Summary and book reviews of Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Bad Luck and Trouble

By Lee Child

Bad Luck and Trouble
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  • Hardcover: May 2007,
    377 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2008,
    512 pages.

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Book Summary

From a helicopter high above the empty California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night…. In Chicago, a woman learns that an elite team of ex–army investigators is being hunted down one by one.... And on the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher—soldier, cop, hero—is pulled out of his wandering life by a code that few other people could understand. From the first shocking scenes in Lee Child’s explosive new novel, Jack Reacher is plunged like a knife into the heart of a conspiracy that is killing old friends…and is on its way to something even worse.

A decade postmilitary, Reacher has an ATM card and the clothes on his back—no phone, no ties, and no address. But now a woman from his old unit has done the impossible. From Chicago, Frances Neagley finds Reacher, using a signal only the eight members of their elite team of army investigators would know. She tells him a terrifying story—about the brutal death of a man they both served with. Soon Reacher is reuniting with the survivors of his old team, scrambling to raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that is growing darker by the day. The deeper they dig, the more they don’t know: about two other comrades who have suddenly gone missing—and a trail that leads into the neon of Vegas and the darkness of international terrorism.

For now, Reacher can only react. To every sound. Every suspicion. Every scent and every moment. Then Reacher will trust the people he once trusted with his life—and take this thing all the way to the end. Because in a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they’d better be ready for what comes right back at them

1

The man was called Calvin Franz and the helicopter was a Bell 222. Franz had two broken legs, so he had to be loaded on board strapped to a stretcher. Not a difficult maneuver. The Bell was a roomy aircraft, twin-engined, designed for corporate travel and police departments, with space for seven passengers. The rear doors were as big as a panel van's and they opened wide. The middle row of seats had been removed. There was plenty of room for Franz on the floor.

The helicopter was idling. Two men were carrying the stretcher. They ducked low under the rotor wash and hurried, one backward, one forward. When they reached the open door the guy who had been walking backward got one handle up on the sill and ducked away. The other guy stepped forward and shoved hard and slid the stretcher all the way inside. Franz was awake and hurting. He cried out and jerked around a little, but not much, because the straps across his chest and thighs were buckled tight. The two ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse

Child's writing style continues to get tighter and more powerful. Little time is wasted on peripheral chat, keeping the plot firmly moving forward. Child offers supremely satisfying, intelligent action - a must read for existing fans and a great starting point for newcomers.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews
Entertainment Weekly - Ken Tucker

Child never overdoes it: We fans really don't want too much knowledge of Reacher's motives. New readers won't be put off either — the book works as a slam-bang yarn filled with Child's usual terse life-and-death lessons. Turns out, even when Reacher gets personal, he never gets mushy. A-

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Michele Ross

Child even provides a (small) glimpse of Reacher's mortality as he compares himself to his friends. Why on earth hasn't this series hit the big screen?

The New York Times - Janet Maslin

Bad Luck and Trouble, a top-tier Reacher book that matches the caliber of One Shot, from 2005, makes the most of its characters' camaraderie.

Publishers Weekly

The author carefully delineates Reacher's erstwhile colleagues, their smart-ass banter masking an unspoken affection.

Library Journal - Jeff Ayers

Starred Review. After ten previous Reacher novels, it would seem difficult to find new insight into such an enigmatic character, but Child supplies one of the best books in the series. This view into Reacher's past and the people he knew makes for an intriguing story line.

Booklist - Bill Ott

Starred Review. [A]s always, the action is intense, the pace unrelenting, and the violence unforgiving. Child remains the reigning master at combining breakneck yet brilliantly constructed plotting with characters who continually surprise us with their depth.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Perhaps there are action-lit writers more recognizable than Child, but the bet is that none of them will turn in a tighter-plotted, richer-peopled, faster-paced page-turner this year.

Reader Reviews
Lynn

Jack Reacher at his Best
I have read several Jack Reacher books and think they just get better and better. Maybe it is because Lee Child does such a good job of of building the character of Jack Reacher into someone you want to know more and more about. The suspense was ...   Read More

D. E. Hill

Lee Child just keeps getting better
With every new Jack Reacher novel, the suspense and characterization grows. Lee Child had me hooked with the very first Reacher novel, and he hasn't let me down yet.

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Beyond the Book

Lee Child was born in the exact geographic center of England, in the heart of the industrial badlands. The sort of place where minor disputes were settled with box cutters and bicycle chains. He's got the scars to prove it. But he survived, got an education, and went to university where he spent most of his time in the university theater; after which he went to work for Granada Television in Manchester. Over eighteen years he was involved with more than 40,000 hours of the company's program output. He also ...

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