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384 pages

Delacorte Press


Bad Luck and Trouble is a great title and it describes exactly the situation Jack Reacher walks into after discovering more money in his bank account than is supposed to be there. Things get worse when he finds out that one of the men who used to be under his command has been mysteriously found in the middle of the desert with every bone in his body broken. As Reacher novels go this eleventh installment in the series measures up nicely with everything you would expect from Reacher.

There are times when Reacher's seeming ability to have any female who comes within arms length swoon into his bed for a good old fashioned no commitment romp in the hay just gets tiresome. Aside from the obvious consistency of character there simply is no reason to continue this kind of latter day Travis McGee behaviour especially when it add nothing to the story. Lee Child is a gifted thriller writer who has a great character in Jack Reacher and has a fantastic story in Bad Luck and Trouble. When the very best crew the Army 110th Military Intelligence Battalion has ever seen start turning up dead the old crew reunites to try and find out what is happening.

The stand out feature of Bad Luck and Trouble is that it is essentially a murder mystery. Reacher novels tend to be a little less on the mystery side and a little more on the action adventure side than Bad Luck and Trouble. Child doesn't skimp on the action part though and brings into the story early on the female reflection to Jack Reacher – Frances Neagley. The reassembled special investigators unit is the picture of civilian success and making it in the world where Reacher has steadfastly refused to participate. Reacher's minor descent into self reflection is enough to convince the reader that he does occasionally wonder how the rest of the world lives and what it would be like without gelding the character.

Of note in this post 9/11 world are the changes that Reacher has had to make to his banking and travel that he never had to deal with previously. Curiously while it may make some feel secure to know that there are so many checks in the system these days it will make others wonder just how much of their lives is being tracked and by whom.

In short Bad Luck and Trouble is a great addition to the Reacher series and definitely worth picking up.