it. Thought it was way too militaristic, for a kid. But she gave me the good stuff to eat anyway.“
Chapter 11, Page 315: “What was so special about your dad?”
“He was a Marine,” he said.
Chapter 12, Page 329: “Sounds like you were a lovely little boy.” (When he was 6 years old)
“It was the Army. Anyplace else they’d have sent me to reform school.”

This may seem trivial to some, but as an Army vet with Marine vet friends, I can tell you that it matters to those who served.

Oct 29, 2017

i enjoyed the book and Reacher

Feb 28, 2017

Good look at the way the Secret Service operates. Given the expertise of all the Army troops Reacher used to work with it seems difficult to understand how he would ever leave the Army, seems the only place he could ever fit.

Feb 03, 2016

The number of Jack Reacher books is at 20 and this is among the best ones. The narrative gives enough clues that allows the reader to work with the "team" about what the threat is about. The problem is that the narrative is interesting enough that the reader doesn't want to stop and ponder the problem. This is one of the few plots where Reacher is not working solo and the story is better for it. We learn more about his relationship with his brother. Hopefully, one of the future books will reveal what are Jack Reacher's thoughts about the women he meets.

Aug 30, 2014

Slow starting novel but marginally better as one read on. Certainly not his best novel!

Three and a half stars.

May 04, 2014

Child is an exceptionally inventive and compelling storyteller, with his later novels hugely successful. (Just try and find copies at many library branches - you may sit a long while on the wait list!) However while this fairly early work suggested great things to come, I feel that it didn't quite reach four stars. His later ones nailed five each, for my money.

Jan 29, 2013

Having watched the secret service agents protecting the candidates in last year's 2012 POTUS election and during Obama's 2013 inauguration event, details in the book seem realistic, a great suspense fiction from start to finish. (eBook as well)

Nov 29, 2012

Another of Child's sniper stories. This one, however, has Reacher working with 2 trained female agents. One of them had an affair with Joe, Reacher's brother so there is some family connection which spurs Reacher to pursue justice for a victim. The sniper's target, however, is the VP elect. So the story revolves around his protection, the letters which threaten his life, and the identification and capture of the snipers. Due to several political assassinations in recent US history, this story does seem plausible. A page turner right to the end.

Feb 15, 2011

Jack Reacher is like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and The Hulk.
Although some passages in this novel were excessively detailed, overall the story had the trademark Reacher tension, intrigue and brutal violence.

Jul 04, 2008

Another outstanding book by Lee Child. Even though I'm not reading his Jack Reacher series in order, but I'm finding each subsequent novel better than the last one I read. In Without Fail, Child weaves a bit of Reacher's past into the story, giving us another piece of the enigma that is Jack Reacher. I did feel the first one-fourth of the novel was plodding, but when the action picks up, it's like a wallop upside the head and you won't want to stop reading.


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Jul 04, 2014

Reacher stared out of the window. “We’ve got Beltway disease,” he said. “We’re all caught up in it. We’re not looking at this thing like real people. To almost everybody else out there in the country all these politicians are absolute nobodies. You said it yourself. You said you’re interested in politics but you couldn’t name all hundred senators. And most people are a thousand times less interested than you. Most people wouldn’t recognize another state’s junior senator if he ran up and bit them in the ass ...

Jul 04, 2014

“His thing is like a big pyramid balancing on its point. Very impressive, until it falls over. He’s betting everything on the fact that Armstrong hasn’t been told. But there’s no logic in that. Maybe these guys are targeting Armstrong personally. Maybe they just didn’t know you wouldn’t tell him.”

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