Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heard: "Bad Luck and Trouble" by Lee Child

Heard: Bad Luck and Trouble, by Lee Child, 2007, Overdrive download.

I've decided Jack Reacher is an asshole and a jerk. Imagine him not being written into a hero situation. He has no fixed address and wanders the country as a bum. He floats into a town, beats up some people (usually including Police Officers), kills some others, has some sex, and immediately leaves. Lee Child writes Reacher as the Lone Ranger, he swoops in to save a town or damsel in distress. Imagine an alternate storyline with Reacher as a borderline sociopath who kills some crooks and takes their money.

Reacher as sociopath is discussed by Reacher's own friends in Bad Luck. Reacher kills without remorse and has no concern for his own death. There is nothing unusual or surprising about another man trying to kill Reacher on the street in Vegas, that's normal life to Reach.  Once Reacher and Co. defeat the bad guys and take in the $65 million possessed by the crooks they split the loot and town.

Let's review Reacher's recurring thoughts and actions through the novels:
Might makes right.
He has little to no concern about injuring or killing another person.
He dismisses many other people as stupid and worthless.
Laws are mostly followed but are treated as minor impediments when in his way.
Justice is for him to decide. Personal beefs always trump the legal system.
Regularly threatens physical violence to get his way.
Unable and unwilling to new relationships.

I don't know if I'll keep listening to these or not. After all, Child puts Reacher up against nasty bad guys and he assists powerless people. I still think he is dick.

Reacher is withdrawing cash from a ATM in Portland and sees a deposit in his account. The deposit number equals a radio code calling for help. Reacher figures out who sent the message and heads to Los Angeles. Reacher at one point led a super team of Army investigators and one of them is dead after being dropped from an aircraft into the California desert.

All the investigators are being called together but three others are missing and presumed dead. Reacher and the three other surviving members promise bloody revenge. They investigate the dead man's business and track down the bad guys and find a plot to sell hand held anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS). Violence ensues.

Reacher does the usual. Threatens and thinks. Walks and talks. Plots and schemes. Figures angles. Deducts motives. Predicts actions. Wears the same clothes every day. Eats at Denny's.

Extra comment:
1. Rice-rocket love with Reacher and Co. buying ubiquitous Hondas to drive around Los Angeles traffic.
2. Constant traffic and driving talk as Reacher and Co. criss-cross Los Angeles. Let's take the 409 to the 110 to the 306 and then Sepulveda to Monroe to Sunset to the Hills and then go into The Valley and see the guy.
3. Reacher is warned of a bad guy's attempt at murder when the bad guy chamber s round into his handgun.  The bad guy is a LAPD Officer and is supposedly following that practice from his old job.  Never chambering a round? Huh? What U.S. police department would follow that rule when a cop would need a one-hand draw while fighting for his life?
4. Child has Reacher doing his savant math skills.

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