Better Off DeadLee Child & Andrew Child

Better Off Dead

4 star

Total 4,005 Ratings

Better Off Dead by Lee Child & Andrew Child Book Summary


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.

Better Off Dead (Lee Child & Andrew Child) Book Reviews

Better off deadNot a great Reacher read Lots of filler material Disjointed plot Disappointed.Score: 2/5

AwfulThe most boring of all Reacher books. The author spends way too many words describing meaningless objects large and small. This book was so boring I will hesitate to buy another Reacher..Score: 1/5

Better off DeadThought I was reading a screen play. Book had very little drama but tremendous amount of details on how Jack Reacher fights and walks through tunnels. Boring with bad ending..Score: 1/5

This book saddens meThis is the only Reacher book, even among the lesser offerings, that required quite some effort to finish. The book begins with a flashback technique that was already used in Persuader. Once was more than enough. From there, it hardly improves. As with Persuader we have Reacher driving the villain’s vehicle and Federal officials examining it while Reacher searches for other villains. And we have another giant like Paulie, and Joey, and Shrago. With a literary style best described as pseudo-Child, the book plods for three-quarters of its length with no plot as such. Reacher merely chases after bad guys, in various streets and buildings described in stupefying detail. Then with one-quarter of the book left we have something of a plot, given us mostly by dialogue not action, like the screenplay of a B-rate movie. I fear this is the sunset of the series that still awaits Reacher and Neagley, who held hands in Without Fail, settling down together..Score: 1/5

Not as good as originalsHuge jack reacher fan and this novel fell short. Plot lines that conveniently fell into place and little character development. Storyline felt rushed, confusing and barely plausible. Save your money and reread one of the original stories..Score: 2/5

By the Reacher numbers…This seemed a bit flat and predictable. The “wandering into a corrupt town” motif is getting overdone with Reacher. And the fights are seemingly just repeats of old books. There is nothing special or engaging in this book. I’m a fan so I read it and finished it…and was under-whelmed..Score: 2/5

Can’t get enough of Jack!Write faster, please!.Score: 5/5

Excellent ReadAs usual, the standard Reacher novel. Definitely recommend this book..Score: 5/5

Really bad.So disappointed. It wasn’t even close to the other books in series..Score: 1/5

ReviewOk not great.Score: 4/5

RIP ReacherReacher 2.0 is less.Score: 1/5

I should have known better.Junior didn’t inherit his father’s writing skills. A bit of the old Jack Reacher is transparently forced in. The plot is a shamble. I bought the book only because the free sample was good enough at a moment in time when I was too lazy to look for quality fiction. This book is not quality fiction..Score: 1/5

HorribleWorst reacher ever..Score: 1/5

Larry’s reviewOkay read. Story started slow and I nearly stopped reading..Score: 3/5

Better Off DeadLike other authors I enjoy(James Lee Burke comes to mind) writing talent doesn’t automatically pass to a child. This was disappointing, and short. You can almost see when they switched writing, and it’s not pretty. I hope he lets his son spread his wings on his own and doesn’t mail the next one in. Burke probably recognized that..Score: 2/5

Still love Reacher…It just felt like amateur hour. But it’s not the second author’s fault. I’m just so used to reading Lee Child’s style that I could tell it was being written by someone else. It was too simplistic. Reacher has always had very educated thought processes and this just didn’t have that..Score: 3/5

Better Off DeadAlthought a bit talkative, it is Classic Reacher, Glad to see(read) him back. One to ride the river with. Couldn’t connect the title to the plot 100% (ok not even 75%), but who cares. The plot is superb. I could re-read it again… 7 stars (my max for anyone). Welcome Andrew..Score: 5/5

Not as goodI thoroughly look forward to a new Jack Reacher book, always! While I wasn’t disappointed in this one, it certainly wasn’t as good as most of the others. Not as much detail, the story wasn’t as engaging as usual and I thought the character development was weak. I didn’t care about Sonia. I didn’t care about Michaela. That’s not usual with a Reacher book..Score: 4/5

