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Publisher's Summary

Number one New York Times best seller • Jack Reacher is back in a brand-new thriller from acclaimed number one best-selling authors Lee Child and Andrew Child.

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.

©2021 Lee Child and Andrew Child (P)2021 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Better Off Dead

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I Don't Know This Jack

Four audiobooks ago, Scott Brick became the new voice of Jack Reacher and, since then, the tough, no nonsense character created by Dick Hill has disappeared. I can remember every time Hill would say, "Reacher said nothing," it was like getting punched in the gut. For me, it became the signature of all 22 Reacher novels that Hill voiced.

Reacher, as characterized by Brick is whiny and soft and not a Reacher that I recognize. Scott Brick as Reacher is the audiobook equivalent of casting Tom Cruise as Reacher - totally inappropriate.

I would hope that the brothers Child will eventually come to understand the damage that this miscasting is visiting upon the audiobook versions of their work . . . and realize that there are actors like R.C. Bray and Ray Porter that are much more suitable to voicing Reacher than Scott Brick.

One more thing: Reacher, as written by Andrew Child is a much different character than the Reacher fashioned by the heart and intellect of Lee Child. Andrew's Reacher is less thoughtful, less obsessively calculating and more casually violent than big brother's Jack.

And therein lies the rub - narration aside, I don't really like this new Reacher. I think I might be better off leaving him in the rear view mirror of my reading and listening experiences - and moving on or maybe going back and rereading The Killing Floor, where I first met and fell in love with the real Jack Reacher.

148 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Way to go Andrew Child!!!!

This book has a great start. Reacher is walking down a deserted road and comes across a woman he presumed is dead behind the wheel of a rather dilapidated ex army vehicle. She’s not dead, she is waiting for someone to come and try to kill her. Instead she ends up with Reacher offering his assistance. She believes her twin brother has been murdered. Reacher being the man he is has to offer his assistance. She’s ex military so is her brother.
I’ve noticed from reviews on other sites that people have complained about Reacher’s age and they don’t believe that he would be able to fight the way he does. Since I’m the same age he is, I like to think that he can. It’s ok to suspend believability every now and then. It makes the story more exciting. Should Reacher come rolling up in a manual chair with bulging arm muscles and then kick the stuffing out of a bad guy? Less believable? More exciting? Hmmm...
I think Lee Child’s brother Andrew has done an commendable job stepping into his brother’s shoes. I would much rather see him take over as long as he can continue the series in the same vein then see the series come to a finale. This is one of my favorite series so I’m all for Andrew picking it up and running.
Scott Brick... need I say more? I do think there are narrators more like Dick Hill who would be a better fit for the character but I have no complaints about the narrative.
This book has my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.

109 people found this helpful

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RIP Reacher

I have read every Reacher novel. Anticipated the new releases and been sad when I read them too quickly and they were over. One of my all time favorite characters. The character in this novel is a guy from an overwrought spy novel. He is not Jack Reacher. It’s been coming for a while but I have continued to buy every new release in hopes the real Reacher showed up again. Unfortunately, this will be my last Reacher purchase. You had a great run Mr Jack Reacher. Rest In Peace.

69 people found this helpful

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Major Disappointment

Hard to believe this is actually a Jack Reacher story and equally hard to believe it could have been written by Lee Child, if in fact it was. After waiting over a year looking forward to picking up where the long string of prior great Reacher novels left off, this book is written so differently it's hard to shake the feeling it had to be written by someone else, perhaps Andrew Child? Told in the first person seems very strange and the narration leaves a lot to be desired. Leaves me seriously doubting if I'll be interested in continuing the Reacher saga. Very disappointed.

63 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I'm sad.

For the first time, I didn't like a Reacher book. I have all of them. Dick Hill is Reacher. Scott Brick didn't pull it off. The story line wasn't necessarily hard to follow, but it wasn't exciting or intriguing. So, it got lost in my own thoughts.

Maybe next time.

56 people found this helpful

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Definitely not the original Reacher

You can definitely tell this was not written by Lee Child. Reacher feels like a generic action hero. I’m disappointed, but hopeful that Andrew will work out the kinks in future novels.
The narrator is not the best either. It just does not feel like Reacher.

38 people found this helpful

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Rip off

I waited forever it seems for this book….what a disappointment. There was no character development. No lead up or the usual back story to get the reader involved. No Reacher humor. Nothing but fighting and killing. 9 hours of fighting and killing. It got so that I was hoping the female lead would get a bullet in her head. Plus, I dislike first person narratives.

36 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Reacher is dead. Long live Reacher.

Where to start? I must say I was looking forward to someone taking the reigns, as it was obvious that Lee Child had called in the two previous books. There were moments where I felt a glimmer of hope, but the ridiculously plotted story line, the newly plotted stupidity of the main character. The moments when the author seemed to feel he'd been more clever than the audience? Reacher is dead. Don't bother.

36 people found this helpful

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8:22…that’s how long I made it.

This is going to be as bad as the last book.

I’ll buy the next book that doesn’t have Andrew on the cover.

32 people found this helpful

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  • km
  • 10-28-21

Really?

Lee Child books are getting worse, trying to do too much, save the world every few days. Ugh.

19 people found this helpful