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Bad Luck and Trouble - Lee Child

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Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Lee Child / Edition: Reprint / Paperback / 528 Pages / Book is published 2008-03-10 by Bantam Books

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    6 Reviews
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      29.05.2013 19:51

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      A good series of books to keep you reading.

      I read a lot but had never even heard of Lee Child. This is his 11th book. We were on holiday in Turkey and a lady came over to me to ask if I wanted a couple of books off her as she was going home that day. Once I started this book I couldn't put it down, and its been a while since I read a book that held my attention like that. This is from Amazon: So when a member of his old Army unit manages to get a message to him, he knows it has to be deadly serious. The Special Investigators always watched each other's backs. Now Reacher must put the old unit back together. Someone has killed one of them, and he can't let that go. Its mainly about a huge man called Reacher who 'retired' from the Military Police and now roams America with little else but a toothbrush. BUT its more than that, he is a one man army righting the wrongs with society. Once I had read this book I went back to the beginning of the Reacher books as sort of follow the lives of the people in them. Lee Childs first book is Killing Floor. Its not essential to read them in order but if like me you like to follow some-one life in the book series it's a good place to start. The last book in the Reacher series was in 2012 and Im hoping there's still more to come.

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      22.06.2009 13:37
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      Highly recommended

      I'm a fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books and have read several. Recently I saw Bad Luck and Trouble selling on ebay for a few pence and realised it was one I'd missed. It can also be purchased new from Amazon for £3.50. Jack Reacher is ex Military Police, a huge guy who can handle himself but since leaving the army he has wandered around with no particular purpose. He just stays a couple of days in each town and these books usually find him caught up in a situation that he helps with before he moves on. Naturally there is always a woman involved too but his flings do seem credible because they don't turn into relationships and as he's not in the same place for very long it's feasible he would have countless flings along the way. In this book Reacher goes to the ATM to withdraw some cash and finds he has more money than he thought. One thousand and thirty dollars more to be precise and after calling the bank assuming it's their mistake he realises someone from his old unit is trying to send him a message. 1030 is a distress call and once he's established who put the money there he heads off to find her. The person responsible is one of his old unit, Frances Neagley. She has been informed that another member of their unit has been found dead in the desert with two broken legs, with signs of torture and having been starved beforehand. The motto the unit always had was "you do not mess with the special investigators" and they all stuck together to the point they would immediately be there to help each other even after 9 years apart. Reacher is the first to hook up with Neagley and even though she's called the entire unit except one who died years ago in a car crash and the one recently found in the desert no-one else has responded. Where are they and are they still alive? And who killed the member of the unit they've already found in the desert and how did they manage to capture him with all his training? This is one of the best Jack Reacher books I've read so far. The reason it works so well is because we have other members of the unit for Reacher to interact with and the author is able to showcase Reacher's skills to their full potential because the other members have the same skills. Reacher often ends up with hardly any dialogue because he's a loner and the situations he becomes involved in don't involve many others but this book has lots of dialogue for him. It also gives us a tiny glimpse into his past, not a huge amount of detail but some. The plot unravels and as usual there is a very complicated reason behind it and Reacher has to go to great lengths to sort it out. The remaining members of the unit use all their investigative skills to figure it out and there's a lot of fight scenes which I admit I like! Lee Child writes in a very straightforward way so the story grabs you right from the first page and keeps you hooked until the end, he adds twists and turns along the way and manages to make Reacher extremely likable. For any Jack Reacher fans this book is a must, it really is one of the better ones and reminds me of the early ones when we were just getting to know Jack Reacher so we had some detail about him and people from the army cropping up. I really enjoyed it, a thoroughly entertaining read with Reacher at his violent best!

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        08.06.2009 11:07
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        A decent enough effort, but nowhere near the best

