Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Jack Reacher dishes out a big helping of revenge.

Reading time: 2 minutes –

Since I’m teaching my son to drive, I thought this title sounded like a perfect read. This isbad luck my fifth Reacher novel, and I love that you don’t have to read them in order (11th in the series, published in 2007). Reading in order might be sacrosanct for some; sorry if I just trampled on your belief.

This was my favorite so far, just edging out Killing Floor, his first.

I enjoyed that Reacher wasn’t a lone wolf in this novel. He teams up with some of his old army buddies, although he’s a little late on the scene because half of his old brigade is dead before page 1 opens. How’s that for a non-spoiler; I’m telling you about pre-page 1 stuff!

So here’s what I love about Reacher, and if you’re like me, this is enough to entice you to pick up one of Lee Child’s books. The guy is a drifter. Hands the size of a watermelon, body reminiscent of Paul Bunyan and a mind as sharp as Garry Kasparov. But as a drifter (he’s having some issues reacquainting himself with civilian life after nine years in the army), he travels light. Not light like you and me. Light as in, he carries a toothbrush. When it’s time to wear a new shirt, he tosses the old one out and buys a cheap new one. Love that. So here’s the piece from Bad Luck and Trouble that’ll convince someone like me to give Reacher a try.

Some bad dudes break into his hotel room and trash the place. When you travel like Reacher, there’s not much trashing you can do. They throw his toothbrush on the floor and crush it. His reaction: “Bastards.” Now they’re gonna pay.

One more way to decide if you’ll like this novel, which reads super fast. This is how Reacher gets his assignment in Bad Luck and Trouble. He decodes some numbers that he receives at an ATM in Oregon. Causes him to call one of his old army pals, a woman named Neagley. He calls her office, where her assistant answers and tells Reacher, “She said if you can’t find her, she doesn’t want you.”

Yessssss! If you love that line, you’ll take the assignment right alongside Reacher. And if you do, hang on for a wild ride.


9 thoughts on “Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

    1. Patience, Bruce, patience. Easy for me to say, I’m still in the throes of catching up, so I don’t have to wait. Do you have a favorite? I’m going to read something besides Lee Child, and then come back to Reacher after that. So I’ll be curious if you have a suggestion. Hope all is playing well in Peoria!


  1. There’s only been one Reacher novel I haven’t liked. My favorite is Second Son, which is a story, not a novel about young Jack.

    I’m usually a “read them in order ” type but I was getting most of them via the library so had to take what was available. With this guy, you do not have to worry about reading anything in order. He’s all over the place and if you need to know something, he tells you.

    I, too, hate that he killed off so many of his team (every time he kills someone I like I yell “Stop doing that!”) but the good thing is, you never know where in time he’ll end up, so you just may see them again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, there’s a short story about young Jack Reacher? I’ll have to get my hands on that. But not yet. That kind of a story will be exponentially better for every novel I’ve read, so I’m going to read a few more before I hunt down the story.

      Thanks for sharing that, Cynthia!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had the time. My husband rolls his eyes towards my TBR pile every time I mention (yet another) book I might want to read. I tend to hone in on the stuff that helps with what I write – and it ain’t Reacher, unfortunately. I know, I know, a writer can learn from reading all sorts of genres – but for the rougher/higher octane/mystery/suspense stuff – I stick to Southern Noir. Can’t get enough of it really. I just finished WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO by David Joy. That is not for the tenderhearted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m right there with you, Donna, regarding reading in other genres. Sure, if I lived in a world with 36-hour days, I’d enjoy several genres. But I can’t even get through my TBR pile inside my genre. Just don’t have the time to read widely outside of it.

      Keep writing.


  3. I’ve read KILLING FLOOR, and I have another Reacher novel to read, but it’s way down the line in sequence. I’ve been waiting to fill the gaps in between and read in order. However, that may take too long. It will be a struggle, but I might have to read Reacher out of sequence, too. We’ll see if I can bring myself to do it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colin, I used to think I’d read every series in order. Then reality punched me in the face. Just don’t have the time. So my theory is this: I’d rather read newer stuff that demonstrates what the market is looking for today versus reading something from 1996 which may have fallen out of favor by now. I know there are exceptions to every rule, but with a finite amount of time and an infinite number of books in my TBR pile, I have to create some guidelines to get me where I need to go.

      Keep writing, my friend! Pretty soon, you’ll be hammering out a query.


  4. Hello? Where have you been John (Manuscript) Frain? Dropped by from The Reef to see if you were breathing. Writing? Editing? I’ve started my third book (which is really my fifth) Struggling with – guess – the first DAMN sentence. I.e. the usual is going on.

    Hope all is well!


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