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Without Fail (Jack Reacher, No. 6)
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Product Description

What better way to test the security surrounding a U.S. vice president-elect than to hire someone skilled in the killing arts to penetrate his protection? Assassination strategy, though, is only part of the assignment facing Jack Reacher in Without Fail. This restive, blunt-edged ex-military cop must also determine whether recent threats against VP-to-be Senator Brook Armstrong are legitimate or are primarily intended to embarrass the perfectionist head of Armstrong's new Secret Service detail, M.E. Froelich, who happens to have been a girlfriend of Reacher's late brother.

If Without Fail lacks the emotional urgency of Lee Child's previous novel, Echo Burning, it still barely lets the reader catch a decent breath between plot crests. Jack and his fetching yet formidable colleague, Frances Neagley, must figure out how warning letters to Armstrong are being delivered into the Secret Service sanctum, whether the senator is at risk because of something political or personal, and who staged the demonstration murders of two innocent men also named Armstrong, first initial B. Unfortunately, a few twists (including the source of a thumbprint applied to the threats against Armstrong) can be figured out in advance, and the story is light on character development. A tiny breach in Reacher's reclusive carapace opens as Froelich transfers the love she once felt for his brother toward him, and there are suggestions that Neagley may have depths of feeling just waiting to be plumbed. However, other players are mere ciphers--the sacrificial victims of an action-oriented yarn. --J. Kingston Pierce

A covert group of assassins has the Vice President of the United States in their sights. They've planned well. There's just one thing they didn't plan on: Jack Reacher.

Customer Reviews:

  • Favourite so far
    I've recently discovered the Jack Reacher series - this is the third I've read and by far the best. I enjoyed all of them but loved the side of Reacher that we see in this novel. A little more cerebral and little more emotional.

    The complexity of his emotions in relation to his brother was enlightening. The plot was intriguing and the characters engaging.

    Only two criticisms - one was the fate of the kindnapped wife of the FBI techo was a little unbelievable given the brutality of the other crimes these two committed. Also, I found it hard to believe the motivation behind the crime. Do people really hang on to a grudge that strongly and for so long?...more info

  • Layer Upon Layer of Mystery and Violence
    This is a complex thriller, and in it we see Jack Reacher a little differently than we have in previous outings. He has been asked by a woman who was involved with his now-dead brother to help her find weak spots in the Secret Service protection of a newly-elected Vice-President. This meeting with M.E. Froehlich opens up a little of Jack's history to us and the life that he and his older brother led while they were growing up as army brats in various army bases throughout the world. We also see Jack request the aid of a former co-worker from the army. Neagley is the female equivalent of Jack - brilliant, well-trained and oh so cool. Jack and Neagley make a formidable team. Not only do they find the weaknesses in the Secret Service protection detail, they hunt down and take retribution themselves on the bad guys that not only threatened the Vice-President, but who hurt and killed people who were close to them. Child's writing is spare and chilling. Yes there is violence, but it's not over-drawn and seems to flow as part of the story and helps build the terrible tension that is simmering throughout the whole book. His form of writing keeps the reader hurriedly turning pages to find out what happens next....more info
  • Another Lee Child Success
    I have read most of Lee Child's works and liked them all, but found Without Fail to be the best yet. Jack Reacher continues to entertain within the many plot twists and turns. I highly recommend all to the Reacher series books and especially this one....more info
  • Favorite new Author
    LOVE Jack Reacher. Loved all the books, except maybe the Persuader... But all the ones that precede that one are well worth your time....more info
  • Cardboard characters and preposterous plotline
    Come on. Jack Reacher, hired by a top secret service field officer to "consult" and beef up the security afforded our vice-president, is given no ear piece with which to communicate with the other secret service agents he is ostensibly monitoring and spends over 90% of the book carrying around a ceramic knife rather than a gun. This leads to some really preposterous moments like when Jack, sensing someone is in a church belfry noisily climbs ladders pirate-like with his knife in his teeth and thinking thoughts of how surprised the bad guy's going to be when invincible Jack bursts through the trap door. Most of this book is concerned with letting us know that Jack is really a tough guy and his ex-military female side-kick is . . . my gosh, even TOUGHER. Disappointing....more info
  • Well Written & Enthralling
    This was my second Reacher novel. The first being The Persuader. While action starts well over 100 pages into it, the first 100 pages are neither fluff nor boring. They set the story line well. The characters are very believable & like-able. Mr. Child keeps the reader in suspense from beginning to end; and does it well. There are twists & turns which lead to dead ends. In turn, other avenues need to be explored. The reason for the assassination attempts is strange, but provides a good twist. I'll not reveal any part of the story. However, once you pick this up, you'll have a difficult time putting it down. It's an excellent thriller ...more info
  • Reacher is the Man
    Jack Reacher kicks butt. He may be a loner. But alone, he is a one man army. He does what most of us wish we could do. This book is fantastic. Read the whole series....more info
  • First time I have read Child...
    This was recommended by a book club, and never having read anything by the author, decided to give it a try.
    What a great story...suspenseful, technically intriguing with interesting characters! Jack Reacher is the mysterious hero, with savvy and smarts, defying all stereotypes. The plot builds slowly until about 3 quarters through, then the mystery resolves, but the action and suspense intensifies. At the end, the villains' motives and the time they have to do all this may be a bit of a stretch, but still plausible. A great read and look forward to reading more of Child's stories....more info
  • How do you keep the most powerful people in the world alive?
    How do you keep the most powerful people in the world alive? Not only is this a daunting task, it may be impossible. Lee Child's WITHOUT FAIL takes character Jack Reacher to his most challenging task yet - keeping the vice president alive. However, in true Jack Reacher fashion, this isn't about protection, it's about offense--find the killers before they are successful.

