Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

Lee Child worked in British television until he was fired during a reorganization. Needing a source of income, he turned to writing. He created the character of Jack Reacher, a former Army MP officer, now a civilian drifting around the U.S. Child said that he set his first book, Killing Floor, in the U.S. because of his love for the U.S. and because this is where the market is. Child has a website where he describes why he made Reacher an Army MP officer who was rifed (military lingo for "reduction in force"). Click here.

After leaving the Army, Reacher chose to became a drifter rather than looking for a job in private security or a law enforcement agency. Reacher takes his desire to leave mainstream society to an extreme, initially traveling without identification (Child changes this after 9/11) and with only a toothbrush. When he needs a change of clothing he buys something cheap and throws the old clothing away.

Reacher's involvement in a situation means that justice will be served - lethally. These books have a substantial body count. If you are squeamish and think that you might not want to know what "pink mist" refers to you might want to give these books a miss. If, on the other hand, you like fast paced action, interesting plots, and nasty villains then the Reacher series is essential reading. I won't miss one.

Bad Luck and Trouble is the eleventh book in the Jack Reacher series. I recommend that you read the first ten books in order. You could start here and not be lost but you will get a lot more if you read the previous books in the series. I'm also obsessive about reading a series in publishing order. I am generally compelled to read the Reacher novels is as close to one sitting as possible and this latest is no exception. I picked up Bad Luck and Trouble at the library Friday evening and finished it Saturday afternoon.

Bad Luck .. brings former members of Reacher's Special Investigations team together to find out who threw another team member out of an aircraft over the desert. The action is centered mainly in Los Angeles and the surrounding area though there is a side trip to Los Vegas. How the team comes together after 10 years and takes care of business makes for a fun read.

Child does something interesting with Reacher. Reacher looks at his friends and starts to question the way he has been living his life. Don't worry, he doesn't buy a house in the suburbs and settle down but it fits for Reacher question his life. We also get a bit more back-story from Reacher's Army career. Frances Neagley (previously seen in Without Fail) is the one who brings the team together after ten years.