Better Off Dead
A Jack Reacher Novel
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • THE BLOCKBUSTER JACK REACHER SERIES THAT INSPIRED TWO MAJOR MOTION PICTURES AND THE STREAMING SERIES REACHER
Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that morning.
Reacher goes where he wants, when he wants. That morning he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun—until he comes upon a curious scene. A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel.
Dead? No, nothing is what it seems.
The woman is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people. Most of them would rather die than betray their terrifying leader, who has burrowed his influence deep into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. The mysterious Dendoncker rules from the shadows, out of sight and under the radar, keeping his dealings in the dark.
He would know the fate of Fenton’s brother.
Reacher is good at finding people who don’t want to be found, so he offers to help, despite feeling that Fenton is keeping secrets of her own. But a life hangs in the balance. Maybe more than one. But to bring Dendoncker down will be the riskiest job of Reacher's life. Failure is not an option, because in this kind of game, the loser is always better off dead.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this Jack Reacher thriller set in the desolate Arizona desert, danger lurks around every corner. Like, even more than usual. After stumbling upon a strange car crash involving a mysterious female military vet, our drifting vigilante hero gets caught up in a quest to stop a paranoid crime boss. Sibling authors Lee and Andrew Child turn this setup into a tense cat-and-mouse game, artfully building up the suspense as Reacher makes some bold moves to entrap his target. With its gunfights and psychological twists—not to mention the bleak, hard-edged border town setting and the seedy, secretive characters who live there—Better Off Dead is a true page-turner. If the Tom Cruise movies have piqued your curiosity about this long-running series, this is a perfect place to dive in.
The Child brothers' superb second collaboration (after 2020's The Sentinel) opens one night at a remote spot on the U.S.-Mexico border, where "the stranger," a large, tall man many will assume is Jack Reacher, has arrived for a meeting. A car drives up, and four men get out. When the driver asks the stranger if he has the money, he pats his back pocket. Then the driver orders the stranger into the car, to take him to someone named Michael. The stranger refuses, saying the deal was for him to be told where Michael is. The stranger gets the best of it in the ensuing fight, until a woman shows up and guns down the stranger. At the morgue, the victim, identified as Reacher, is confirmed dead by the coroner, to the satisfaction of Waad Dendoncker, "the second coming of Al Capone, only with added craziness." Flashbacks explain what led up to the violent confrontation. Smart writing, vivid action scenes, and dramatic twists mark this seamless effort. Even those for whom this is their first Reacher novel will be clamoring for more. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary (U.K.).
Worst Reacher book ever and I have read them all. Total bore until the last 30 pages. Shame
The most boring of all Reacher books. The author spends way too many words describing meaningless objects large and small. This book was so boring I will hesitate to buy another Reacher.
NOT in keeping with the Jack Reacher series
And I thought it couldn’t get worse than casting Tom Cruise as Reacher but it has. Lee’s kid can’t write. This book shows it. This series is dead, stick a fork in it.