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Without Fail
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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

"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."

Customer Reviews:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Just Didn't Quite Grab Me
    I am a big fan of Lee Child. He's arguably the greatest mystery writer around today but this book just did not quite grab my attention like the others. One of the biggest knocks on Child is that he spends too much time on minute details. In this book, he spent an enormous amount of time on the smallest of details. The constant review of the videotape filming the Secret Service cleaners got to be nerve wracking. In fact, I was tempted to just skip ahead of all of that because it was a pain.

    In my view, this book is probably one of Child's weaker efforts. ...more info
  • Classic Jack
    As always, I read this book in a few days. This book probably did not have all of the twists at the end the other books had, but the twists in the middle more than made up for it. This book was very original in plot and classic in how Jack acts and thinks. I love how Child has not changed Reacher throughout the series. He's the same ol' Reacher with the same vigilante principles that he has always had - mess with me or somebody I know, I'm gonna mess with you, but ten-fold. This book had good characters, too - loved Neagley! Sensual scene with her and Jack I loved as well. I am always impressed with Child's writing style and the way it makes me want more and more and how his twists all come together. Although I guess a few parts in this book, this book is highly recommended - of course, if you have read the first 5 in the series, I know you will definitely read this anyway. While some series fizzle (like James Patterson's Alex Cross series!), this one is standing as strong as its main character!...more info
  • Will need supernatural power for suspension of disbelief!
    Anytime you read Mr. Child you really have to work overtime to keep your disbelief under wraps. In his last novel he had the FBI breaking laws right and left and treating Reacher like he was a puppet at their mercy. This time it's the Secret Service but they treat Jack like he's the Second Coming and can't seem to come up with an idea or a move unless he suggests it. I mean they are hanging onto his every word. It's well known that neither of these organizations would happily work with civilians anyway but that's where that willing suspension of disbelief comes in. We want Jack to be appreciated by these people so we'll go along with them using his great talents.

    But then there are such CLUNKERS that you get knocked right out of storyland and start shaking your head in wonder that Mr. Child makes such lame mistakes or that his editor doesn't catch them. For instance: Reacher is quite pleased that he wanders around the country with neither driver's license nor I.D. Yet he picks up a wad of cash at Western Union. Sorry folks, no I.D., no getting the moolah. Elementary.

    And then we have the assassination attempt. The Secret Service boss calls one of their researchers to come in immediately. Anyone doubt that the researcher would be heading in immediately? Nope, he whines that he needs at least two more hours at his Thanksgiving dinner. Excuse me? Our V.P. has been shot at and two agents are dead, but this guy is going to continue eating turkey? Yeah, that was a turkey all right. Then the boss also says agents will be thin around there because he has given them 24 hours off and he's not calling them back in because the V.P. can't sleep. CLUNK! Can we suspend our disbelief that any agent would be taking off the day an assassination is foiled? I think not. I can't list any of the other clunkers without giving away too much of the action but there are far too many from such a talented writer.

    Nevertheless, I keep reading his books because I really like Reacher. The business of him throwing away good clothes is getting a little old though but at least he wore clean clothes every day in this one. And his new sidekick was quite interesting and here's hoping we see her again in the future.

    ...more info
  • Without Fail
    Another good Lee Childs book...the protagonist, Reacher, is not a deep guy...he's smart, ruthless, single minded and honest but not particularly introspective...that's fine because he's smart and he's tough and he prevails against the bad guys...if I want psychological depth I'll read something more challenging...this is escape stuff for men...kind of like watching a good, smash mouth football game......more info
  • Fine 6th Jack Reacher -- Secret Service thriller !!
    We have read the entire Lee Child / Jack Reacher series, so obviously we enjoy these action packed thrillers about nice guy, smart guy, ex-MP Reacher. "Without Fail" is no exception, and a fast start -- a near-miss assassination attempt on Vice President-elect Armstrong -- soon leads the Secret Service to haul in Jack to act as a consultant and help them try to penetrate their security surrounding the veep so that they can plug any loopholes. Using an old Army friend, tough gal Frances Neagley, and teaming up (after hours as well!) with M.E. Froelich, who heads the responsible SS security team, Reacher is soon puzzling over hand delivered messages and video tapes before the more proactive action gets things heated up. That Froelich is an ex-lover of Jack's now deceased brother Joe only adds to the intrigue and gets Jack more involved emotionally than usual. Before it's over, a wild movie-like SUV chase out in Montana snow country finally leads to the real perpetrators. And who will get who in the end?

    The Reacher series is loaded with clever plots, non-stop action and thrills. Rarely a dull moment keeps paging turning quickly; and Child's satisfying endings, often involving vigilante justice on the part of our hero to set things straight, rarely fail to please. While the premise of this one seemed a little less plausible than his other novels, Child's inside look at the Secret Service served as a good foil for Reacher. We wouldn't mind seeing more of his sidekick Neagley in future books; and as usual, this story just leaves us anxious for the next Jack Reacher outing!
    ...more info
  • Excellent
    We need more Jack Reacher types in this country since the younger generation turning out to be a bunch of sissies. After reading this book, Lee Childs became another one of my favorite writers. If you like suspense this is a must read...more info
  • Seems like each new book is the best....
    This is the 7th Jack Reacher book I've read. I didn't get to a good start having begun with NOTHING TO LOSE but having now read the first six of the series, I understand why the popularity.I'm especially impressed with the sheer craftsmanship of these adventures. Just when I think I have the series pegged, Child comes up with a plot development I'm not expecting.It seems to me that this has the most heart of any I've read so far. The romance certainly has a twist, the woman in question having been in love with Reacher's older brother and transferring her affection over to Jack. And then there's Frances Naigley, a former associate of Reacher's and strictly platonic.The main plot has Reacher helping the secret service foil an assassination plot aginst the UsS. Vice president elect. A major complication is the fact that the veep is unaware of the threats being made. This is a real nailbiter, and my favorite so far although I wonder if that's just because it's the one I've just read and if one of the previous ones would instead be my favorite if it were the last one I've read.Whatever, this defiintely is a must read if you're looking for action that's loads of fun, but still has a deeper insight....more info
  • The Day of Jack Reacher
    While Frederick Forsyth's "The Day of the Jackal" is the classic assassination thriller, Lee Child hits another home run with "Without Fail", a page turner with all the technical accuracy of `Jackal" and the extra dose of adrenaline one would expect from Lee Child. Child's hulking loner Jack Reacher certainly has the mind of an assassin, and in "Without Fail", he is contracted by Secret Service agent M.E. Froelich to audit the security for the Vice President of the United States, the target of a threatened assassination. Froelich happens to be the former lover of Reacher's older brother, Joe, the former Treasury Department agent killed in action years before. What follows is an extremely credible portrayal of the US Secret Service and the challenges they face in protecting the holders of our highest public offices. As with all Child/Reacher novels, this one is well researched rich in detail. But just as the detail begins to hint at tedium, Child metes out another measure of plot twist, keeping the reader anxiously waiting for the next installment. Lee Child is a true student of pace, understanding the fine balance between plot development and action. Reacher's no-nonsense perspective on justice, crime and punishment is faithfully intact, but in "Without Fail", we meet Reacher's female equivalent, the formidable and lethal Frances Neagley, an ex-Army buddy of Reacher's. Like Child's hero, this is an austere, blunt, and powerful novel, ultimately predictable but never disappointing along the way. Entertainment in print simply does not get much better than this....more info
  • Lee Child's Withoult Fail
    Very good, interesting, intriguing, holding the reader's attention. And as in all of Lee Child's books - big surprise at the end....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