    Child does a masterful job at taking us into the secret service and the issues, concerns, and challenges faced by an agency with an impossible task. A task they perform day in and day out successfully. After reading this novel, you will have a greater appreciation for just how successful the real secret service is.

    While the premise alone is enough to carry this face paced novel forward, the exploration of Reacher's character provides a compelling depth to this novel. At times Reacher seems almost super human with his confidence and ability to anticipate exactly what the bad guys might do. But it is his relationship with M.E. Froelich, a secret service agent whose previous romantic involvement with Reacher's dead brother, provides the ever so subtle glimpses into his otherwise stoic persona.
    WIHTOUT FAIL is a wonderful thriller that will keep you reading well into the night.

    ...more info
  • Routine Reacher offering
    I like the Jack Reacher series, but this one is pretty average at best. It grabbed my attention at first , but thereafter it was decent but not very gripping. The whodunit was revealed about halfway through, so the rest of the book was just sort of killing time until the Big Showdown between Reacher and the baddies. The book did finally build to a modestly exciting finale.

    I've been reading this series in order, and along with Running Blind, this is probably the weakest entry. The first one, Killing Floor, is still the best, and Echo Burning was also very good. ...more info
  • Without Fail
    This is another outstanding Jack Reacher novel. One of my favorite characters and authors. I have read every one and would recommend it highly. Very interesting and well thought out....more info
  • Pretty good but gun lore sadly lacking
    I thought this was a pretty good adventure tale, which got better as it went along. My biggest beef is that the author really needs a firearms consultant. Numerous errors in this regard ruined the ending a bit for me. I can handle an author who thinks there are safeties on Glocks, but [SPOILER ALERT] guns that just go click instead of discharging for no reason, other than it's been sitting in a drawer for five years, and the hero expected that? I thought he was going to say he removed the firing pin, which would have been rude, but at least comprehensible. And supposed army veterans going into battle with their pockets full of loose rounds of ammunition? Ever heard of extra magazines?...more info
  • Reacher on the government payroll again??
    Lee Child's "Without Fail" has a slightly different onset than his previous novels. Ex-MP major Jack Reacher, for once hasn't inadvertantly stumbled into a quagmire requiring his expertise and skills, he's being sought out. Secret Service agent M.E. Froelich is relentlessly pursuing him. Froelich, a former girlfriend of Reacher's deceased U.S, Treasury agent brother, Joe, has just been promoted to command the entourage sworn to protect Vice President elect Brook Armstrong. Apparently during pillow talk, Joe bragged that his younger brother Jack would be the perfect individual to test the efficiency of the protective Secret Service net surrounding a high ranking government figure.

