Imagine walking innocently down the street, a pretty woman hobbled by an injury is struggling out of a dry cleaners store. You offer your assistance. She smiles. Then two armed men take you both prisoner. We’d probably freak out, but we are not Jack Reacher. In Die Trying by Lee Child, Reacher is kidnapped by thugs and driven for days in the back of a van with this woman, obviously a woman dear to someone very important; oh and she’s a trained FBI agent.
“The handgun was a nine-millimeter automatic. It was brand-new. It was oiled. It was held low, lined up right on his old scar. The guy holding it looked more or less like he knew what he was doing. The safety mechanism was released. There was no visible tremor in the muzzle. No tension. The trigger finger was ready to go to work. Reacher could see that. He was concentrating hard on that trigger finger.”
They caught a tiger by the tail when they pulled Jack Reacher into the waiting car with the woman. At six feet five inches, he was a trained machine. In this the second in the series, he is just wandering after being discharged from the armed forces and gets thrust into the middle of a bizarre plot to destabilize America. Their mistake.
“Everything had changed. He had changed. He lay and felt the old anger inside him grinding like gears. Cold, implacable anger. Uncontrollable. They had made a mistake. They had changed him from a spectator into an enemy. A bad mistake to make. They had pushed open the forbidden door, not knowing what would come bursting back out at them. He lay there and felt like a ticking bomb they were carrying deep into the heart of their territory. He felt the flood of anger, and thrilled with it, and savored it, and stored it up.”
As with the first in the series, we are getting to know the character of Jack Reacher. He is a hero, but also quite dangerous…to his enemies. His acquired skills put his enemies at a disadvantage, a disadvantage that he exploits. I’m looking forward to the third in the series.