Reviews of Worth Dying For (2010)
Review by michael a draper (2011-03-12)
"Worth Dying For" is more than just another thriller. In a sense it is a morality tale with good against a despicable evil.
The premise of Jack Reacher arriving in a small Nebraska town and helping the defenseless residents was alluring.
Reacher is pitted against the Duncan family who have strong-armed the local population into submission. The town sank into its sesspool of lethargy and neglect so slowly that it happened before they were aware of it. There are no police in the town. The county police are sixty miles away and attempt to avoid the Duncan area whenever possible.
As the story continued, I began to feel that there was almost a Biblical component to Reacher. He becomes Sampson, using his towering strength to battle the Duncans, who represent the Philestines. The Duncans utilize a group of powerful enforcers to guarantee that the Duncans were obeyed. The reader wonders if this Sampson/Reacher character could evoke his power against the Duncan gang that had caused such unhappiness in the community.
Once Reacher takes a stand against the Duncans, he is prevented from leaving the town. The goal of the Duncans is to make him pay for daring to challange their supreme authority.
Further layers are revealed. The Duncans are awaiting a shipment of a commodity that is unknown to the reader but is in great demand by the Duncans and those to whom the Duncans supply. Members of the groups being supplied attempt to gain an upper hand and contribute additional forces to help with Reacher's capture and elimination.
The novel moves swiftly as Reacher attempts to have a small group of the town's people have some backbone and stand up against their persecutors.
The scenario is well described and tension grows as the shipment is getting closer to being delivered while the evil forces have banned together against Reacher.
This is a well done novel that adds to Reacher's legend. It is enjoyable to the end with some well placed surprises.