It's just a coincidence that I read this in November, during an election year. But it's kind of cool that I did. Reacher is contacted by a U.S. Secret Service agent to help with some threats against the new Vice President's life.
Apparently, the problem is sort of complex so the agent needs input from an outside source. Naturally, she gets the help of an unemployed drifter. Of course, who wouldn't? But wait-- not so strange after all, since this agent was Jack Reacher's brother's ex-girlfriend. So she has an idea of his capabilities. She's also still hung up on Jack's brother Joe (who was found dead in Reacher#1, of course.).
Overall, the plot was okay, but maybe not one of Child's more action-oriented pieces. A lot of investigating but I didn't feel like Reacher had a very proactive role in much of the story. The inclusion of Neagley, Reacher's Master Sergeant in the army, was nice. She's a badass in her own right. A big point of interest for me was learning more about Reacher's relationship with his brother. He is surprisingly dispassionate and matter-of-fact about Joe's death, but I get the sense he's suppressing a lot of regret over their years apart. That's Dr. Krycek's psychoanalysis.
I appreciate Child's sparse prose more and more. Don't try to make it pretty, just the facts. Fact is, he does quite a lot with it and I enjoy the quick bits of dry humor that sometimes show through. I still love to read masters of beautiful prose, like McCarthy, but that's not why I pick up a Reacher novel.
To sum up, Without Fail
was good, but then I generally feel that there aren't any terrible Reacher books, for what they are. I've enjoyed most all I've read. Without Fail
didn't have as much of the gripping tension, complex plotting or bone busting brutal action as some of the other titles. Still, especially if you are a Reacher fan, you won't be disappointed.