Bad Luck and Trouble - Lee Child [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.”