BookBrowse Reviews Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bad Luck and Trouble

by Lee Child

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2007, 377 pages
    Mar 2008, 512 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book



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

On June 21st 2005 Lee was signing copies of his latest book in a small town outside of Chicago when he started to get a niggling feeling about the date - had he forgotten his wedding anniversary, an important birthday? As he ran through important dates in his mind he recollected that it was exactly ten years since the bittersweet day that he'd been fired from his previous job (which had given him the impetus to turn his hand to writing novels). He fell into a fit of nostalgia, wondering what had happened to old colleagues, how they were doing and what they looked like now? From these thoughts came the idea for his 11th Reacher novel, in which Reacher is reunited with members of his team from ten years ago, people that he loved fiercely and respected deeply, including Francis Neagley who was previously seen in Without Fail.

When a series hits double digits there's usually little left to explore about a protagonist's character, which is why reuniting Reacher with his old team of ex-army investigators is such an inspired move. Firstly, the supremely confident Reacher, who has rarely felt a moment of doubt in his life as we know it, finds himself measuring his life choices as a drifter against those of his colleagues, who all enjoy various degrees of personal or professional success as measured by normal societal standards.  As a result, for the first time, Reacher experiences that ubiquitous human emotion, self-doubt - albeit, not for very long!  Secondly, Reacher has always acted alone, but is now seen functioning as the leader of a team in environments not of his choosing, revealing new and fascinating aspects to his character.  And, of course, reuniting the remnants of the old team generates a feel-good camaraderie reminiscent of movies such as The Magnificent Seven, where one knows that the rusty skills of the individuals will meld into one effective whole just in time to give the bad guys a serious walloping!

As always, the body count is substantial and Reacher, who lives by his own moral code, dispenses justice in his inimitable fashion above and below the belt. The bad guys, lacking any redeeming qualities or indeed any character development beyond what is necessary for their role, are clearly beyond redemption and get their comeuppance in satisfying eye-for-eye fashion.

Child's writing style continues to get tighter and more powerful. Little time is wasted on peripheral chat, keeping the plot firmly moving forward. When a little extraneous detail is introduced you can be sure that it is important and that the mathematical, code-obsessed brain of Reacher will puzzle it over and, just in time, add the missing piece to the puzzle.

In short, Child offers supremely satisfying, intelligent action - a must read for existing fans and a great starting point for newcomers.

This review was originally published in June 2007, and has been updated for the March 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with would be hard to find a better ...
  • Book Jacket: Temporary People
    Temporary People
    by Deepak Unnikrishnan
    In this powerful and innovative collection of 28 short stories, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    If We Were Villains
    by M. L. Rio

    An intelligent and captivating story of the enduring power and passion of words.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    No One Is Coming to Save Us
    by Stephanie Powell Watts

    One of Entertainment Weekly, Nylon and Elle's most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

Modal popup -