        Jack Reacher is one hell of a character. Ex-Military Police he now roams the United States as a mash up of 'The Littlest Hobo', 'Highway to Heaven' and 'The A Team'. He is the type of man that would take a Bic pen and pop a football. He would cut open a tennis ball just to see it bleed. I would not put it past him to go into a mystic's shop and destroy all their crystal balls. This is because Reacher is a ball buster. He busts balls for amusement. If you can get into the mindset of this character when reading one of these books you are in for a fun ride. If you don't, you may find yourself reading one of the most ridiculous things you have ever come across! As a drifter Jack Reacher travels with the shirt on his back and a debit card. One day he checks his bank account and someone has deposited over $1000 without his knowledge. The amount suggests that it is an old Army pal in distress so Reacher sets out to LA to find out. It's not long before he finds his ex-colleague and they discover that a member of their former unit has been murdered. Out of the original 8 members four are missing and four are on the case. Can Reacher and company uncover what happened to their friends before they incur the same fate? Lee Child is a writer who specialises in action and in particular the big finish. All the Reacher novels have been about a rise in pressure until a final action sequence that finishes the book off beautifully. This is certainly the case with 'Bad Luck and Trouble' as the final third is an action packed set of adventures were the former MPs get their revenge on the criminals. However, unlike in the majority of the series the first two thirds of the book leading up to this are not as well written. Firstly, the investigation is a little slow and a little boring; this is because it is obvious what is going on almost immediately. Child spends a long time building the reader up to hate the enemy and having read others in the series you know that Reacher will get his revenge. This leads to the other problem with this book over the others. The revenge is not sweet enough. Child is a master at creating vile enemies that you love to hate. He is also a master at making Reacher an angel of justice whose actions are swift and impressive. In the case of 'Bad Luck' I feel that the enemies were perhaps not punished enough! I know this is a little sadistic on my part, but I would have preferred them to have suffered far more greatly for their actions. Another area that can be seen as a problem, or as a blessing, is the lack of character development. Reacher is not a hugely changed character over the various books in the series although he has killed many people and had several people close to him die. Usually, I prefer a book that is not too deep as I am not really that bothered about the inner workings of the male action hero's psyche, but in the case of 'Bad Luck' the lack of development was almost jarring. Reacher is meeting up with people he has not seen for years and was very loyal to. However, nothing changes in him and this makes the new characters appear like nobodies just made up by Child to fill the pages. Despite my numerous misgivings over 'Bad Luck and Trouble' I have to say that I enjoyed the book. This was never meant to be a thought provoking book, but instead a good action thriller. When the thrills do arrive they are of the high quality that I have come to expect from Lee Child. Unfortunately, the highs are not often enough to be amongst the best books in the series. For this reason I would recommend this book to fans of the series already, but urge new readers to start chronologically and immerse yourself in Reacher's earlier and more kinetic adventures. Author: Lee Child Year: 2007 Price: amazon uk - £3.49 play.com - £3.49

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          05.01.2009 01:55
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          Oooft in book form.

