About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child

66. – 626.) Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child – For no specific reason I had not read a Jack Reacher thriller until I picked up Bad Luck and Trouble for $2.00 at a used bookstore in North Vancouver two weeks ago. It is excellent escapist fiction.
            Reacher is aimlessly wandering the Pacific Northwest when he finds an unexpected deposit in his bank account. Frances Neagley, a former comrade with the special investigators unit of the U.S. Army Military Police, has reached out to Reacher in a unique way. The amount of the deposit is the number of a military code that an officer needs urgent assistance.
            The members of the unit have a special bond that remains strong 10 years after they had left the Army. Their connection is so powerful that a member will instantly go to another member in need.
            Reacher immediately leaves for Los Angeles. When he arrives he learns another member of the unit, Calvin Frantz, has been murdered. He has been thrown out of a helicopter.
            Reacher and Neagley soon determine other members of their 8 person team are missing. At the same time they are joined by other members of the unit. The survivors are determined to track down Frantz’s killers.
            It is hard to find a starting point. Frantz had been living a simple life. What could he have uncovered that would cause him to call on his fellow investigators and then send killers after him and other members of the unit? Reacher’s current team finds some evidence overlooked by the police and the killers and follow the trail towards the killers. The special investigators are relentless.
            In their investigations past and present they operate by a basic violent code - don’t mess with the special investigators. Old Testament justice is at the core of their code.
            As they investigate I was puzzled for a long time why the killers did not pursue Reacher and his colleagues with consistent aggression. Child has a simple but clever reason that I did not foresee.
            In Reacher I cannot recall another character so unencumbered by material goods. Determined to travel with no more than his folding toothbrush he will own but a single shirt so he will not start accumulating property.
            While Reacher operates by a stern morality of retribution for wrongs done he is amoral in acquiring money. He has no moral qualms about stealing money from drug dealers and then spending the drug money for his personal needs.
            Child is a smooth thriller writer. The pages flow swiftly. I know I will read more Jack Reacher adventures. (Dec. 6/11)


  1. Bill - I'm glad you enjoyed this, and thanks for a fine review. My personal opinion (so feel free to differ) is that the early novels (e.g. The Killing Floor) are better; they're "fresher" and one gets to know the Reacher character. So I hope you'll read some of the early ones as you explore Child's work.

  2. Margot: I had been thinking about going forward with the series but your comment has led me to plan to go looking for earlier novels. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. I must disagree with Margot a bit (audacity, I know) - I simply loved the two 2010 Reacher books: 61 HOURS and WORTH DYING FOR. I'm also looking forward to Santa bringing me the latest, THE AFFAIR.

    My previous Reacher favorite: PERSUADER.

    I've read all the Reacher books and congratulate you, Bill, on discovering them.

    Great review, by the way. :)

  4. Yvette: Thanks for the comment. Now I am torn. Your comment encourages me to read forward. Margot's comment had me going back. Is it possible to read a series in two different directions? I have never attempted it.

  5. i've been enjoying your reviews.

    lee child's series is one of the few that, in my opinion, can be enjoyed in random order. he even breaks away from the timeline to write books that occurred much earlier in time.

    i agree with you - excellent escapist fiction. a great example of books where you know exactly what you're going to get and you look forward to it and enjoy it, even though it's not remarkably different from what you've already read. you anticipate what's coming and that anticipation is half the enjoyment.

  6. Lori: Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your comments and hope you will make further comments.

    I had been wondering whether to look for one of his earlier of one of his later books. After reading your comment I will not fret on where in the series I next read a Jack Reacher book.