Not one of authors bestStory just to slow paced. Character and story development not crisp like I have seen in reading all in the Jack Reacher series..Score: 3/5

GoodThe book is a little complicated, hard to follow.Score: 4/5

SnoozeDoesn’t really grab you. Had to work to finish it..Score: 3/5

Terrible ReadI’ve read all the Jack Reacher books multiple times and continue to enjoy rereading them. This books was awful. Perhaps worst of all was the writing style—machine gun sentences of three to 10 words, lots of phrases thrown out, no doubt trying to suggest Reacher’s thought process. It hurt my head to read it. I’m glad there were so many good ones written that I can reread..Score: 1/5

Not up to Reacher parMaybe too much Andrew and not enough Lee?.Score: 2/5

Better Off….Worst Reacher book ever and I have read them all. Total bore until the last 30 pages. Shame.Score: 2/5

Horrible. Writing.Utterly awful. Goodbye Jack Reacher, it was good while it lasted..Score: 1/5

Another Great ReacherGood read. Difficult to determine the outcome until you got to the end. Can’t wait for the next in Reacher in line..Score: 4/5

Better off DeadAnother great Jack Reacher book..Score: 5/5

Don’t waste your time and money on this book!This was the worse Reacher book I’ve ever read! It was boring and if I hadn’t read all the other books I would not have finished it! It was a waste of time and money! None of the other Reacher books were bad, in fact I liked them all, some better than others, but this book was just ridiculously bad!!.Score: 1/5

Intricate plot, bogs down occasionallyFascinating and intricate plotting, but the pacing could have been better. Lots of gawdawful first-person narratives and limited, often redundant action. Felt more convoluted than other Reacher outings, but still a good read..Score: 4/5

TerribleIm glad I read all the other Reacher books before this one. I am sorry to say that this does not measure up to the books written by Lee Child. Lack of content. Failure in context to connect to past Reacher novels. Frankly it was boring..Score: 1/5

DisappointedI have read many Lee Child books. Always interesting and engaging. This book nothing like the others. So many chapters full of words to “fill” a page. Rather boring and predictable. I had to force myself to finish expecting a surprise at the end. Not~.Score: 2/5

AbsurdOr silly, take your pick - I don’t the Lee Child had much to do with this one..Score: 1/5

Interesting. Mesmerizing.Could not stop reading..Score: 5/5

It’s lousyI think it’s all over for the Reacher books..Score: 1/5

The Child Team Recovered from The SentinelLook, I love the Reacher books, but when Lee brought on Andrew I felt like Reacher was responding with Reacher-cliches. And I’ll-timed Reacher-cliches. I was going to give up the whole franchise. But I cannot give up that easily. This is Reacher we’re talking about. Well, I feel rewarded. This book works. And that’s something special. I recommend this book without reservation. Is it the best Reacher book? No, not in my opinion, but it’s a good one. Robert Gavila Riverhead, NY 11/18/2021.Score: 5/5

Better off deadWorst reacher back by miles … please get back to writing in the 3rd person.Score: 3/5

Outsourcing does not workI loved all Reacher stories, have read them over and over. This book was a disaster, following closely on the heels of Sentential Feels like Lee has outsourced this work to Andrew and it is severely lacking, in comparison to classic Reacher Plots are convoluted, hard to follow, almost no action, no suspense, just dull. I skipped most of the pages to get to the end. It had to happen, nothing lasts for ever. RIP Reacher. I am not spending another $0.01 on Andrew Child.Score: 1/5

Pass on this oneNo character building - I had no investment in the story line..Score: 2/5

DisappointingReacher is one of my favorite characters and Lee Child a master storyteller. Unfortunately, this book was difficult to follow. I had to reread sections hoping to bridge the gap and process the details. It wasn’t fun to read or one that kept me reading. It was easy to put down. Not what I expect from this series..Score: 3/5