          ---02-11-2008--- Things that have bugged the crap out of me this week: Work. Lack of internet (which I'm told will now be for about another month). My bank talking to me like I am an idiot. Things that have made me a happy person this week: Pay day. Halloween. Bleached hair and crazy colours coming in the post. My fabulously comfortable new house coat and giant ape head slippers (thank you Debenhams blue cross sale). Boxers baggy enough to allow me to be wearing the aforementioned slippers while I put them on. Kisses from a cute guy. Books. You may have noticed, there are considerably more things under the happy column! Lets see how long THAT lasts. ---Continue--- Due to lack of internet, I've been forced to pursue less Hi-tech distractions. Since I've just been paid and my bank have been playing funny buggers with me, I decided to give them a giant "screw you" and went on a bit of a shopping spree. Amongst the many and miscellaneous items were four new books. Yay for me! The ones I chose were from a series by Lee Child, a man who looks like Richard O'Brian but with hair. The series focuses on Jack Reacher, an ex-military loner with a talent for attracting trouble wherever he goes. I've found myself describing the books as "a sort of spy type thriller thing but not really since he's not a spy, he's just really cool...er.... Its good honest!!" Personally, I thought it sounded crap when I picked up the series first of all. Then I read one. Ooft. The one I have chosen to read on this particular occasion is called "Bad Luck and Trouble" and is the latest "Jack Reacher" novel. ---Superman--- Reacher himself is a brilliant creation. He lives by his own rules and doesn't take anything unpleasant from anyone. Get on the wrong side of him and he will make you wish you were never born. Child has included a rather strange CV in the front of the novels to help you get to know his creation a bit better. Reacher is, to steal a phrase my mother uses constantly, built like a brick shit house (I figure if my mum can swear, so can I) which means he's bloody huge. He is stupidly rugged, incredibly strong and has a pretty spot on moral compass and won't let anything as simple as the law get in the way of dishing out karma where it's needed. Essentially, he is extremely shagable. This, right here, is what the lack of internet does to me. ---One....Two...three...--- So far, there are twelve books in this series (soon to be 13). So far, I have read three. Pathetic, I know, but hey, I'm trying! The thing that initially attracted me to the series as a whole was the fact that as much as they are all about the same character, they don't need to be read in any particular order to make sense. Each book takes time to re-build Reacher into an almost superhuman but incredibly believable character without being boring for the people who already know him. The plot lines aren't connected with each other, which only serves to enhance Reachers identity as a loner, cut off from everything and everyone. Child seems to have picked up on the lack of order himself and even jumps back into Reachers past in the 8th book of the series. It also means you can pick them up at any book you want. ---Cup of tea?--- Telling you about the story is quite difficult. Child is a misleading writer in the most fantastic way. The book is full of suspense and intrigue from the get go. The problem is that the book is full of little surprising twists so telling you the slightest little thing will ruin those precious moments. So just bear with me while I skirt around the issues. Reacher gets a call for help from an old friend. Which is odd considering he has chosen to be one of the most untraceable souls in America. One of his old army unit has turned up dead surrounded by circumstances that are far more than suspicious and Reacher and his old friend want retribution. And now I shall bite my tongue. ---I know something you don't know--- I may not be able to tell you much about the story without spoiling the living crap out of it, but I can tell you about Childs writing abilities. Basically, he rocks. His attention to detail is amazing and he easily captures the slightly paranoid, highly intelligent Reacher. Given that this is his 11th Reacher novel, it's hardly a surprise that he knows his character inside out. Child uses this attention to detail to great effect, feeding you information and leaving you to make your own conclusions for a little while then showing you exactly how wrong you were. On the flip side, something that makes this novel brilliant is the complete lack of detail given about some aspects, namely the bad guys. We are regularly updated as to what they look like, what they are doing and their many alias's but not until the last few chapters are we actually let into their motives and their connections with Reachers old friends. ---Are you talking to me?--- Like any good book, this one will have you hooked from the start. Seriously, read the first chapter and you won't be able to put it down. Something that I think makes this book in particular so incredibly readable is the abundance of very short chapters. It's like a trick of the mind to keep you reading. In the two days it took me to power through this book, I looked at the length of the next chapter and decided to just read one more (then another and another and another) at least five times. Sneaky, but effective. The other books in the series tend to go for the longer chapters so, as brilliant as they are, they can be put down a bit easier. ---Hey boys!--- I am told by the book that men want to be Jack Reacher and women want to be with him. Already concluding myself that I would indeed "hit that" I thought I'd put the theory to the test and forced my book on two of my unsuspecting colleagues. This made for much fun. The first one was Ewan, a typical heterosexual bloke, beard, mid 20's, geekery personified. He powered through it, constantly updating me on where Reacher was, what he was doing and how amazing the guy is. He was like a kid at Christmas and I was the mean brother who knew what you were getting but wasn't going to tell. Needless to say, Reacher has the heterosexual male vote. Well done sir! ---Hey girls!--- Next colleague was Fiona; decidedly female, rather girly at times, rather scary at others, but overall firmly in the heterosexual woman camp. The day after the book was handed to her, she tumbled in to work firmly addicted. Between stories of music festivals in Germany and having to hide some rather bloodied knuckle dusters she informed me that her poor boyfriend was not allowed to sleep the night previous due to not being allowed to turn the light off. She was 250 odd pages into it and was clock watching for her next break. I am yet to ask her if she would gyrate in Reachers direction, but I suspect the answer would be a resounding yes. ---Superstar DJ!--- So, now that I have ran out of things to say due to a refusal to ruin the story for you, I shall mention the covers. They be pretty! They satisfy my need for my books to match, all being printed in the same style with ten of the twelve having an eerie but incredibly lovely picture of a road (not the same one) printed on the front. I won't even begin to ask why. Just nod and agree. As for the price, paperback wise, nearly each novel will set you back a penny less than seven of your best British pounds (£6.99 if you really are that lazy) and will take up a good inch and a half on your book shelf! Occasionally they will creep up to £7.99, but it's still worth it. I've never seen them printed in hardback, but that might just be due to my lack of looking for it. Who knows. Not me. I don't have the net to check it out! ---Here we go!--- If you are interested, the series is easily accessible, with most, if not all, still in circulation in any decent corporate whore of a book store and if you have £83.88 to throw around you can get them all at the same time. Or you can just be a normal person and buy a few at a time. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a list of the books in the order they were written: 1: Killing Floor 2: Die Trying 3: Trip Wire 4: The Visitor 5: Without Fail 6: Echo Burning 7: Persuader 8: The Enemy 9: One Shot 10: The Hard Way 11: Bad Luck and Trouble 12: Nothing to loose ---Get lost--- We have come to the end of the line. Did I mention the book rocks? You should go and buy it. Or you can go and buy the first one first... but where would be the fun in that? Get Thee to a book store! In the meantime, I'm off to throw the ones I have in the air and randomly pick the next one I'm going to read! Wish me luck!

