|May 9, 2002|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Echo Burning|
The story begins in Atlantic City with Jack Reacher hitchhiking with a blues-playing brother-sister duo. He doesn’t hang around long, however, as he is approached by a secret service agent named M.E. Froelich who previously dated his older brother Joe. Froelich explains that she is the head of the Vice President-elect’s security detail and needs a security audit to be done to evaluate how she and her team are doing.
Reacher agrees to do it, as he sees it as a challenge. He hires Frances Neagley, a security consultant from Chicago who he previously worked with in the army to help him. Within the first five days, Reacher and Neagley manage to find three definite chances and one possible chance to kill Brook Armstrong, Vice President-elect. With the blessing of her boss, a man named Stuyvesant, Froelich tells Reacher and Neagley that the secret service has received several letters meant for Armstrong telling him that he is going to die soon.
Jack Reacher: The main protagonist; hired by M.E. Froelich to perform a security audit on Vice President-elect Brook Armstrong’s security.
Mary Ellen Froelich: United States Secret Service agent who heads the security detail protecting Vice President-elect Brook Armstrong. Froelich hires Reacher to help her perform a security audit after being told how good Reacher is by his older brother Joe. She is killed by sniper fire.
Frances Neagley: A security consultant working in Chicago that Reacher hires to help him perform the audit. Reacher previously worked with her in the army. Returns in Bad Luck and Trouble.
Brook Armstrong: Vice President-elect of the US.
Stuyvesant: Head of the United States Secret Service.
Lee Child finished writing Without Fail in March 2001 and the book was released in the United Kingdom on DD MMM YYYY, with the American publication following on DD MMMM of the same year.
Child had to do more research on this book than previous ones due to its nature, and received help and information from the security detail of a retired politician who lives near him.