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111 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reacher said: "I'm not looking for a search warrant. I'm waiting for dark."
After having Reacher team up with his former army colleagues in "Bad Luck and Trouble", Lee Child has gone back to Reacher's loner roots. "Nothing to Lose" opens with Reacher literally walking into the small town of Despair, Colorado, where he's promptly arrested and run out of town. What are the secrets that the residents of Despair are so desperate to keep hidden...
Published on 2 April 2008 by Julia Flyte

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
I have read a number of Jack Reacher / Lee Child books and generally have fond them very entertaining reads. I therefore took Nothing to Lose on holiday over the half-term to read on the beach. I was extremely disappointed to the extent I nearly considered not finishing the book. It was very slow and stodgy, it felt like the author was filling the pages for the sake of...
Published on 7 Jun 2009 by Lee Bambridge


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111 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reacher said: "I'm not looking for a search warrant. I'm waiting for dark.", 2 April 2008
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
After having Reacher team up with his former army colleagues in "Bad Luck and Trouble", Lee Child has gone back to Reacher's loner roots. "Nothing to Lose" opens with Reacher literally walking into the small town of Despair, Colorado, where he's promptly arrested and run out of town. What are the secrets that the residents of Despair are so desperate to keep hidden? Reacher is equally determined to find out...

The pace of this book is slower than most of the others that Lee Child has written and my feeling is that perhaps it related to a departure from formula. Usually Reacher encounters someone - a former colleague, an attractive woman, a man with a missing wife - with a problem and that creates the momentum. In this book, he simply stumbles on behaviour that he finds odd, and therefore starts investigating. Along the way he teams up with a local policewoman who also provides the obligatory romantic sub-plot. The book keeps you guessing with lots of sub-plots and little mysteries along the way (some of which turn out to be red herrings, but I suppose that adds to the intrigue).

"Nothing to Lose" delivered my much-anticipated "Reacher fix", but it's not Lee Child's best. Although it's a stand-alone novel, I wouldn't recommend starting here if you haven't read any other Lee Child books: you won't get what the fuss is about. I wasn't as absorbed by this one as I have been by the others in the series. The middle section dragged a little, but having said that it's still an easy read that goes down fast and keeps you up turning pages into the night. Probably if it had been another author this would have rated 3 stars for me, but I'm a shameless Reacher fan, so I'm rating it 4 stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 7 Jun 2009
By 
Lee Bambridge - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12) (Paperback)
I have read a number of Jack Reacher / Lee Child books and generally have fond them very entertaining reads. I therefore took Nothing to Lose on holiday over the half-term to read on the beach. I was extremely disappointed to the extent I nearly considered not finishing the book. It was very slow and stodgy, it felt like the author was filling the pages for the sake of it rather than as a development of the plot.

Needless to say I didn't bring the book home to add to my collection - it now resides in the hotels book library !
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really up there, 13 Sep 2010
By 
Sophia "bibliophile" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12) (Paperback)
Just to make it clear, I've read all of the Reacher books and enjoyed them. Unfortunately this reads like someone else in my position had written it.

This was Reacher by rote. He starts out on his way somewhere, everything is not as it seems, he continues on his way and solves a problem that improves people's lives, getting a girl on the way that understands that he isn't the kind of man to be tied down.

It reads like a book deep in a series, which of course it is, but the other Reacher books have always been so enjoyable that this book suffers much in comparison. I liked the concepts and the storyline and there were some good parts but that doesn't add up to a good read.

If, like me, you like to read all the way through a series then you'll read it anyway. If not, skip it, the next one is better.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reacher still good but something is missing, 3 April 2008
By 
Zigurdurs (Riga, Latvia) - See all my reviews
I read all the Reacher books and found them to be entertaining in a testosterone kind of way. You like to feel the rush of righteous punishment when Reacher mercilessly deals out death or beatings in his competent way.
This book, however, feels a bit stretched and by the numbers.
The scenery is somehow more claustrophobic and there is not the same sense of peril. The bad guys seem staggeringly clumsy and Reacher seems to be running circles (literally) around them. Kudos to Reacher but it doesn't make for a very compelling book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Has Reacher (Child) lost his edge?, 22 Jun 2009
By 
J. Harpin - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12) (Paperback)
I'm a massive fan of the Jack Reacher books, but was extremely disappointed by this recent outing. This series isn't exactly breaking any barriers, but they're usually fast-paced, intelligent and sharp books. Unfortunately Nothing to Lose is very slow with perhaps half the 'action' of the average Reacher novel, but twice the 'filling'. The plot was pretty dire - extremely unbelievable, which peaked with the unlikely ending: giving the whole premise a very forced feeling. Very little actually happened from start to finish and whatsmore: Reacher seemed dull - he didn't interact well with the plot and engendered even less interest/affection than usual.

I noticed with the paragraph for the next book (Gone Tomorrow) at the end, it seems that Child has moved back to a 1st person narrative from Reacher, which I seem to remember was used earlier in the series. Hopefully this can invigorate the series a bit, because I'm worried that its becoming stale. Hoping for much better things from the next ones....

Still worth a read if you hooked on Reacher (otherwise you'll just feel like you've missed out), but definitely don't buy it for anyone who isn't already a fan!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first Lee Child book, 25 Sep 2008
This was my first Lee Child book (Just bought the first one). I got into it straight away and was quite shocked to see some of his loyal fans give low scores. Highly recommend this book as the story stayed with me for a long while before I went out and bought the first book. I can only assume some fans have OD on the series, I guess they will be replaced by new fans like me. Look forward to the series....
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ROUTINE REACHER, 7 July 2008
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Disappointing Story from a Normally Very Reliable Author, 18 Mar 2012
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Since I read my first Reacher tale about a year ago I must have been through eight or nine of them. They are certainly a little formulaic in that Jack is drifting around the countryside and chances across some bad guys, and sorts it using his unique blend of analytical reasoning and brute force. Add in a bit of romantic interest and that's about it really. However, they are well written and I would judge them all as good to outstanding reads.