Not Our ReacherThis book and the previous one are not what we used to know as Jack Reacher stories. In the previous book, you won’t even read the line, “Reacher said nothing”, nor in this one…a trademark line if there ever was one. And then there is this story…disjointed, hard to follow, lackluster. I found it almost impossible to follow…not the clear, concise, accurate Reacher that we all know and love…or loved, I should say. It looks as though Lee Child has grown bored and let his kid take over…but basically what he has done is kill off Reacher once and for all. Sad that the Reacher era is over. I agree with the title of this disastrous book, Reacher is “Better Off Dead”. May he Rest In Peace..Score: 1/5

Better off deadToo wordy with descriptions to the nth detail…Beginning’s classic Reacher but then you start to skip ahead a little then 60% through you skip a lot and haven’t lost anything. The ending is good but not enough of the nasty vengeful Reacher. I know it’s lee’s brother …….close but no cigar….. disappointed but will try again next year. I want a 40% discount on this one……..Score: 1/5

Children, childrenLee Child has delivered outstanding Reacher stories and it’s sad to see the format upended with a first-person narrative. Disastrous. Please don’t listen to your son: go back to the original storytelling magic..Score: 3/5

All good thing come to an endYear after year I have been a 5-Star Reacher fan. The Jack Reacher character in this book has NO connection to the character developed by Lee Child’s. It’s not different, it’s just VERY BAD. The new TV Reacher seem to understand the character, he should starting writing..Score: 1/5

RivetingLots of details, great story. You won’t want to put it down..Score: 5/5

Change of personNot sure I like the switch of writing style but the story thread is good..Score: 4/5

I am a big Lee Child Fan, but this was awfulDo not recommend it for even the biggest Lee Child fans.Score: 1/5

Miss the real ReacherStarts ok, a few good Reacherisms. No good original mental problem analysis. Too much dumb luck..Score: 1/5

Not the Same ReacherThe first person narrative doesn’t work. Also the plot gets impossible to follow, as if it’s been poorly edited so much that it’s lost its thread. Armand Es.Score: 3/5

NOT in keeping with the Jack Reacher seriesAnd I thought it couldn’t get worse than casting Tom Cruise as Reacher but it has. Lee’s kid can’t write. This book shows it. This series is dead, stick a fork in it..Score: 1/5

Too choppyDifferent style….wasn’t impressed..Score: 2/5

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Worst Jack Reacher YetNot sure what happened here but I was stunned how different this was from previous JR books which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Poor character development, irregular and implausible plot, Jack himself seemed like he was phoning it in. ? Fonzy on water skis?.Score: 1/5

Not the Jack Reacher you likeLee Child has to go back to writing or end the series. Not worth the read.Score: 1/5

Better OffI’ve been a Jack Reacher fan for over a decade. I’ve watched him go from one adventure to another, always anxious for the next book to read. “Better Off Dead” left me feeling disappointed, not because it was the end of an excellent read, but because, for the first time, the writing just didn’t feel ‘right.’ It certainly wasn’t Lee Child putting pen to paper. I will of course, continue reading Reacher novels, but I do feel the time is coming to allow Jack to retire..Score: 3/5

Better Off DeadA disappointment compared to earlier Lee Child / Jack Reacher books, with outlandish plot devices and weak, superficial writing. Sorry I wasted the money to purchase and will not make the same mistake again..Score: 2/5

Definitely not a Lee Child written bookThe dialogue was very hard to read, no flow..Score: 3/5

Good Reacher readI saw some negative reviews about this book and the author. That gave me pause but I decided to purchase it anyway. I have read every Reacher book and seen all the movies and now the TV series. I enjoyed this book and thought it fell right in with the way reacher talks and acts and I was very happy with it. So I am unsure what others saw negatively about it because I thought it was fine..Score: 5/5

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