Nothing to Lose

Version: Abridged (Unabridged version available here)
Author: Lee Child
Narrator: Dick Hill
Genres: Thriller
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published In: June 2008
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

Two lonely towns in Colorado: Hope and Despair. Between them, twelve miles of empty road. Jack Reacher never turns back. It's not in his nature. All he wants is a cup of coffee. What he gets is big trouble. So in Lee Child's electrifying new novel, Reacher—a man with no fear, no illusions, and nothing to lose—goes to war against a town that not only wants him gone, it wants him dead.

It wasn't the welcome Reacher expected. He was just passing through, minding his own business. But within minutes of his arrival a deputy is in the hospital and Reacher is back in Hope, setting up a base of operations against Despair, where a huge, seething walled-off industrial site does something nobody is supposed to see . . . where a small plane takes off every night and returns seven hours later . . . where a garrison of well-trained and well-armed military cops—the kind of soldiers Reacher once commanded—waits and watches . . . where above all two young men have disappeared and two frightened young women wait and hope for their return.

Joining forces with a beautiful cop who runs Hope with a cool hand, Reacher goes up against Despair—against the deputies who try to break him and the rich man who tries to scare him—and starts to crack open the secrets, starts to expose the terrifying connection to a distant war that's killing Americans by the thousand.

Now, between a town and the man who owns it, between Reacher and his conscience, something has to give. And Reacher never gives an inch.

Reviews (3)

so-so

Written by roger on January 31st, 2012

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This my first Lee Child book, and despite my opinion of this one, I'll give him another shot. I like Reacher as a character; he reminds me of Spencer. But Child is not as economical as Robert B. Parker, nor as disciplined as a writer. I won't think of Child as a lazy writer until I listen to another. But this one, Nothing to Lose, has far to many lose ends, and so much essential to the narrative is simply not credible. The ending and the events surrounding it are just so far fetched as to be ridiculous. After a very promising beginning, Child is failed by his editor, allowing him to drift on and on and extend sequences that are in need of cutting. Many questions raised by the narrative are left unanswered, like how are Despair's townspeople involved in either of the two plot lines? Kind of important. Is the purpose of this book to memorialize Reacher or to tell a plausible story. The latter can certainly be achieved without harming Reacher's stature in any way.

If you like Reacher...

Written by Avid Reader/Listener from Wilton, CT on March 23rd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This is a pretty good Reacher story. I wish that it were not abridged as Dick Hill is such a very good narrator/reader.

Reacher at his best

Written by Donn Edwards on October 1st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Lee Child has written a dozen or so Jack Reacher books, yet this one is fresh and different, and has some deeply thought-provoking moments, along with an excellent plot and interesting characters. Definitely one of his better novels.

Author Details

Author Details

Child, Lee

Lee Child was born in the exact geographic center of England, in the heart of the industrial badlands. Never saw a tree until he was twelve. It was the sort of place where if you fell in the river, you had to go to the hospital for a mandatory stomach pump. The sort of place where minor disputes were settled with box cutters and bicycle chains. He's got the scars to prove it.

But he survived, got an education, and went to law school, but only because he didn't want to be a lawyer. Without the pressure of aiming for a job in the field, he figured it would be a relaxing subject to study. He spent most of the time in the university theater - to the extent that he had to repeat several courses, because he failed the exams - and then went to work for Granada Television in Manchester, England. Back then, Granada was a world-famous production company, known for shows like Brideshead Revisited, Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect and Cracker. Lee worked on the broadcast side of the company, so his involvement with the good stuff was limited. But he remembers waiting in the canteen line with people like Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Natalie Wood and Michael Apted. And he says that being involved with more than 40,000 hours of the company's program output over an eighteen-year stay taught him a thing or two about telling a story. He also wrote thousands of links, trailers, commercials and news stories, most of them on deadlines that ranged from fifteen minutes to fifteen seconds. So the thought of a novel-a-year didn't worry him too much, in his next career.

But why a next career? He was fired, back in 1995, that's why. It was the usual Nineties downsizing thing. After eighteen years, he was an expensive veteran, and he was also the union organizer, and neither thing fit the company's plan for the future. And because of the union involvement, he wasn't on too many alternative employers' wish lists, either. So he became a writer, because he couldn't think of anything else to do. He had an idea for a character who had suffered the same downsizing experience but who was taking it completely in his stride. And he figured if he brought the same total commitment to his audience that he'd seen his television peers develop, he could get something going. He named the character Jack Reacher and wrote Killing Floor as fast as he could. He needed to sell it before his severance check ran out. He made it with seven weeks to spare, and luckily the book was an instant hit, selling strongly all around the world, and winning both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. It led to contracts for at least nine more Reacher books.

Lee moved from the UK to the US in the summer of 1998. He lives in New York and France with his American wife, Jane. They have a grown-up daughter, Ruth. Lee likes to travel, for vacations, but especially on promotion tours so he can meet his readers, to whom he is eternally grateful. His latest thriller, Nothing to Lose was published in 2008.