    Froelich, remembering Joe's boast and now being in a position to authorize this type of audit was seeking out Reacher. She ultimately convinces Reacher to secretly stalk the V.P. and try to uncover opportunities to broach security and do him harm. Reacher recruits ex-Army master sergeant and lethal and capable colleague Frances Neagley to work with him.

    During their mission Reacher and Neagley discover that the audit was a charade. The Secret Service has apparently been infiltrated and there actually have been threats made on the life of V.P. elect Armstrong. At the urging of Froelich's boss, Agent Stuyvesant they join with the Secret Service to help eradicate this dangerous threat to security. Reacher fans can imagine what happens next!

    Suffice to say that Lee Child is an extraordinary entertaining writer....more info

  • An excellent book. The first that I've read by this author..
    But not the last one I'll read by this author. Lee Child has set up a tight story with many twists and turns. The action is fast and the plot raises and barely gives you time to catch your breath before it raises again. The ending is superb and fascinating. This is absolutely well worth reading.

    Enjoy....more info

  • As good as the genre gets
    Jack Reacher returns in this lengthy and compelling thriller revolving around the Secret Service. Upon the recommendation (and reputation) of his deceased brother - who was a former Treasury agent - Reacher is asked to perform a security audit on the Vice President's security detail. Ostensibly, the reason is simply to validate the new team's level of preparedness. But nothing is quite as it seems - and Reacher soon understands that there are very real, very imminent threats against the VP.

    We encounter Neagley - another ex-Military Cop; Froelich, the talented (and attractive) head of the VP's Secret Service detail; Stuvesyant, Froelich's hard-edged boss and a cast of others. All in all, a pretty interesting lot. But, simply put, it is the storyline - not the characters - that stand out.

    Unlike some of Child's previous works, the bad guys remain shrouded in mystery almost throughout. Tracking their steps along with the Federal Agents, we feel much of the same frustration, indignity, and anger that they feel. Ultra-competent, the would-be assassins are able to elude the perimeter defenses of the VP on multiple occasions. The tension mounts as the threats become more and more tangible, affecting other Secret Service employees and finally threatening the lives of the protaganists themselves.

    Child has done an exceptional job. If you enjoy thrillers, find "Without Fail" today and move it to the top of your queue. Child definitely has not failed with this exceptional novel....more info

  • No Strain on the Brain, Just Fast-Paced Adventure - A Real Blast
    Lee Child's Jack Reacher stories came to me highly recommended from a respected source. I tried The Enemy (Jack Reacher Novels) and decided that was not the place to start (it tells Reacher's back story). Without Fail, on the other hand, is simply a great bit of fun reading. Some violence, some sex, some conspiracy, some mystery. Excellent pacing.

    Reacher is brought in to test the Secret Service's security for VP-elect. He finds holes, but, hey protecting the VP is a tough job. And then, of course, he is told there is more going on behind the scenes and he really gets to work. You'll need to suspend disbelief now and again, but you'll get over it.

    Without Fail will entertain without putting a strain on your brain. Lee Child is not John Le Carre, but this is a great airport/beach read. A real blast.
    ...more info
  • Wouldn't happen!
    Going to a civilian to "red team" an operation? A female MP NCO whose specialty is neck breaking? Loading a pistol's magazine one-handed? (That I'd like to see.) All Reacher is lacking is a cape and X-Ray vision. (Added after finishing the book.) "On the click." Reacher is dead. The condition of the magazine spring has nothing to do with firing the first round once it has been chambered....more info