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            18.04.2008 17:08
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            Lee Child's 11th Jack Reacher novel and better than the 10th

            At the moment, when not playing internet poker, I find that I'm reading more and more and always eager to pick up books by many authors - one of which is Lee Child - so when I picked this off the shelf of the local library I was eager to catch up on the exploits of Jack reacher and his manly charm. Following the strange appearance of $1030 in his bank account Jack contacts an old army colleague (ten-thirty being the call sign used when a military policeman needs assistance) and discovers that Calvin Franz, a member of the team he fronted, has been murdered. The motto 'You DO NOT mess with the Special Investigators' has never been more pertinent and Jack Reacher is not a man to take this lying down. Together with Frances Neagley the pair attempt to contact and enlist the help of all the old team and plan to discover what happened to their dead friend and then to exact a revenge on his behalf. Revenge, it just so happens, is one of Reacher's specialities. 'Bad Luck and Trouble' is Lee Child's eleventh book featuring the drifting loner Jack Reacher and this time everyone's favourite, for want of a better word, traveller is packing a passport. The events of 9/11 have changed the world he lives in and photo ID is now standard fare in his (almost) untraceable lifestyle. The story is, as ever, fast-paced and the pages just fly by as you delve into the dangerous world Jack and his buddies inhabit. Even the standard phrase 'just one more chapter' will get over used as you go through this as each chapter is a nice length. Not too long so your sleep really suffers and not too short that it feels like you've not actually read anything of substance at all. Take a hint Mr. Patterson. My only real gripe with the Reacher stories is that the characters are very poorly realised. Nobody, even the hero himself, suffers from what we humans call emotion; even during the moments when visiting the wife of the dead comrade do you actually believe that she is in pain over the loss of her husband. The main characters are just too busy being 'cool' all the time. The trouble is they're not just cool - they're cold. This problem aside Lee Child can still tell a rivetting tale that keeps you coming back for more and has enough twists and turns and muscle to keep the men-folk happy and enough twists and turns (and muscle) to keep Reacher's female fans in the same far-away land of 'If only' fantasy. Fans of the hit TV show '24' or the Joe Pike novels of Robert Crais will love this tale of retribution along with its quick pace and ubercool protaganists and finish the book wanting to reach for the next in the series of which the paperback version has the first chapter of at the back. I really hate this - who wants to read one chapter of a book? It's like watching the first five minutes of a movie and then switching off. (Although to be fair some books/films only deserve the briefest of samples to realise they are never going to keep you happy.) If you have read any previous Jack Reacher story then this one will not disappoint and, for me, is a better read than 'The Hard Way'. If you've yet to sample the man and his 'act now - talk later' mentality then you will be in for a treat. Available in paperback for the (now) standard £6.99 and has 528 pages but can be found for as little as £3.86 new from Amazon or from 90p used. Also posted on Ciao.

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              01.08.2007 21:48
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              Reacher and his old MP team reform to save themselves

              As with many people I find that at weekends my nightshifts suffer from a lack of things to do, so it is recommended (by the manager no less) that staff take books or dvd's to fill the time, on Saturday night it was this that I took with me. It was borrowed from a library at the office in which my Dad works for him to take on holiday of course this meant that I completed it and told him all about it in the car at 4am this morning while I taxied him to the airport. As this is a Lee Child book it of course features his hero Jack Reacher the former US Military Policeman who now lives a nomadic life owning nothing but the clothes he wears and his toothbrush, along with the now requisite photo ID. But on this occasion when he goes to check his bank balance there is an extra $1030, why? The amount is 1030 the old code for 'Help' back when he was in the army, so he deduces that this is one of his old team calling for assistance, but which one, a call to his bank reveals where the deposit came from so he heads out to LA to find her and why she needs help. The plot at times is quite convoluted but it does tie together, the ending doesnt seem rushed and hits with the same impact as the closing scenes as the previous books have done, but this somehow seems more real, whether this is due to Reacher's obvious affection and ties to the team he is working with/rescuing which is absent in other books or simply that the style is slightly different I couldnt say but I enjoyed it either way. So far as the other members of Reahcers team having had such different lives after the Army it is also realistic to believe that one or more have effectively dropped out of society, others have had great success while others occupy the middle ground and d oenough to get by comfortably. As with all Lee Child books it is action packed but also contains a healthy dose of thinking as the characters investigate the crime/mystery. But it is also somewhat unbelieveable in its premise that this man could choose to live so nomadically, and own literally nothing except what he can carry. Also that he can do so many of the things he does without having been locked up yet, but these are all things that can be said of any of the books featuring Reacher. After the previous book this one feels better, its characters are better written and do seem like they could be real people, though some of the more peripheral characters are too two dimensional to seem realistic but as they are peripheral this doesnt impact on my enjoyment of the book too greatly. The length of this is about right at 410 pages long in the hardback copy, as this was borrowed from a library it hasnt cost me anything but a typical hardback book will cost from around £9 depending where it is bought from (obviously buying online it will incurr higher postage charges). If I'm being honest I probably wont be buying this when it is released in paper back straight away but probably will pick up a copy if I see it in a charity shop simply to keep the bookshelf complete as I will reread the books but not just yet. The media quotes on the back suggest that this is Child's best book yet which while I dont entirely agree it is pretty reasonable to assume that the writing style has matured and involving Reachers old collegues did add a new dimension to the action.

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              The twists come thick and fast...and the surprise developments are genuinely unexpected...Child, as always, delivers.