Better Off DeadLee Child & Andrew Child

Better Off Dead

4 star

Total 2,290 Ratings

Better Off Dead by Lee Child & Andrew Child Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Jack Reacher is back in a brand-new page-turning thriller from acclaimed #1 bestselling 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.

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

A shadow of his former selfI started to read with an open mind, hoping the usual high standard would be maintained. I was, sadly, extremely disappointed. The decision to use first person was initially interesting, but confusing, and didn’t work. The past few books have become increasingly violent, in contrast to Reacher’s averseness to fighting unless absolutely necessary. But this felt like a new series, with a different protagonist, by an inferior author. It will take a great deal to convince me to read a sequel. So sad..Score: 1/5

Just badFirst person doesn’t work. Just one crisis after another. Very confused plot. Doesn’t work! Miss the old Reacher. Don’t waste money or time on this one..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

Reacher always evolvingSame great storytelling. Reacher character gets better with every book. Would like to like to see him in a city environment instead of the small town. Might make it more interesting and different..Score: 4/5

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

Better Off DeadThis book was DOA and plodded along to an uninspiring but welcome ending. I have read all of the Reacher series but will not waste my time on another of the Child collaborations. Ex Child Fan.Score: 1/5

One of the better stories in the seriesAfter a few stale titles recently, I really enjoyed this new Reacher story..Score: 5/5

TerribleThe new collaboration is not working. The plot was disjointed and difficult to follow. Reacher seems to have undergone a personality transplant. I’ve read every book in the series, multiple times, and the character was barely recognizable. I will not be buying anymore of the series if the author collaboration continues. This was like reading a third rate book by an unknown author. There were maybe two or three sections where you could sense Lee Child’s style and presence, but they were far too fleeting to redeem this hot mess of a story..Score: 1/5

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

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

MehMeh…yeah, meh….Score: 3/5

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

A bit lameThe joint writing team fell flat. This misses the essence of Reacher. All about the moves, which isn’t what made previous Reacher books great..Score: 4/5

Good as EverThis latest edition of the Reacher chronicles is back in the zone. The first versions with Lee and Andrew left me wanting. This one is back in the groove. Good on ‘ya Mates!.Score: 5/5

Better off unreadI have read them all, huge Reacher fan but these collaboration books, not a fan..Score: 1/5

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

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

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

Jack Reacher is dead. Long live Reacher.I have read and reread Lee Child’s series of Reacher books for decades. They have provided countless hours of enjoyment. This last is such a deep disappointment. Reacher has lost his voice, his tone, his style. On every page there is a mis-step in language: an odd word like dollop or refectory shaken from the Thesaurus; “I guessed…” from a guy who never guesses; a “whisker” of time from a guy of precision with a clock in his head; loose, inaccessible descriptions of spaces and long paragraphs of speculation. May he Rest In Peace. I grieve the loss and will move on..Score: 1/5

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

Reacher is confirmed deadThis book is beyond horrible. Stay away from this pile of garbage..Score: 1/5

I’m throughHonestly, I kept reading, thinking that surely things would get better. I was sadly disappointed. The old Reacher books were intelligent, well crafted entertainment. Reacher was tough, strong, and articulate. The homeless drifter fought for the underdog, and won. In “Better Off Dead”, our hero meanders aimlessly, never quite deciding whether to step up or leave town. The dialogue, (awkwardly in first-person) makes Reacher sound like a simpleton. My biggest complaint is that this formerly bright hero seems to have lost the ability to form a complete sentence. “Got to the top of the ladder. Turned around. And gone down.” Really? This wouldn’t pass muster in a seventh grade English class. So, just like I did with my seventh grade heartthrobs, I’m going to kick Reacher to the curb and find a better hero..Score: 1/5

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

The Title worksReacher is back! I wish they’d make move Reacher movies, but please don’t cast Tom Cruise. He couldn’t carry Reachers lunch..Score: 5/5

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

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

This book is better off deadProbably one of the worst Jack Reacher books I have read.Score: 2/5

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 even closeSave your $.Score: 1/5

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

HorribleI have read all of the Lee Child books and this was by far the worst in the series. Doesn’t the author know that there’s such a thing as a full sentence? Why does the repetition of how to smash someone’s brains all over the floor have to be so long. How about occasionally a compound complex sentence instead of all of the sentence fragments. Very poor writing and an unnecessarily complicated plot with Swiss cheese jokes!.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

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

TerribleCompletely different voice and tone than from other Reacher novels. First person doesn’t work. A complete waste of time..Score: 1/5

DisappointingDefinitely not what I expect from Lee Child. Not close to other Reacher series novels..Score: 1/5

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

A Waste of Time!!Very, very disappointing. I didn’t even recognize this Reacher!.Score: 1/5

Better Off DeadA worthwhile read for entertainment. Not However the best or even a measurable replacement for Mr. Child’s depth and detail of character. Almost too much descriptive narrative of set. It was just not a total Reacher book.Score: 3/5

Better off not readingThis was a huge letdown. 500 pages of blah blah blah..(how many times do we need to read the structure of every room Reacher goes into?) I think the new authors are way off the mark. Even the ending was boring. I won’t be buying any more ever..Score: 2/5

Better off deadWorst reacher book ever. Wish zero stars was an option..Score: 1/5

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

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

Headed in the wrong directionThese books aren’t much fun to read anymore. The characters have all become one-dimensional, and the situations thoroughly implausible. If you want to be entertained, go back and read the early stuff before they turned Reacher into a indestructible killing machine..Score: 1/5

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

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

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

Close, but choppyAndrew Child comes close to the master (Lee) but fails in his style of writing with short, choppy sentences and sentence fragments. Ex: “Which was fortunate for me. Because the guys were each holding a gun. An Uzi. An interesting choice.” This choppy narration is used through the book. Few sentences are even a single line long. Often, there are four or five in a single line. But the story is still good and the plot has some muscle..Score: 4/5

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

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

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

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

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

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