Customer Review

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Urban cowboy and his posse seek justice., May 15, 2007
This review is from: Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, No. 11) (Hardcover)
There are many reasons to admire Jack Reacher, the taciturn hero of Lee Child's "Bad Luck and Trouble." He is a low-maintenance individual who travels with just his passport, ATM card, and toothbrush. He is incredibly strong and an expert in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, and will go out of his way to protect the people he likes and respects. Reacher is also intelligent, intuitive, and creative; by thinking out of the box, he usually finds the answers to whatever questions are puzzling him.

In "Bad Luck and Trouble," Reacher has a reunion of sorts with three of his buddies from the army, Frances Neagley, Karla Dixon, and David O'Donnell. They reunite because of a tragic event: Calvin Franz, who worked with them years ago in the military police, was thrown out of a helicopter in the California desert after suffering unspeakable torture. The victim left behind a wife and little boy. Three other MPs from the same special investigations unit, Jorge Sanchez, Tony Swan, and Manuel Orozco, have disappeared, as well. Reacher and his remaining ex-colleagues band together to find out what happened to these men and why. He is also plotting revenge: "There are dead men walking, as of right now. You don't throw my friends out of helicopters and live to tell the tale." The slogan that Reacher and the others live by is: "You do not mess with the special investigators."

Lee Child's Reacher is a modern day cowboy, who generally travels alone from town to town, minding his own business. Yet, somehow, "bad luck and trouble" always manage to find him. This time, in a refreshing variation on Child's usual formula, Reacher takes his place as the commanding officer of a tightly knit and focused team, each member making his or her own invaluable contribution to the investigation. Neagley is smart and tough, and she has plenty of money to bankroll their operation. Dixon is a forensic accountant with a sharp mathematical mind, equal to Reacher's. O'Donnell is fast, powerful, and fearless. This formidable foursome is pitted against a group of ruthless adversaries who always seem to be one step ahead of them.

Child has created a cadre of well-drawn heroes, and the fast-paced action never flags. The terse, often dryly humorous dialogue is enormously entertaining. In addition, some nifty mental puzzles are thrown in to challenge the investigators' powers of deduction; brawn without brains just doesn't cut it in today's world. On the downside, the villains are one-dimensional and the finale is a bit too pat to be believed, even in a fantasy such as this. Still, this novel is great escapist fun; it will have wide audience appeal among long-time Reacher aficionados, and it will probably earn the author a host of new fans, as well.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 11, 2011 2:11:28 PM PDT
Mary Wallis says:
I absolutely loved this book, even though I actually cried at times.It was terrible to learn the fates of his buds, even the dog. I think this is Child's best book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2011 6:47:39 PM PDT
E. Bukowsky says:
I agree that it is one of his best novels.

Posted on Dec 26, 2011 9:40:45 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2011 9:41:48 PM PST
Mary Wallis says:
I am a great Jack Reacher fan, and this book almost broke my heart. Dog lover me had a terrible time, and then when his crew got killed it was almost too much.
M wallis
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