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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 March 2008
I have read all the Jack Reacher novels, some several times as Lee Child has built a character that is credible (even to an ex-army man) and able to give us the ultimate male dream - no ties drifting!

Bad Luck and Trouble hits the Reacher aficianado like it was ordained to happen. Although Jack has worked with his team before, in this book they come together like the "Seven Samurai" each adding to a strong fast-moving plot with an admixture of agendas and sub-plots derived from strong characters. The pace is as usual warp speed with all the twists that we have come to expect from Child. I finished the novel in one sitting, exhausted and happy.

Does this guy ever do slow? Perhaps next time. keep em coming.
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Bad Luck and Trouble is your typical Jack Reacher novel from author Lee Child. Once again Reacher, our hard as nails, itinerant former Military Policeman hero, gets caught up in a twisting plot involving murderous and iredeemabe bad guys, a hidden conspiracy (this time with links to the global war on terrorism) and a mounting body count. This time the twist is that events require Reacher to reunite and work with former colleagues from his army days; colleagues almost as hard nosed & capable as he is. Apart from that it is the standard mix of hard edged, punchy prose, bone jarring action and twisted plotting, all leading up to to the usual final, bloody reckoning. Its also as entertaining and fast moving as always; a great example of the book that is impossible to put down.

So why only four stars? Well quite simply as good as Bad Luck and Trouble is it also has the undeniable hint of staleness about it. This is the eleventh Reacher novel and without any real exceptions they all follow the same standard template. This has produced some highly entertaining books, but reading this latest one there was a feeling of 'been there, read that' about it. There was no real sense of suprise in how events played out, and as always minimal character development or emotional depth. Reacher isn't exactly a one dimensional character, but nor is he someone with much room for personal development. With such a fixed central character the only way for Child to do something new with the series is by coming up with varied and interesting plots, something he seems reluctant to do. He does normally chuck in some unique twist, such as including Reacher's former colleagues this time around, but otherwise the plots tend to follow an increasingly predictable path. Unless that changes however, there is a real danger of familiarity breeding contempt and the series becoming boringly and predictably repetitive.

Its not quite at that stage yet, but nor is Bad Luck and Trouble in any way a departure from Lee Child's highly successful template. It will therefore please fans and is worth picking up, but its not going suprise anyone and the overly familiar plot quickly fades from the memory. It can only be hoped that Reacher's next adventure tries to break some wholly new ground.
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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2007
I have read all the Reacher series, and one criticism that could be leveled is that there has been too little character development. Reacher is a great hero, but the "lone avenger" thing was a little too one dimensional.

This story sees things move on, because suddenly Reacher is forced to contemplate and compare his life against the lives of those he has worked with - this provides some welcome variety and depth to things. Similarly the story is more a puzzle than an action thriller, and Reacher has to rely on others to help, rather than fixing things on his own. This helps things in my view, as there are fewer plotlines which strain credibility.

All the familiar landmarks of a Reacher tale are here and this will keep you reading till the end, because you will want to know what happens - it's just that the journey travels through slightly unfamiliar territory.
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on 13 May 2007
I am a big fan of the Reacher's the no nonsense loner, such as Eastwood in the Spaghetti westerns, that has a real feel good factor, and tonnes of adventure, with clever plots.

Bad Luck/Trouble was good but not as thrilling as earlier works (Killing floor, One shot). Childs added Reachers old unit buddies as additional characters but the real strength of Reacher is his loner/ carefree approach. The plot also wasn't as strong as earlier works, I had expected a few more twists which didn't come. Still recommend a read, and I'm likely to get the next Reacher book, also!
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on 3 June 2009
Lee Child's `Jack Reacher' novels are not the highest brow of fiction and `Bad Luck and Trouble' does not deviate from this. Following the now well worn path of Reacher stumbling across a violent crime and solving it in his own aggressive way the book is one for fans. There is some fleshing out of the Reacher character as he regroups with some old army buddies after one of them is killed. However, you never really learn anything new about Reacher by his interaction with these characters. As a fun action book there is nothing wrong with `Bad Luck', I just could not help feeling that it was too similar to others that came before it.

