Review: Bad Luck and Trouble – Lee Child

4 of 5 stars

Series: Jack Reacher 11

My version: Paperback
Fiction Crime, thriller
Bantam Books

You do not mess with Jack Reacher.

He is as close to untraceable as a person can get. A loner comfortable in his anonymity and solitude. So when a member of his old Army unit finds a way to contact him, he knows this has to be serious.

You do not mess with the Special Investigators.

In the past the elite team always watched each other’s backs. Now one of them has shown up dead in the California desert and six more are missing.

Reacher’s buddies are in big trouble, and he can’t let that go.

The Danish version would seem to be called ‘Black Accident.’ Don’t ask me why…

Well, first things first. There’s not so much about teeth this time. American or British. So that’s a relief.

The ‘untraceable’ part just doesn’t work. He’s been tracked down, with relative ease, several times so far in the series. This is just the latest. OK, they’re maybe people ‘in the trade’ but still.

The Special Investigations aspect does work quite well. He labours the ‘clique’ angle a bit, you do feel like saying ‘OK, Lee, we get the message – they’re tight.’ There are several interesting background angles to look at as well. It does help fill out aspects of Reacher’s character nicely. We learn, amongst other things, that Reacher isn’t worried about killing in cold blood. Not when revenge for downed pals is involved anyway.

Style wise. The problem with all the dissecting, the going through all the options, as if Reacher’s brain is trained to work everything out and choose the right, most viable one, given the circumstances, instantly…it doesn’t half slow things down – rather more than somewhat. Takes the force out of the action and makes it just mundane. Manages to take the edge off it. That’s something the film(s) have managed to avoid. On the whole, Lee Child’s style could be a lot, lot tighter. More filmic, in fact. Otherwise, very enjoyable read.

You can buy Bad Luck and Trouble (as I did) at

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