Alfie Vihar is a member of a crack team of henchmen that work for Resources, Inc., a company that hires out henchmen to whomever needs them to do a job, good or evil. Alfie is a member of Team 9, and in this installment, they are sent to help a pair of super heroes defeat the biggest threat they have faced since Alfie joined the team.
Three Times Unlucky opens within hours of where the last book, Double Lives, Double the Fun, leaves off. Team 9 is getting a briefing from Commander Gibson, who compliments the team on their handling of a nuclear terrorist they put down in Canada. The team is allowed to leave. Alfie uses his time off to accompany his sister Ruth and his best friend Tessa to the local museum to see new exhibits there. As the trio move from one building to another, a storm arises and causes the building to collapse. Alfie, Ruth, and Tessa are not injured in the collapse, but several people are trapped and hurt, so Alfie works to help those he can. When he receives a phone call from Gibson, Alfie is in the middle of rescuing a man trapped in the rubble.
As soon as he is able, Alfie heads for a meeting where he learns that the storm is not a natural phenomenon, but it was created by a new super villain calling herself “Trade Wind.” Gibson explains that Team 9 is going to be sent out to help super heroes Forcefield and Bullet defeat Trade Wind before she can do any more, and more severe damage.
The first two books in the series, First Shot, as well as the second one mentioned earlier cover most of the exposition of the series as they introduce the characters and shape them into real people. I have mentioned in previous reviews what a gift Katherine has for writing characters that one can really care about, and how real they are as people. Well, the exhibition is over now and the characters that I enjoy are getting put into situations in this story that feel dangerous. They are written so well, what might seem ridiculous becomes plausible.
One of the main parts of this story is the author beginning to explore more details of the character’s interpersonal relationships. Alfie seems to be hitting it off pretty well with another member of Team 9, but there are twists and turns along the way. This causes Alfie and Ray, the other team member in question, to come to an impasse in which they will be reexamining their relationship. At the same time, Alfie discovers something about Tessa that is disturbing to him and will also possibly result in a change in relationship.
In any case, the author has really ramped up the action in this series, and over the three novelettes, has shown huge growth as a writer of fiction. Three Times Unlucky is a well paced and fun story to read, especially if one is looking for an escape from reality for a little while.
I recommend that if you are considering reading this series, be sure to start with 1-800-Henchmen: First Shot followed by Double Lives, Double the Fun before reading this segment!
Well, there it is…
Edited by Benjamin Arrowood