Child's books are almost best when he is writing about action and as an author he specialises in great finales. This is once again the case as `Bad Luck' has a brilliantly last third. Unfortunately, unlike many of the other books in the series the lead up to the finish is not that good. There is far too much slow investigation; this is not helped by the fact that you are aware what is going to happen by about page 50. When you get to the action you are glad that you stuck with the book, but the journey is a lot harder a struggle than the best books in the series. I also felt that the bad guys were not made to suffer as much as they should - sadistic, but true! One for Reacher fans only, I advise new readers to start with the earlier more dynamic books.
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on 17 June 2016
super storyline , well written as usual , Jack Reacher is the best , the only downside is the film made so far has a short guy playing a giant of a man. you do never want to mess with Jack.
love the story in this book , found it very hard to put the book down at the end of the day.

read it from cover to cover in 2 days.
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on 15 April 2016
Read my first Jack Reacher book at book 20 so am reading backwards looking for these has become almost a pass time as i like to read hard backs
Bad Luck and Trouble wonderful read and shows you when you get the call you go great story see many sides of Jacks nature always one step ahead now looking for last of these books no 4 The visitor, no 9 One Shot ,no 12 Nothing to lose , no 15 Worth dying for and no 17 Wanted man
so hard to put down you just get lost in the story
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on 11 December 2009
I was given this book by a friend having a 'clear out', I have never read anything by this author before but certainly will be working my way through everything he has written. I thought the book was briliant I read it in one day. Passed it to my uncle who also read it in one day.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2007
Having just finished reading 'Bad Luck and Trouble' I have to say, this is about as satisfying a story I have read in a good time.

If you have never encountered Jack Reacher, then I bid you do so without further ado. He is big, at least 6'4, very, very strong and military trained. He also has a supercomputer for a brain (not literally he is just very clever). During his thirteen years in the military he made Major twice, with his prime years spent heading special investigations within the Military Police. Jack Reacher then, is a human you do not really want to get on the wrong side of.

In the creation of this character, Lee Child (author) has created all the things that stir the imaginations of boys and surprisingly a good many females. Reacher is Robin Hood, Terminator, Columbo, Conan the Barbarian -a whole bunch of hero figures wrapped into one large package, and neither Reacher nor Child are prone to wasting anyone's time.

We know there is going to be little threat to Reacher, rather Child's craft is in putting those Reacher cares about in jeopardy and then having us sit back slack jawed as Reacher goes about teaching those fool enough to get in the way, just how unwise their actions have been. In short Reacher is an opportunity for every man (and women) to experience through fiction, some payback for all the injustices we see in the everyday world and are powerless to do anything about.

In this the latest of the Reacher series, I think we are into our eleventh year, Reacher gets an SOS from a buddy from his MP days and finds that someone has been throwing his old team out of helicopters. Along the way we get embroiled in national defence, terrorists, Las Vegas and LA life - night and day and of course get caught up in trying to figure just how Reacher is going to sort all this without losing any more of his team.

In writing Reacher, Child has explored a myriad of book styles over the years and this gives us a new angle in the terror drama while maintaining the raw Reacher presence. A great read for the fan and a great introduction for the new recruit that will have both checking out the back catalogue.

Pros: Probably one of the most layered of the Reacher stories with that good mix of plot and characters, puzzles and expectation for Reacher retribution.

Cons: The title makes the book sound like a middle tier American detective novel.
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on 7 March 2008
I love Jack Reacher but he has softened a little since the days of Echo Burning, Killing Floor and Tripwire. I really enjoyed this book but it did create a conflict for me. On one hand I love Jack Reacher because he is a loner who leaves no trace but on the other hand I enjoyed him hooking up with his old colleagues from 'back in the day' (his favourite phrase!).

I didn't feel that that the story line was as fast paced as some of the previous offerings but Lee Child has opened up the possibility of developing the Special Investigators who survived this romp.

I really enjoyed The Enemy, the only JR novel that returned to his MP days - I would like to see more of Jack from back along with Neagley, Dixon, Ortez and co.

For Jack Reacher fans, you will enjoy this book but you'll need to get used to a more civilised JR who has a passport, a bank account and friends. But at least his fold away toothbrush is still the only luggage he carries!!
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