Eric_W's Reviews > Bad Luck and Trouble

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child
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Mar 16, 12

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bookshelves: mysteries-and-thrillers
Read in March, 2012

[audiobook] Reacher is meandering around the northwest when he gets an odd signal in the form of a deposit to his bank account of $1030. As a former MP, he realizes this could be only a bank error, unlikely, or a ten-code, i.e. 10-30, for officer needs assistance. (Interestingly, I looked up the official ten-code list and 10-30 means unnecessary use of radio; the official code for officer needs assistance is 10-78. My favorite is 10-45* What Child’s intent is here is unclear.)

A member of their former special investigations unit has been killed and Francis Nagley, a member of the unit, feels it’s their duty to get the people who did it to one of their own. Inevitably, they are being stalked by a group of bad guys. So it’s not the three musketeers, but rather four (so who’s D’Artagnan?) Prepare to suspend rational thought as Reacher hears the click of a slide twenty feet behind him, reacts instantly in precisely the proper manner, and they slay the bad guy sent by the bad guys. Predictable as that is, Childs really holds our interest as the plots unfold. I particularly liked all the math stuff clues.

The big question about Reacher that I have is, considering he rarely buys shirts, gets a haircut, or whatever, and never seems to visit a laundromat, how does he keep his underwear clean and yet attract all these women?

In the end, unfortunately, the plot devolves into the typical revenge plot where two men and two women, all middle-aged (the middle-aged fantasy) believe seeking revenge for their former colleagues is more important than involving the authorities in preventing a possible mass murder.

*10-45 means “animal carcass at...” which gives you an idea of the archaic nature of ten codes. They are being phased out in most states, particularly since localities often add their own codes or change meanings which can often lead to misunderstandings between agencies. For example in Atlanta, it’s “Code 10.” In other places, it’s 10-200. In an example ripe for confusion,m the City of Poughkeepsie is 10-23, the Town of Poughkeepsie is 10-13, and the NY State Police use 10-31. Personally I prefer, “Get your ass over here.” The worst is the Broome County Sheriff’s Department which uses 10-10 for “Out of Service on radio (duh) and “Signal 10” for “Officer Needs Assistance. Talk about ripe for misunderstanding! BTW, in Nassau County 10-96 means “Respond in old clothes.”
Ref: http://www.bearcat1.com/radiony.htm
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Asamg1 (new)

Asamg1 Eric, never ask questions about when the hero gets to the laundromat. You never find out. Of course, my eternal question, which will never be answered, is, who does the dishes in Rivendell? G.


Eric_W Asamg1 wrote: "Eric, never ask questions about when the hero gets to the laundromat. You never find out. Of course, my eternal question, which will never be answered, is, who does the dishes in Rivendell? G."

They probably just throw them out and buy new ones. LOL Maybe Tolkien never had to do them and so had no experience. Then again he had probably never been to Hithaeglir, either.


Carrie You made me look up codes - I think Reacher uses military codes not police codes - http://www.militaryspot.com/resources...


Eric_W Carrie wrote: "You made me look up codes - I think Reacher uses military codes not police codes - http://www.militaryspot.com/resources..."

I think you are correct. My asterisked note, however, following some research, revealed the great disparity in ten-code meanings across agencies and areas, not in a good thing, in my mind.


Mammagoose11 I listen to a LOT of audiobooks when driving and this version was one of the worst. When the women are speaking, narrator makes the dialogue snippy and bitchy. When Reacher is speaking, he's normal-sounding. Couldn't get past that - have gone on to other "Reacher" bookes/tapes but this one was sub-par.


Scott Howe Military radio 10 codes are different.


message 7: by Jim (last edited Dec 28, 2015 04:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim I'll take a stab at answering the "big question":

considering (Reacher) rarely buys shirts, gets a haircut, or whatever, and never seems to visit a laundromat, how does he keep his underwear clean and yet attract all these women?

The short answer is that the question springs from faulty premises.

Longer Answer: I've read all but a few of the Reacher "shorts" (if you'll excuse the term) - likely more than you. Every third or fourth day, Reacher will buy new cheap clothes and throw away the old ones, thus no laundromats are necessary. I'll let you cut off the tree limb I'm walking on and speculate that Child does not want to bore his main (male) audience and write about visiting barbers. For the same reason Child sends Reacher to buy clothes only occasionally and even less often that Reacher buys "underwear".

Even less occasionally one of the (female) minority of Reacher fans will comment on that underwear thing (what's your excuse?).

Reacher does not always "get the girl". For one thing, he is particular. Mere beauty alone does not trip his trigger - pretty much every woman he likes is also ultra-competent and (with a notable exception) is military, law-enforcement, or both. Child does not explicitly say it, but when he likes a woman they like him back - "opposites attract" does not apply in Reacher's World.


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