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Bad Luck and Trouble: A Jack Reacher Novel    by Lee Child order for
Bad Luck and Trouble
by Lee Child
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Former army special investigator turned drifter Jack Reacher is back and ready to dole out his particular brand of justice in his latest white knuckle adventure, Bad Luck and Trouble. As the story opens, Jack is in Portland, Oregon, drawing funds from his dwindling bank account. Once the auto teller spits out his receipt, a mysterious deposit of $1030.00 immediately catches his attention. At first, he thinks it's a mistake, but within minutes he knows that someone has sent him a coded military message. Always the consummate investigator, Jack asks all the right questions and confirms his suspicions - former colleague and fellow special investigator Frances Neagley has issued a call for help.

Jack heads to Los Angeles to rendezvous with Neagley who fills him in - Calvin Franz, another member of their former unit, is lying in the local morgue. He'd been tortured and then tossed from a helicopter while still alive. Three other members of their team are also missing and presumed dead. The whereabouts of the last two, Dave O'Donnell and Karla Dixon, remains questionable - Neagley hasn't been able to raise either of them. She has good reason to believe that she and Reacher are the sole survivors of their original unit and that someone has initiated a vendetta against them. Jack doesn't question his former sergeant's Intel - he trained her himself and knows that Neagley has left no stone unturned to reach her conclusions. The two of them against a pack of brutal killers are poor odds at best, but Jack doesn't care. He's damn mad and more than ready to stand by their old credo 'you don't mess with special investigators'. He and Neagley vow to do whatever it takes to find and punish those responsible for the brutal murders of their colleagues.

Bad Luck and Trouble is another great addition to a series that never fails to satisfy. Readers will see Jack Reacher in a whole new light as he temporarily sheds his loner persona and takes over his old duties as CO of a crack (if fractured) team of investigators. Frances Neagley (introduced in a previous installment) remains a fascinatingly aloof character. O'Donnell and Dixon, (both of whom eventually join the game) are an interesting and talented pair who deserve an encore or two. Child spins a consummately twisted tale that leads Jack and his team along a few wrong turns. But once they're on the right scent, the action escalates and rockets to a surprising and very satisfying conclusion that will leave readers cheering the merits of good old-fashioned frontier justice - Jack Reacher style. If you like your thrillers fast, furious, high octane and intelligent, then pencil in Bad Luck and Trouble as a must summer read.

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