Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child ***

30 June 2022 | ,

Reading dates: 01-29 June 2022

#1 Killing Floor ***
#2 Die Trying ***
#3 Tripwire **
#4 The Visitor ***
#5 Echo Burning ***
#6 Without Fail ****
#7 Persuader ****
#8 The Enemy ***
#9 One Shot ***
#10 The Hard Way ***
#15 61 hours ****

Bad Luck and Trouble is another 3-star Reacher novel, where aspects of the plot hinder the narrative rather than help it. In this case, it is the company of his fellow team mates, who join him in order to find the 4 of them who have disappeared. The plot is set around LA and Las Vegas which are two really interesting cities and also make for really interesting landscape around the Badlands.

 if you watched LA traffic long enough you would see one of every automobile ever manufactured.

Apart from the 4, which apart from Nearly they are not developed into fully believable characters, there are other plot driven figures (like Margaret Berenson) who make little sense and once we are done with are kind of dropped. Maybe I am being harsh but I love Reacher so much I really want perfect books. Even at 3 stars, the novel is enjoyable.

Interestingly, Bad Luck and Trouble is the novel chosen for the second series of the TV show. I can see the reasoning and probably it will make a great show because of the characters interactions. In the book, though, I just wanted more Reacher and I did not get it. What I did get, and loved, is little snippets of Reacher’s geekiness with numbers, which comes out of a changed world after September 11:

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, had changed Reacher’s life in two practical ways. Firstly, in addition to his folding toothbrush he now carried his passport with him. Too many things in the new era required photo ID, including most forms of travel. Reacher was a drifter, not a hermit, restless, not dysfunctional, and so he had yielded gracefully. … (n)ew worries about terrorist financing had pretty much killed telephone banking. So Reacher had gotten an ATM card. He carried it inside his passport and used 8197 as his PIN. … He liked 97 because it was the largest two-digit prime number, and he loved 81 because it was absolutely the only number out of all the literally infinite possibilities whose square root was also the sum of its digits. Square root of eighty-one was nine, and eight and one made nine. No other nontrivial number in the cosmos had that kind of sweet symmetry. Perfect.

There were also some gems of Reacher life knowledge:

First rule, learned a long time ago: Eat when you can, because you never know when the next chance will come. … second rule, learned from a lifetime of bad luck and trouble: Maintain a little dignity.

Reacher picked one out, blue, no writing on it. He never bought anything with writing on it. … “You could have kept the old shirt.” “Slippery slope,” Reacher said. “I carry a spare shirt, pretty soon I’m carrying spare pants. Then I’d need a suitcase. Next thing I know, I’ve got a house and a car and a savings plan and I’m filling out all kinds of forms.”


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