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Bad Company (Higgins, Jack) Hardcover – June 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Higgins, Jack
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399149708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399149702
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,344,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Humdrum company would be a more accurate title. This sequel to Higgins's last, ripsnorting yarn, Midnight Runner, is mostly a by-the-numbers effort, though the numbers do speed by. The novel, the author's 35th, begins promisingly, playing to Higgins's greatest strength, WWII action. Young Baron Max von Berger, entrusted by Hitler during the last days of the Third Reich with his diary as well as the key to a vast fortune in Swiss banks, makes a daring and exciting escape from the Fhrerbunker. But once the narrative leaps toward the present, it begins to flag, with a second setup (including a nifty Saddam cameo) explaining why and how the baron inherits the wealth and power of the Rashid family, the Arab oil kingpins destroyed by Higgins's customary antihero, Sean Dillon, in the last book. Problematic is Higgins's use of von Berger and his thuggish son as villains here; they lack the evil charisma of the Rashids. To avenge the death of the Rashids, von Berger targets Dillon and his master, British black ops commander Gen. Charles Ferguson, who fights back with the help of the usual crew of "hard" men, including computer whiz Major Roper, White House black ops chief Blake Johnson, London tough guys Harry and Billy Salter, et al. Matters pick up a bit when von Berger's son kidnaps General Ferguson to Germany, but Dillon's rescue attempt whips by much too quickly, as if Higgins were hurrying to finish this book and get on to number 36. The author's fans will find enough gnarly action and sentiment here to make them anticipate his next, but this entry is sub par and the series as a whole could use a kick in the spine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Higgins' classic novel of World War II espionage, The Eagle Has Landed (1975), was the thriller that brought him fame--and probably fortune. Bad Company, his thirty-fifth novel, also deals with WWII. As the war is drawing to a close in 1945, Hitler gives his diary to an aide for safekeeping. The diary contains an account of a meeting between representatives of Hitler and President Roosevelt at which they discussed ways to negotiate a peace treaty and then to attack Russia. The aide, Max von Berger, is now (in 2003) a billionaire industrialist and a silent partner with an international crime family. Seeking revenge for a killing, Berger vows to reveal the diary's secret that would destroy the current U.S. president. It's up to an American and a British agent to get the diary before it falls into the hands of the president's enemies. Like other Higgins' novels, the locales in this one are worldwide and include London, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the U.S., and Iraq. (Yes, Saddam Hussein is one of the many characters.) Both the good guys and bad guys talk tough and smoke and drink a lot--Bushmills Irish whiskey, champagne, and schnapps are among their favorites. By a master of espionage novels, and certain to be requested at the circulation desk. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Jack Higgins is among the world's most popular authors. Since the publication of The Eagle Has Landed--one of the biggest-selling thrillers of all time--every novel he has written has become an international bestseller, including The White House Connection and Day of Reckoning. He has had simultaneous number-one bestsellers in hardcover and paperback, and has been published in thirty-eight languages worldwide. Many of his books have been made into successful movies, among them The Eagle Has Landed, To Catch A King, and The Valhalla Exchange. He lives with his wife on Jersey in the Channel Islands.

Customer Reviews

A great example of character development.
Rick
The plot is so thin, the characters so stupid and stereotypical.
Nimrodus
Higgins always keeps his readers absorbed and turning pages.
Sandy Long

