Dr. Rico, June 8, 2010 (view all comments by Dr. Rico)
Another excellent Reacher adventure. As always, the suspense is taut and the story is relentless. Reacher is resourceful as always, the puzzles are right there in the open (I was half a step ahead of Reacher in the beginning, then half a step behind), and the action is first-rate. Child does a great job of setting the "ground rules" for each Reacher story, and the ground rules are never better than here. The ending is certainly unexpected, although I think I know where it will go in his next book.
I've reviewed Child before. If you weren't convinced by me, would Stephen King's endorsement do anything for you?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
BLZBUB, March 3, 2010 (view all comments by BLZBUB)
In 61 HOURS Jack Reacher innocently steps off his never-ending, meandering path smack into the type of disaster only Reacher can solve. The fourteenth novel in the Jack Reacher series is as twisting and suspenseful as every previous story. In tried and true Lee Child style, Child spends the first half of the novel digging Reacher into the deepest hole possible and then the second half letting Reacher logically and physically scramble his way out.
Instead of searching for the perfect cup of coffee, Reacher is sleeping on a tour bus crossing South Dakota in a deadly blizzard when a brush of fate slams the bus into a ditch and lands him in a small town with a big problem. A biker gang has settled outside of town and is selling meth. A retired librarian is the star eyewitness to busting up the gang and is under watch 24/7 by the local police who expect a big gun to come to town to take out the witness. But the police are under orders to cover the nearby prison if the prison siren goes off, leaving their storybook grandma witness unprotected.
Know anyone with previous bodyguard experience? Or Secret Service experience? Or FBI experience? Or can dig swimming pools by hand? Perhaps lacking in social skills with fists as big as hams?
Child’s distinctive voice is spare yet nails the key details that create rich scenes with a minimum of words that consistently place his novels on The New York Times top ten lists. He wields South Dakota weather as a deadly secondary character. The freezing temperature combined with wind chill is ominous every time a person steps outside. I found it more threatening to Reacher’s life than the Mexican drug lord who holds a Heckler &Koch MP5 to Reacher’s face. Of course Reacher evens those odds with a flashlight, brains, and brute strength.
Reminiscent of Bill Bixby on TV as the homeless Incredible Hulk, in each novel Reacher steps up when strangers need his unusual talents and then he moves on, leaving me to picture lonely Bill Bixby trudging down the road at the end of each TV episode, the poignant theme song playing in my head. But that is not the way 61 HOURS ends. I won’t give spoilers, but I will say my jaw dropped at the end of this book. Fans will call 61 HOURS one of the most surprising books of 2010.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No (2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"After a brief stop in New York City (Gone Tomorrow), Jack Reacher is back in his element — Smalltown, U.S.A. — in bestseller Child's fine 14th thriller to feature the roving ex-military cop. When a tour bus on which he bummed a ride skids off the road and crashes, Reacher finds himself in Bolton, S.Dak., a tiny burg with big problems. A highly sophisticated methamphetamine lab run by a vicious Mexican drug cartel has begun operating outside town at an abandoned military facility. After figuring out the snow-bound, marooned Reacher's smart, great with weapons, and capable of tapping military intelligence, the helpless local cops enlist his assistance, and, as always, he displays plenty of derring-do, mental acuity, and good old-fashioned decency. While the action is slower than usual, series fans will appreciate some new insights that Child provides into his hero's psyche and background as well as a cliffhanger ending. Author tour. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Booklist (starred review),
"Coming off Gone Tomorrow (2009), one of the very best among his 13 high-octane thrillers, Child keeps his foot hard on the throttle....Even without the apparently game-changing finale, this is Child in top form, but isn't he always?"
by Library Journal (starred review),
"Child's protagonist is a wandering knight who always finds trouble and inevitably solves it, with satisfying violence. As usual, Child's writing is superb. Not only is this thriller believable, but the descriptions of the blizzard will make readers want to hug their furnaces. Fast paced and exciting, this is highly recommended for thriller fans."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"Child is a superb craftsman of suspense, juggling several plots and keeping his herrings well-rouged....Best of all, this is a rare series book that reads like a stand-alone. Everything you need to know about Jack Reacher is contained within its pages. And chances are you'll want to seek out other Reacher adventures the moment you finish. (Grade: A-)"
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"What heats 61 Hours to the boiling point is Mr. Child's decision to defy his own conventions. In the interests of pure gamesmanship he seems hellbent on doing everything differently this time....The title countdown in 61 Hours is such a hackneyed device that it has no business working so well. But it does work, thanks to Mr. Child's vigorous surge of reinvention."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"Do yourself a favor and get hooked on this series."
New York Times-bestselling author Lee Child's latest thriller is a ticking time bomb of suspense that builds electric tension on every page. A bus accident lands Jack Reacher in a small South Dakota town, where a single witness is the only hope police have to convict a brutal crime ring. Reacher is enlisted to protect the witness against all comers.
Jack Reacher is back.
The countdown has begun. Get ready for the most exciting 61 hours of your life. #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child’s latest thriller is a ticking time bomb of suspense that builds electric tension on every page.
Sixty-one hours. Not a minute to spare.
A tour bus crashes in a savage snowstorm and lands Jack Reacher in the middle of a deadly confrontation. In nearby Bolton, South Dakota, one brave woman is standing up for justice in a small town threatened by sinister forces. If she’s going to live long enough to testify, she’ll need help. Because a killer is coming to Bolton, a coldly proficient assassin who never misses.
Reacher’s original plan was to keep on moving. But the next 61 hours will change everything. The secrets are deadlier and his enemies are stronger than he could have guessed—but so is the woman whose life he’ll risk his own to save.
In 61 Hours, Lee Child has written a showdown thriller with an explosive ending that readers will talk about for a long time to come.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.