Nothing to Lose by Lee Child

Lee Child has a knack of writing books that despite being clichéd and predictable are somehow un-put-downable, fresh and exciting. Quite how he does this is mystery to me – notwithstanding the ten or so Jack Reacher novels I have read. At their best they are thrillers that you keep reading well into the night – sacrificing sleep to see what twist or thrill Jack Reacher will encounter, and how he will deal with it in his usual imperturbable manner. And therein lies the problem with Nothing to Lose – at their best these novels are great,  but this is anything but Lee Child at his best. It retains all of the cliché but none of the wit, all of the stereotypes with none of the surprise. The plot is overcomplicated, incomprehensible and implausible. There are not one, but several, conspiracies. The antagonists are less than paper-thin: one dimensional with not even an attempt at describing their motivation. There is much more that is wrong with this book – I could go on, but instead I recommend you read one of the other Jack Reacher novels, such as Killing Floor or The Hard Way.

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~ by Doug Newdick on April 13, 2008.

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