Nothing to Lose had the same elements as the others but for some reason it did not work nearly as well. Exactly what went wrong is quite hard to work out. It is quite long by Lee Child standards and unusually the narrative seems to drag a bit, although it does pick up towards the climax. It is rather unclear until the end exactly what misdeeds are being perpetrated and the whole story revolves around Jack travelling between the twin towns of Hope and Despair.

Every author is entitled to write a book once in a while which is not up to the usual standard. This is by no means a stinker, but it is not the page turner we have come to expect from this author. If this was the first Reacher book I had read, I would probably not have gone on to read the others which would have been my loss.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special Reacher, 12 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12) (Paperback)
This is a bit of a disappointment
We are so used to the plot being tight and well worked through - but here it is a bit loose and missing something.
Reacher doesn't seem to have real reasons for his actions a lot of the time.
Things just happen. Even the romance is a bit woolly and uninteresting
The story just wanders along seemingly without purpose - ok there's action, but it seems to be without plot
He's written much better than this
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jack Reacher and Politics Don't Mix, 6 May 2008
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I would not describe myself as an avid fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. I've found the books to be enjoyable pot-boiler thrillers, and I've read all of them to date, but I don't feel the need to rush out and buy the latest adventure on the day of publication.

That's one of the reasons that I'm only now getting around to reviewing Nothing to Lose, Child's latest Jack Reacher novel. The other reason that its taken me a bit of time to put fingers to keyboard is that it took me longer than normal to rattle through this latest book. Not because it was a particularly long novel compared to its predecessors, but because, remarkably, it wasn't very exciting.

Now the one thing that you can usually rely on when picking up a Reacher novel is that its going to move at a cracking pace and therefore, irrespective of book's other merits, you'll rattle through it pretty quickly. In this respect 'Nothing to Lose' bucks the trend. Not that I found myself so bored that I felt like giving up on it, but nor was I kept riveted as the carefully woven plot unfolded. In fact at one point I skipped ahead due to my impatience at the speed of the narrative. Considering that part of the Reacher novels' raison d'etre is to provide pulsing, fast paced excitement that final confession is to my mind a rather damning one.

Part of the problem is the plot itself, which goes around in circles for much of the book's length, stretching out two somewhat thin, parallel conspiracies to breaking point without really moving forward. As at least one other reviewer has mentioned, it gets to the point where if Reacher were to spend any more time sniffing around without actually 'discovering' anything (or at least revealing what he has worked out) you'd feel like screaming "GET ON WITH IT!". Normally the reveal at the end, as everything falls into place and Reacher ties up all the loose ends is part of the books appeal but in this case by the time it arrived I was just ready for the whole thing to be done with (I had also guessed what one of the two conspiracies was, so wasn't exactly wowed when it was revealed).

Another problem, and this is a big one since it goes to the heart of the whole series, is Reacher himself. Not for the first time I found myself wondering how much longer Child can keep pumping out books featuring such a one dimensional character who never develops as an individual. I am aware that the wandering 'loner' is a reoccuring character in modern American fiction, and I have no problem with Reacher's nomadic tendencies, but there is no attempt at character development. Whilst that wasn't a problem in the earlier books, which could get by on Reacher's stoicism, his abilities as a warrior and his apparent strong & silent charm, those things only go so far and a dozen books in the character is starting to become a little tired and predictable. That's not so much of an issue when the rest of the book is strong, but when stuck with a weak plot as he is here Reacher's weaknesses as a character become all the more evident.

The final problem I had with Nothing to Lose was the nature of the conspiracies that Reacher uncovers during the course of the book. The simple fact is that I just didn't buy either of them. The minor one (I don't want to give details and ruin the plot) struck me a improbable at best. The more significant one just struck me as ridiculous, as it required various arms of the US government to all act utterly incompetently (not necessarily impossible but highly unlikely). It would also have required a large number of 'secret' deaths amongst US forces in Iraq to go unreported by the media over a period of years. Essentially it would have required too many very unlikely and coincendental events to occur, and alot of smart people to behave stupidly, in order for it have been feasible. Other Reacher novel plots have had holes in them, but never to the extent where it fundamentally undermines the whole book.

Unfortunately in Nothing to Lose Lee Child has decided to include a plotical 'message', in this case an anti- Iraq war message. In order to do so he has crafted the book around the political points he wants to score, compromising plot and character in order to score them. Rather than allow the message to be implicit in the story and allow readers to form their own opinions he tries to budgeon us with his own point of view. It is an unsubtle and heavy handed approach that just feels wrong for a Jack Reacher novel, especially when it requires his central character, a former Military Policeman, to behave in a fashion that, based on everything we know about him from previous books, I simply can't believe he would.

If Lee Child wishes to hold anti-war beliefs then he is welcome to do so (its likely I would even agree with some of his views). If he wants to write an anti-war novel then he should go ahead and do so (I might even buy it), but trying to mix a Jack Reacher thriller with an overtly political message just doesn't work. It forces compromises that result in weak plotting, poor characterisation and a distinct lack of thrills.
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Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12)
Nothing To Lose: (Jack Reacher 12) by Lee Child (Paperback - 9 April 2009)
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