I'm a big fan of Lee Child and his rogue, justice-dealing loner, Reacher. In "Nothing to Lose", Reacher must solve the mystery of a remote town, Despair, whose people seem unaccountably keen to see the back of him. This makes the plot reminiscent of the first Jack Reacher, "Killing Floor". Indeed, the whole plot is uncomfortably formulaic and reminiscent of earlier Lee Child thrillers, from Reacher shacking up with an interesting loner female to his final assault on a stronghold defended by some tough guys. I hoped desperately for some twists or intriguing characters, but in vain. Indeed, the plot conceit of having two neighbouring towns entitled "Hope" (decent place) and "Despair" (dump) was symptomatic of what feels like the author's need to let a second pair of eyes edit this down to something tighter and better (see eg "Tripwire" or "Echo Burning"). I'd have liked to another outing for Reacher's best female sidekick, the enigmatic Neagly, too (see "Without Fail" and "Bad Luck and Trouble"). And Reacher's terrific, ironic sense of humour, as seen in "The Enemy" seems to have deserted him.
So why 4 stars? Well, it's still a decent read, and moves along briskly enough. But c'mon Lee Child, you can do better than this!
For: an OK read. Against: slow-moving and formulaic in places.