Book Review: Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble

Posted October 27, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble

Bad Luck and Trouble


Lee Child

It is part of the , series and is a thriller in Hardcover edition that was published by Dell on May 15, 2007 and has 378 pages.

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Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Killing Floor, Die Trying, "Second Son", Tripwire, Running Blind, Echo Burning, Without Fail, Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, Nothing to Lose, Gone Tomorrow, 61 Hours, Worth Dying For, The Affair, A Wanted Man, "Deep Down", Never Go Back, "High Heat", Personal, Make Me, "Small Wars", Night School, MatchUp, The Midnight Line

Thirteenth chronologically in the Jack Reacher thriller series (eleventh publication-wise). This one takes place in L.A.

In 2008, Bad Luck and Trouble was nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Novel.

My Take

Oh. This is such a sad one. So many losses.

I found it interesting that Child is allowing Jack to age and start to question what he’s doing. This makes it so real. I’ve been wondering if/when Jack might start to wonder what’s happening in and with his life and I love that Child is taking it so slow.

It’s funny, too, how out of touch he is with modern technology, especially his use of a cell phone. Not knowing about flash drives. He’s got the math down. He’s a bit of a savant with numbers. He knows people. How they think, how they act. It’s fascinating to read how he and Neagley try to figure out what Franz’s password is for his computer. No real surprise when they do determine it. He has the respect of his peers.

My first reaction is always to cooperate with the police. Good thing that’s not how Reacher and his team think.

Too funny. Karla and Reacher’s big secret that everyone knows.

Lord, they are a brutal bunch who aren’t afraid to take matters into their own hands. Cops everywhere would envy them this freedom! Although it’s a bit frightening to think of less upright people doing the same things.

There are a number of reason I love this series. Reacher’s sense of fair play and his willingness to ensure it. His intelligence with numbers and figuring events and people’s directions. The loyalty he feels and that others feel for him. I do enjoy his lifestyle. It wouldn’t be for me, but it certainly makes it easy for Child to “play” anywhere. I love how he figures out the impossible.

The Story

That ATM card ends up being useful when it conveys a secret code that only a fellow MP could understand. It’s a 10-30 and Jack is quick to sort through the possibilities.

He meets up with Neagley in L.A. — both of them having figured out exactly where to find each other. Where they worry about why they haven’t heard from the other six. Why Franz didn’t contact at least Neagley. If he contacted all the others.

They haven’t much to start with, but Reacher’s way of getting inside someone’s head stands them in good stead. It’s how he taught Neagley, how he taught the others, and they were the best.

If they were the best, how did the bad guys get the jump on them?

The Characters

Jack Reacher is almost broke, just a few hundred dollars left in his bank account. With the aftereffects of 9/11, he’s had to start carrying identification AND an ATM card. I do love his method for creating his PIN.

Frances L. Neagley is his former sergeant. She’s now a partner in a big firm in Chicago and desperate to get in touch with Jack. They last partnered up in Without Fail four years ago.

The nine of them had been part of a special investigations unit in the military. One that Reacher had created. Their motto was You do not mess with the special investigators. Calvin Franz is the reason they’re gathering. To find his murderers. Angela Franz is his widow and they have a young son, Charlie. The others from the old unit are Tony Swan who is assistant director of corporate security for a defense firm, Jorge Sanchez (Milena is his girlfriend) and Manuel Orozco (married with three kids) work security in Las Vegas, David O’Donnell is a private detective in D.C., and Karla Dixon does forensic accounting investigation in New York. Stan Lowrey died years ago in Montana.

Thomas Brant is one of the men watching Neagley. Curtis Mauney is his boss with the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Azhari Mahmoud is the pivot. Diana Bond works for a jerk of a senator who is on the House Defense Committee.

New Age Defense Systems
Margaret Berenson is in charge of Human Resources while Edward Dean is the current quality control manager. Allen Lamaison is the head of security; Swan, Lennox, Parker, and Saropian work for him.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a quarter of a red-on-red target transposed on top of a textured cement wall. with the title in an embossed silver and the author’s name in an embossed white.

The title doesn’t come close to events. Jack experiences a lot more than just Bad Luck and Trouble.