Worth Dying For (novel)

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Worth Dying For
Book cover
Author Lee Child
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Jack Reacher
Genre Thriller novel
Publisher Bantam Press (UK), Delacorte Press (US)
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback), Audio, eBook
Pages 440
ISBN 978-0-593-06566-2
OCLC 505417122
Preceded by 61 Hours
Followed by The Affair

Worth Dying For is the fifteenth book in the Jack Reacher series written by Lee Child. It was published on 30 September 2010 in the United Kingdom[1] and was published on 19 October 2010 in the USA.[2] It is written in the third person.


Following the events of 61 Hours, Jack Reacher is on his way to Virginia to meet Maj. Susan Turner, the current commanding officer of his old unit, the 110th Military Police Squadron. En route, he stops for the night at the Apollo Inn, a fading motel in rural Nebraska. In the motel's bar he overhears a drunken doctor refuse to take a house call for a woman named Eleanor Duncan, the abused wife of Seth Duncan, whose father and uncles run a trucking company that extorts business from surrounding farms. Despite being warned that Eleanor is off-limits, Jack persuades the doctor to treat her nosebleed. He then tracks Seth to a local steakhouse, and breaks his nose. The Duncans retaliate by sending workers to smash the doctor's car, and when Jack beats them up, they force the motel owner, Vincent, to throw him out.

Jack pretends to leave, but slips back into his room for the night. The next day, he meets Dorothy Coe, who works part-time as the maid. She takes Reacher to her house for breakfast, and reveals that the Duncans drove her family into poverty years ago after she accused them of kidnapping her daughter Margaret, leading her husband Arthur to commit suicide. Rossi, an Italian-American mobster who works with the Duncans, sends two men to help them find Jack, but he manages to evade them when they arrive at Dorothy's farm. Rossi's Arab contact Sarif and his Iranian boss subsequently send four more men when it becomes clear that the Duncans are incapable of dealing with Reacher. However, they both instruct their men to kill the others when possible to eliminate their competition.

Visiting the local cops, Jack receives files from Margaret's disappearance, which seemingly clear the Duncans of any involvement. On his way back, he kills one of the Iranians, leading his partner to believe that he was murdered by the Italians. While meeting with the doctor and Dorothy to discuss what he found, Seth and some thugs arrive, having forced Eleanor to reveal Jack's plan, and lock them inside, breaking Reacher's nose and throwing him in the basement. The Italians form an alliance with Sarif's men to dispose of the other Iranian and cut his boss out of the plan, then shoot them dead and set fire to the bodies, which Vincent witnesses.

Seth leaves, and Reacher manages to lure his guards downstairs, where he subdues them, as well as the others when they arrive for a meal. The Italians kill the final Iranian as he interrogates the Duncans (having concluded that they murdered his partner after finding him in Seth's car) and leave to collect Reacher. After getting frustrated and stopping at Vincent's inn for the night, they are lured outside and killed by Reacher.

With the Duncans believing him to be dead, Jack makes his way to the old barn where Margaret was last seen, where he kills Eldrige Tyler, a friend of the Duncans who he fingers as her killer. Upon opening the barn and finding it full of decaying remains, he calls the townspeople over and reveals the truth: the Duncans have been engaging in human trafficking, bringing women and girls from Southeast Asia for the prostitution trade in Las Vegas. However, they also kept some of their cargo for purposes of sexual abuse, and Margaret, being adopted from Vietnam, was an easy target.

Horrified, the doctor, his wife, and Dorothy agree to help Reacher exact revenge on the Duncans. Using vehicles to trap them inside their own compound, Jack kills Seth's uncles with a rifle, before running down and killing Seth himself. The doctor and his wife chase down Seth's father, and Dorothy kills him. Eleanor liberates a shipment of females that her family planned to send to Vegas, and informs Reacher that she will take over their trucking business. Thankful that justice has been delivered, Reacher resumes his journey to find Maj. Turner.

Critical reception[edit]

With so many strong-arm types flooding the prairie, there are plenty of opportunities for violence, treachery and double-crossing—think of a Nebraska remake of A Fistful of Dollars with an international cast—and Child (61 Hours, 2010, etc.) doesn’t miss a single one. By the time he’s finally shaken the dust from his feet, Reacher will have plumbed the depths of a monstrous unsolved crime, cleaned up the county and killed a lot of mostly nameless guys who really deserved it.

Kirkus Reviews[3]


  1. ^ "Worth Dying For (Hardcover)". Amazon.co.uk. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Worth Dying For (Hardcover)". Amazon.com. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "WORTH DYING FOR by Lee Child". kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 

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