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William J. Tennison on September 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you are a Jack Higgins fan you know what to expect. This book is by the numbers.
Higgins goes into great detail setting up the book with the Hitler diaries subplot. However, this whole section goes nowhere. It could have been much more interesting.
The Von Berger character as a villian does not really work out.
I listened to this on CD. Patrick MacNee does a creditable job as the reader.
If you have nothing better to do, you may want to pick this book up. Otherwise, I would try other works.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on August 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Our story begins at the funeral of Kate Rashid, the villainess of Higgins's last thriller, whom undercover enforcer Sean Dillon managed to kill before she wrought her vengeance upon him for killing her three beloved brothers. Dillon and his companions watch on, increasingly uneasy at the presence of Baron Max von Berger, a multi-millionaire friend of the Rashid's, who has now interhited their old empire in the Hazar that is worth billions.
Now, von Berger himself wants revenge, and it is a matter of honour. Kate Rashid once saved his life, and she was a very dear friend. He is determined to exact justice on those who conspired to destroy the Rashid's and their empire: Dillon, his friend in the government General Charles Ferguson, and their colleague, White House insider Blake Johnson. But, unknown to them, Berger has a secret weapon. In the waning days of WWII Hitler entrusted von Berger, his close aide, with his diary detailing the final six months of the war, and a meeting he had with President Roosevelt which could have stopped the war before it started.
Bad Company is another of Higgins's increasingly by-the-numbers, cliched, formulaid thrillers that just reuse aspects from his other books (boats blown-up, planes crashed, assassinations, etc), but it is a primse example. A one character says of the events in the book, "It's like a bad novel", and that is exactly what they are. They are the evnets of a bad novel. however, they are also the envets of an entertaining story, and this is exactly what this is. A great story, a nice adventure. It's fast, thrilling, enjoyable, nothing more. nothing less. If you are looking for great writing, don't come here. If you're looking for a plot that wont fall apart under close scrutiny, also don't come here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lorenzi on January 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Any reader expecting great literature will be disappointed and, to be fair, having read about a dozen of Higgins' books myself, such expectations would be more than foolish. Higgins is a well-oiled, formulaic writer, able to produce simple, direct sentences, basic emotions, and some color, using a relatively standard set of "high" elements. In this case, using foggy London, the stormy Irish Sea, forested Germany, and Middle Eastern deserts, he provides some set pieces of almost chivalrous interaction among the caricatured cast: the reformed IRA member, the London mobsters, the head of a shadowy British counterintelligence unit, the crippled computer wonk, the very attractive Oxford assistant, the noble Nazi, the secretive Swiss banker, the out-of-wedlock son, and the elderly one-time secretary to Hitler. Both sides of the battle have polite face-to-face meetings where they swear they will kill each other. What are they waiting for? Characters reveal incredible skills with obscure or unrelated tasks, from playing the piano to speaking multiple languages to working explosives. Sean Dillon could be James Bonds' darker side, or brother abandoned at birth.
Moving quickly across time and place, Higgins's prose is as sparse as Hemingway's yet without any of the emotion or power. The "emotional event" that drives the protagonist, seems small and insignificant. Higgins is more fascinated with food (lots of bacon and eggs), hotels (the Dorchester), restaurants, booze (make it Bushmills), weapons (everybody loves their Walthers), estates (German, of course) and haunts (pubs, night clubs, swank clubs, the London docks) than with his paper mache characters. Even his layout is thin: 282 pages, large font, extra spacing between lines, blank pages between chapters and sections.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Konrad Kern VINE VOICE on July 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
See storyline above.
First of all I don't remember Jack Higgins previous novels being this bad. Okay, the plot had potential and the action was there, but this book seemed like it was very rushed. The characters didn't seem there usual self (Dillon being stopped by a tractor in the road? No other explanation?). Please. The brevity of the book and the rushed style (very little depth) made for a very disappointing read.
Not recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I've read both of the Mustang Sally mysteries this week and it just kills me that I'll have wait a year for the next one to be published. I think that, like Nevada Barr, Virginia Swift is headed for the bestseller lists.
The characters, the setting, and the plot are all complex and interesting yet witty and romantic. It's often said that mystery readers are usually smart people, but it's still a pleasure to read a book that is both completely entertaining and beautifully written. Enjoy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Kling on July 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Academic/feminist/singer/sleuth Sally Alder and her companion Hawk Green become involved in two mysteries, one involving a nasty murder and the other involving a questionable land swap. The setting is Laramie, Wyoming, during the crowded, raucous Jubilee Days.
Compared with her first novel, "Brown-eyed Girl," the writing here is more compact. Where "Brown-eyed Girl" was replete with two-page digressions, in "Bad Company" Swift is more apt to toss of a one-liner.
Still, I would recommend reading "Brown-eyed Girl" before "Bad Company." You get a fuller background of the characters, particularly Hawk, who was more richly drawn in the first book. He's rather uninteresting here. In fact, there are points in "Bad Company" where Alder seems to be more intrigued by Scotty Atkins, a detective who is assigned to the murder.
The New York Times accurately describes Swift's writing as a comedy of manners. The plot is merely a scaffolding on which to hang Swift's many observations about the variety of the human species. To enjoy the novel, you have to be amused by incidents such as a nerdy academic slinging post-modernism in a Western saloon.
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