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Just like a TV show, you need to wait until this fall to see how it turned out...

  • Jun 13, 2010
  • by
If a new Lee Child novel comes out with Jack Reacher, it's a given that most all of my free time becomes "unavailable" once I start to read. That was again the case with Child's latest, 61 Hours. I found this to be one of the most suspenseful Reacher novels, as something is counting down from 61 hours and you don't have a clue as to what it might be as the story unfolds. I just wish someone had told me up front that this is the novelistic equivalent of a TV show's season-ending cliff-hanger. I won't get to find out how it all turns out until this fall.

In 61 Hours, Reacher is on a bus headed to nowhere in particular. In the midst of a North Dakota blizzard, his bus ends up in an accident and Reacher pitches in to help try and keep the mostly elderly ridership of the bus from freezing to death before they get rescued. Once the rescue takes place and everyone is transported to a tiny town to await the arrival of the replacement bus, the local police display a major wariness over Reacher, his background, and why he was on the bus to begin with. Only after countless explanations and discussions does he gain their trust and figure out why everyone in the town is on edge. The town houses a large federal prison that houses a major drug dealer coming up for trial. The chief witness also lives in the town, and everyone is sure that her life is in danger as someone tries to keep her from testifying. To complicate matters, the local motorcycle gang that runs the drug trade from an abandoned military camp outside the city just ups and disappears overnight. Reacher is dipping into his past to try and find out the original reason for the base, but certain information seems to be deeply buried for some unknown reason. And when the cops decide to enlist his help with the escalating crisis, it's very possible that he might be the only person who can make sure the witness lives to see the trial.

61 Hours seems like more of a chess match or jigsaw puzzle than a raw action-adventure novel. Reacher is putting pieces together a few steps ahead of the locals, and he shows up at the right places at the right times to see what he needs to see. Two things stood out for me in this installment. For one, the "what happened to Jack" ending was completely unexpected while I was reading. But as the final seconds transpired and the aftermath was described, I couldn't help but wonder if Child had decided to kill off Reacher. The "To Be Continued" was a partial "wha?" and "whew" at the same time. The other very noticeable part of the novel was Child's depiction of the freezing weather and how it affected just about every scene. So very detailed and realistic... almost felt like putting on a jacket or turning the thermostat up a couple more notches. :)

61 Hours was another great episode in the Jack Reacher story, and now the only question is whether I can hold out to see what miracle he pulled off to survive the end of this book.

Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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More 61 Hours: A Reacher Novel reviews
review by . February 22, 2011
Snow bound
The nomadic Jack Reacher hitches a ride on a tour bus in South Dakota, only to have it skid off the road during an intensifying blizzard. The town folk put up the stranded travelers in their homes, but the police can't provide immediate assistance because of a riot at the new local prison. When one of the cops learns of Reacher's background in law enforcement, they recruit him to provide protection for a key witness in an upcoming drug trial. In a departure for author Child, much of the …
review by . August 28, 2010
As I started reading Lee Child's current best seller with Jack Reacher, something was nagging me. Then I remembered reading his debut novel and then started looking at the many plot similarities between the two books.      In both novels, Reacher is helping the overwhelmed police department in a small town. In "Killing Floor," the action is in Margrove, Georgia. In "61 Hours," the setting is Bolton, South Dakota.      Both stories …
review by . August 05, 2010
OK, I have to start out by saying that I LOVE the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs. Reacher is a fabulous "hero" figure - retired MP officer from the Army who continues to always be on the move, never carrying a suitcase, going in any direction to see what's down the road. In all the books, he winds up getting involved in dicey situations entirely not of his own making but somehow, feels an obligation to help the person in trouble. The resulting plot moves quickly, is rarely predictable, …
review by . August 06, 2010
I've been a fan of Jack Reacher novels since I read my first Reacher novel 4 years ago. Reacher is the successor to such tough guy/knight in rusted armor protagonists as Travis McGee and Spenser. These are good escapism books and the quality of Lee Child's writing is a couple of cuts above the average for this type of novel. If you are attracted to this kind of book, give Reacher a try. In 61 Hours, Reacher is on another road trip. That's how all the storys go. This one takes …
review by . June 22, 2010
61 Hours is the most odd and least satisfying of all the Jack Reacher novels to date.  I’ve really enjoyed the series so far, but let’s face it, sometimes the plots stretch credulity so badly as to make them simply boilerplate thrillers with a really cool and likable character.  But 61 Hours not only stretches credulity, it is the only Jack Reacher novel to date that I found somewhat boring and unengaging.  Add to that the odd, unbelievable, and unsatisfying cliffhanger …
review by . June 10, 2010
A lawyer travels through the bitter cold and snow, arriving at a South Dakota prison in order to have a conversation with his client. Interestingly, the prisoner does all of the talking, the lawyer simply listens. Leaving the prison and driving back to his home, the lawyer makes a call on his mobile phone. Multitasking while driving isn't a good idea, and the lawyer discovers this as he loses control of his car while going over a very icy bridge.      In the opposite direction …
review by . July 27, 2010
Loner Jack Reacher, the former MP who travels so light he buys new clothes rather than do laundry, is on his action-packed toes in this 14th thriller. It's winter in South Dakota, the snow is piling up and a real storm is on its way.    The 61-hour countdown (the story's framework) begins when a terrified lawyer takes dictated instructions from a prison inmate and passes them down the line to a drug lord in Mexico.    Reacher is hitching a ride with a tour …
Quick Tip by . November 05, 2010
This is not the best Reacher by far.....instead, this is a weak Reacher with a very open ending that did not go over with readers at all well.
review by . June 14, 2010
      It seems there are no more words of praise to be heaped upon Dick Hill's readings. As audio book aficionados know he's a whiz at thrillers, although he does a variety of genres. Hill has been named a Golden Voice and a Voice of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and has a trio of Audie Awards. His name on an audio edition promises an exciting voice performance. He has said that he takes a visual approach to narrating books, noting "I have a visual picture of …
Quick Tip by . June 29, 2010
Jack Reacher is sooooo cooool!!!
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Thomas Duff ()
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Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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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)
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ISBN-10: 0385340583
ISBN-13: 978-0385340588
Author: Lee Child
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Published: 05-18-2010
ISBN: Hard Cover
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