In Lee Child’s Bad Luck and Trouble Jack Reacher suddenly has a keen mathematical mind. Who knew? Perhaps not even Child until he decided it was necessary for this book. Apart from that silliness, the book is rather good as Reacher gets the old band back together.

No one messes with special investigators and so when one of his original military police team gets thrown out of a helicopter and Reacher is contacted by another ex-colleague you know it’s going to end badly for whoever did it.

The fun is finding out why the guy was thrown from the helicopter and just how many of Reacher’s old team suffered the same fate. As it happens there are four left and it’s how they work together to figure out who to take down that makes this book different from all the preceding Reacher stories in which our plucky hero has essentially worked alone with perhaps a little help from whoever he’s banging at the time.

While they’re not beating up cops, killing off would-be assassins or throwing Molotov cocktails around, Reacher does find the time to sleep with one of the women on the team – we’d expect nothing less. It’s an old crush fulfilled and therefore conveniently for Child requires none of the usual flirting and romantic groundwork prior to them hitting the sack. To be fair there’s also no real description of the acts involved and it benefits the book that there isn’t. This one concentrates strictly on the investigation and the action.

As you’d expect the story ends up in the air in a helicopter above the American desert and there’s no prizes for guessing who gets thrown out this time. As well as the revenge- for-your-old-buddies story the stakes are upped by the fact that there’s a terrorist planning a series of attacks in the US. It was a good holiday read and one of the less predictable and therefore more enjoyable Reacher tales.