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379 of 392 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely tense
61 Hours is a good, solid Jack Reacher novel. It's not one of the all time greats, but it's very far from being the worst either. It has momentum and unexpected twists and the tension builds slowly but steadily to a gripping ending. Lee Child seems to have taken on board some of the criticisms lobbied at his recent books. Reacher doesn't display unbelievable deductive...
Published on May 3, 2010 by Julia Flyte

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194 of 223 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Action A Disturbing Trend for Lee Child
I am a Lee Child fan, have all of the Jack Reacher books, and have read each at least twice. The power, logic, hero-beats-the-bad-guys structure has appealed to me from the very beginning. Jack Reacher is an everyman hero, and excels in logic, straight-forwardness, and of course, physical strength. His knowledge is seemingly boundless, his intuition and deductive skills...
Published on May 21, 2010 by Ken45140


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379 of 392 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely tense, May 3, 2010
61 Hours is a good, solid Jack Reacher novel. It's not one of the all time greats, but it's very far from being the worst either. It has momentum and unexpected twists and the tension builds slowly but steadily to a gripping ending. Lee Child seems to have taken on board some of the criticisms lobbied at his recent books. Reacher doesn't display unbelievable deductive powers, he doesn't bed any women in improbable circumstances and he doesn't always get things right.

The book is set in freezing South Dakota in the middle of a snowstorm. Reacher has hitched a ride on a bus tour of senior citizens. When the bus crashes, he finds himself in Bolton, the location for a recently built prison and headquarters for a gang of meth dealers. A drug dealer is in prison, facing trial, and the key witness is under police protection. The deputy chief of police asks Reacher to help him figure out what's going on and to keep the witness safe. From the book's outset we are counting down 61 hours to a major event, although it is some time before it becomes clear what that will be.

One of the things I particularly liked was the way that we learn more about Reacher's army background, personal history and appearance than we have to date. He develops a relationship that is his most honest and open in a long time. As usual, he is able to see things and reach conclusions that the local police can't. In the words of one character, he's "the sort of guy who sees things five seconds before the rest of the world."

Readers should be aware that this is the first Lee Child book that is not entirely self-contained. It ends with a cliff hanger and the words "to be continued". If you don't want a five month gap between installments, you may choose to wait to read this closer to the release date of the next book later in the year (it's due October 19).
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194 of 223 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Action A Disturbing Trend for Lee Child, May 21, 2010
By 
Ken45140 (Loveland, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
I am a Lee Child fan, have all of the Jack Reacher books, and have read each at least twice. The power, logic, hero-beats-the-bad-guys structure has appealed to me from the very beginning. Jack Reacher is an everyman hero, and excels in logic, straight-forwardness, and of course, physical strength. His knowledge is seemingly boundless, his intuition and deductive skills impeccable, and his fighting skills unsurpassed.

Thus, it is with growing dismay that I see the action sequences, that are so evenly distributed throughout the early books in the series, giving way to less action, more talking, less fighting (physically) the bad guys, and more developing clues. If you go back and read the other books from the very beginning, you find action sequences spread somewhat evenly throughout the book. There are enough clue-seeking, puzzle-solving steps interspersed to give the entire story a great flow. Who among us does not like to see the bad-mouthing, evil guys get a poke in the eye?

So, now we have 61 Hrs following in the footsteps of the most recent three or four books: set the stage, pose the problem, have Jack talk and puzzle and work his way through the clues, and only as the pages get thin (not many pages left), do you have some real action. Action as was put throughout the earlier books.

I say to Lee Child, step back, get the 10,000 foot view on the balance between action sequences and puzzle/dectective sequences, and start to give Jack some more bad guys to fight along the way. Heaven forbid that Lee's storehouse of plot structures and ideas are getting as tired as Jack Reacher himself seems to be. Spoken as a true fan, but as one who is becoming less so as each new novel rolls out of the word processor.
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117 of 138 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A letter to Lee Child, July 17, 2010
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
Dear Mr. Child
It's likely that you read reviews of your works. I certainly hope so. You should read these one-star reviews. They're accurate. The five-star reviews are written by people who would be impressed with "Jack Reacher's" grocery list. The five-star reviews are uniformly nonsensical and should be dismissed. Sorry about that.

I used to love Jack Reacher. He was tough, smart, logical, and the stories themselves were similarly tough, smart, logical . . . to a point. That is, most of the errors could be spotted by former military personnel, people in law enforcement, and other professionals. Now, virtually anyone can see the errors (except those who gave this dreary mess a five-star attaboy). Reacher used to be great. Reacher used to be a hero. But Reacher has become silly, stupid, weak, and focussed on meaningless detail.

So, okay, that's Jack. What about the writing, the style? Well, you might try to say that style is style, and your style is your style, and no one can put a finger on style and say it's wrong. Wrong. Try this "style," see if it works for you:

Jack. Reacher. Shivered. And. Shook. And. His. Face. Turned. Numb..
He. Turned. In. Place. Then. Tried. To. Speak. But. The. Words. Wouldn't. Come..

Like it? It's just style, man. What's not to like?
But "style" can be overdone to the point of being little more than annoying, and you have reached that point. Your style, which is deteriorating with each new novel, has become one of focusing more and more on irrelevant trivia, details about surroundings and how people move about to the point of stylistic nonsense. Let's carry it about one (unfortunately) step further. The following is your style, bumped up a notch or two:

Reacher gripped the doorknob in his left hand. Grabbed the frame with his right. Slid his left foot forward. Dragged his right foot even with the left, and parallel to it. Turned the doorknob five degrees. Ten degrees. Fifteen degrees. Twenty degrees. Twenty-five degrees. The latch made a tiny click. All but inaudible. No one could hear it. Very little sound. Reacher could barely hear it himself. A very tiny sound in the stillness. Reacher pushed the door open. One inch. Two inches. Three inches. No sound. Four inches. Five. Six. Still no sound. It was dark inside. Very dark. No light. No sound. He couldn't see anything. Too dark. He couldn't hear anything. Etc.

61 Hours is full of this sort of inert, mind-numbing detail, to a slightly lesser degree, but full of it nonetheless. That's style. And it doesn't work. You should read a few novels by Nelson DeMille and John Grisham and other successful novelists who have written about as many novels as you have and who still "have it." Their style is still "mainstream," not silly, pointless, focused on meaningless details that add nothing at all to the story. And I'm aware that your explanation for this is likely to be that you are creating "mood" and giving the reader a sense of time and place. But it's WAY overdone and it doesn't work, so cut it out, huh?

Then there's logical nonsense of the kind that was generally missing from the early Reacher novels. For example, on page 225, watchtowers were set every hundred feet around the prison walls, and there's a three-hundred-yard expanse of yard, then a cluster of concrete buildings that cover an area "the size of a small village." Okay, no one really knows the size of a small village, but let's say it's a square with an area of 30 acres so we can talk about it logically. A square with an area of 30 acres is 1143 feet on a side. Okay, I'll be kind. This village is smaller, and only 900 feet on a side. How's that? And there's a 300-yard expanse of yard from the fence to the buildings. Which means we now have a fence that encloses a square that is 2700 feet on a side (and if anyone reading this doesn't get that, don't worry about it. It just means math isn't your thing.) But back to the watchtowers, set every 100 feet around this prison. The perimeter is 4 times 2700 feet, or 10800 feet, so there are about 108 watchtowers. [If the prison is actually the size of an outhouse (approximately zero area), there would still be 72 watchtowers. Probably sufficient to guard an outhouse.] But, no, there are at least a hundred watchtowers, and somewhere in the book the number of people manning the prison was given, and it was less than the number of watchtowers [maybe someone reading this can find that number and supply it in a comment]. The point is that the numbers given by you, Mr. Child, are nothing but silly babbling. Break out a calculator. Ask a math teacher to help you with these incredibly difficult calculations. And ... does it matter anyway? Yes. Not to people who hand out five-star reviews like they are leaflets for a new hamburger joint, because those people don't care about reality in any form. But when impossible things happen, the discerning reader is cast right out of the story, and it's your job as the author to make sure than doesn't happen.

How about the "bad guy," Plato? On page 238 he counts Range Rovers from the front. One, two, three. Then from the back, three, two, one. Seriously? He does this? Consciously? Is he truly a moron? Well, yes, he is. Here's why. He does this while trying to decide which vehicle to ride in (and this is a mind-numbingly stupid way to do it, but then, that's Plato), and it's said that he "never occupied the same relative position in a convoy two times in a row." This is a pattern. Plato is trying to avoid patterns. He "wanted a two-in-three chance of surviving the first incoming round." Does he get that two-in-three chance? Not a chance. He has to assume his enemies know he doesn't ride in the same position twice in a row, and presumably they know his last position as well. Therefore Plato has only a one-in-two chance of surviving a first hit because his enemies won't hit his last known position; but then, Plato is a moron so what does it matter, really?

Page 278: 36,000 pounds is "about sixteen tons." Really? Do you just toss numbers around and see which ones stick to the wall? Reality matters. Logic matters. Accuracy matters [not to those giving 5-star reviews for this novel, though, but I'm discounting them out of hand].

Page 295: aluminum ladders 32-feet long at their maximum extension and with a 250-pound rating "probably weighed about twenty pounds each." Hmmmm. It says you live in New York City. Do they have a Home Depot there? Can you find a ladder of that size in the city? Is there anyone you can ask? Is the weight of the ladder available on the Internet? Hint: there is no such 20-pound ladder in existence. Another "hint": at Home Depot, a 32-foot aluminum ladder weighs 63 pounds (internet research time: about two minutes).

