BOOK & BLOG
|June 10, 2007
Book of the Week: BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE by Lee Child (Jack Reacher series)
Ive just begun reading the latest Lee Child novel about his protagonist, Jack Reacher. BAD LUCK AND TROUBLE seems every bit as good as any one of the past Jack Reacher books. In a career of amazing consistency, Lee Child has created one of the most extraordinary characters in the mystery genre.
There are eleven Reacher adventures on the shelves now, and you could pick any one of them up to begin reading the series. For those of you who like to start at the beginning and follow the character as it develops, KILLING FLOOR would be the place to start -- a book I read with growing excitement when it caught my eye in a bookstore. I knew Id read something new and startlingly different, and I knew the writer would have a long career. I was right on both counts.
Jack Reacher is an ex-military policeman who leaves the Army to drift around America. He carries nothing with him except a toothbrush. He wears his clothes until they dont suit him, then he buys another set and throws the worn ones away. Hes almost impossible to contact and impossible to trace and he likes it that way. He takes casual work when he needs money, and the rest of the time he just gets on buses and goes where he wants to. The people he cherishes are people like him; capable, tough, efficient, determined. Reachers had chances at settling down and hes very attractive to the opposite sex; in fact, at one point in the series he inherits a house but he cant settle down, even though he owns a house and loves the woman whose father left it to him. In fact, he feels like the house is strangling him.
Because he is big, tough, and unafraid, trouble seems to find him. Reacher will not shirk what he sees as his responsibility and he will not dodge violence. In fact, violence is something he does very well.
You can get all the book details at www.leechild.com. Obviously, I cant recommend these books highly enough, and if you ever get the chance to hear Lee speak, you should take it. Hes an intelligent and witty speaker, and very charming.
Its a bit difficult coming up with a good Book column these days. Im reading scores of books for the Edgar awards, and we cant review any of the books under consideration, for obvious reasons. Some of these books I find very exciting, and of course some of them are not. But they are taking up a lot of my reading time.
Im also hard at work trying to finish the next Sookie. Its due this month. As Ive mentioned before, the plots taken some unexpected turns. If I hadnt toured, I might have completed it by now, but that didnt happen. At least its reached the 200 plus page mark, so I feel pretty assured I may finish it by the end of the month. At the moment Im calling it DEADICATED, but Im fairly sure thatll change. In DEADICATED, major events occur that will change Sookies life. Actually, I guess thats true of any book in the Sookie series, but in DEADICATED the changes are more drastic than in some of the other books. Ive surprised myself with my willingness to shake things up to such an extent.
Maybe Lee Child has inspired me to take more chances! I also have books by my friend Harlan Coben and Barry Eisler, whom I dont know personally, waiting in my TBR bookcase. Both are huge favorites of mine, and I want to get to those books as soon as possible. I love looking at that bookcase and thinking about all the good reading to come. I hope all of you have a nice big stack obooks to while away the summer, and I hope you enjoy each and every one.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris