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Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, No. 11) by Lee Child

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Bad Luck and TroubleA somewhat different concept for Jack Reacher (one of Lee Child’s favorite cop-type folks). Usually Reacher pretty much works alone as he travels the country with no changes of clothes, a travel toothbrush, and little cash but he normally does have his bank info so he can get cash if need be.

He really is in luck this time however as he now has an ATM card but he is completely startled when upon making a withdrawal request he finds he has much more cash than normal in his account. The deposit of $1030 means to Reacher and his MP associates that someone is in trouble. In military jargon 1030 means someone needs help. The deposit was in fact made by Frances Neagley, who had worked with him for over ten years in his army career. She was brilliant, resourceful, tough, and a true right hand to him in his position.

Reacher knows that something is wrong but as he tries tracking her down in Chicago where she used to work he finds that she is currently in LA doing some type of work-related activity. He immediately heads for LA knowing that he can track her down. When he does she tells him that one of their group is not only dead but was thrown from an airplane. The man, Calvin Franz, was one of Reacher’s closest friends in the service. And now Neagley planned to find out who killed him and she knew Reacher would also want that satisfaction.

Reacher had been in charge of a small group of ranger-type investigators of which Neagley was one. On hearing of how Franz died she felt the other eight members of the group should be brought together and do the same type of work they used to do and not only find the killers but the reasons for the murder.

However it turns out that they can only find three more of the former members but the five do unite and begin the task of not only finding Franz’s killers but also the task of finding the other three missing members.

At the same time unbeknownst to the former investigators there is a major sabotage type operation being put together and it does appear to be occurring at a defense contractor who Franz had been doing some work for.

The five compatriots quickly realize that somehow that defense contractor had contacts with not only Franz but also in one way or the other with the other three guys that they are looking for.

All the while they are searching and struggling for answers to the whole problem they are being followed and tracked no matter where they go. In putting two and two together they determine that some of the folks at the defense contractor are planning some type of criminal act using defense weapons. And these folks know that they are going to have to get rid of Reacher and his former army buddies because of their capabilities and patriotism

The book is interesting and shows not only how Reacher and the U.S. Army work out things but it shows how skillful Lee Child is in putting together such a well thought out book. He really shows his knowledge not only in military tactics but also things like the procedures used in flying helicopters. That part was especially interesting. Again overall Child has done it again. A great read.

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