Page 297: "One day in Saudi Arabia at the start of Desert Shield the noontime temperature had hit a hundred and forty degrees." Which is higher than the all-time high temperature ever recorded anywhere on Earth [El Azizia, Libya, 136 degrees], but you just toss numbers out and see which ones stick to the wall, reality be damned. Every time you do this, you lose a few more readers.

Here's that numbing style: Page 313: "He got a blue distorted view of the room. The chair. The telephone table. The stairs, the rug, the paintings. The empty hat stand. No movement. No one there. No sign of disturbance. All quiet." Then, page 315: "It was the same as he had seen it through the stained glass panel from the front. The chair, the table, the rug, the paintings, the hat stand. No movement. No disturbance." Yep, you said all that. Sad. And ... the same can now be said about the novel. No movement. All quiet. Sad.

Finally: The final explosion damages the roof of the building [page 380], which is the only possible exit point for the underground explosion, yet snow was melted for two miles in every direction [page 381]. That is pure, unadulterated nonsense. It shows that you can't think clearly about situations that require simple logical thought. How does an explosion go straight up a shaft, merely "damage" the roof of the house over the shaft, then melt snow for two miles in every direction? Just. Pure. Nonsense. [Note: that style works in small doses.] And with a wind blowing, why is the snow melted evenly, two miles in every direction?

Bottom line: Reacher is dead. I don't care what happens to him now. You have finally managed to kill him. I'll read the reviews of your next novel before bothering to buy it, but I can't imagine that I will spend the money. I refuse to waste my time with slow-moving nonsense again, not when it's so easily avoided. (And note: your recent 5-star reviews tend to gush over drivel. One- and two-star reviews tend to be more thoughtful and more accurate. Just a fact, Lee.)

And ... for heavens sake, buy a calculator, or have someone proof-read your novels who can think!

May 28, 2011: The sequel to 61 Hours is on the shelves. I've seen it, but I couldn't bring myself to even pick it up and see if Reacher is still alive. If he is or isn't, who cares?
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86 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I don't like getting beaten.", May 18, 2010
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
"61 Hours," by Lee Child, alludes to a countdown of some sort. Initially, we have no idea what will happen when the time elapses, but it is safe to assume that it will not be good. The novel opens in the dead of winter in South Dakota. A crooked lawyer conducts some shady business at a prison and then skids on a frozen road, sending a bus crashing into a ditch. One of the passengers, Jack Reacher, does what he can to assist the injured and dazed victims until the local police arrive at the scene.

As fans of this popular series know, Reacher is an ex-army man who travels around the country with no suitcase. He is physically imposing, and his brainpower is as impressive as his stature. Wherever Jack goes, he gets involved in some sort of mayhem and this time is no exception. Because he has seen so much tragedy over the years, Reacher has become somewhat cynical and pessimistic. "Hope for the best, plan for the worst" is one of his favorite mottoes.

Jack soon becomes acquainted with an elderly woman named Janet Salter, whose testimony could help put away the leader of a large methamphetamine ring. Unfortunately, the bad guys know where she lives and have a strong motive to silence her. Salter, who is principled, courageous, quick-witted, and unpretentious, senses that Reacher is a kindred spirit and the two form a bond. Although Janet already has police protection, the setup is far from ideal. Reacher decides to guard Ms. Salter, who needs someone smart, strong, and resourceful to keep her safe--someone who can think out of the box and has the imagination and savvy to outwit and outfight most criminals.

Reacher remains as taciturn as ever, although he does let his hair down a bit with Janet. He also exchanges confidences with Susan Turner, the CO of the elite 110th Special Unit based in Virginia that Reacher once commanded. Jack's conversations with Susan provide a fascinating window into his past, revealing a bit more about what makes him tick. In addition, we see Reacher's human side; he makes serious errors in judgment, which is unusual for him.

Child scores with "61 Hours," thanks to his no-nonsense and terse prose style, rapid-fire dialogue, dramatic description of South Dakota's frozen landscape, and intense plot. There is excitement aplenty in "61 Hours," with its violent confrontations and electrifying conclusion, during which Reacher is forced to make some tough and morally dubious decisions. The finale may not please everyone, but the author shows courage and originality in not sticking to the conventional action-adventure formula. This thriller will bring chills to Reacher fans--even those who do not reside in a state where the mercury can dip to thirty degrees below zero.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my 13 hours back!, June 9, 2010
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
We listened to this book on audio cd's. It was almost insufferable. The author provided excessive, unnecessary and meaningless details about obscure elements unrelated to the story line. The reader was monotone and failed to provide either interesting inflection or successful voice transition between characters. I would not have completed the book except for being on an extended trip with no other books to choose from. I recommend avoiding this one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You can safely skip this one., August 26, 2010
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
I have become a fan of Jack Reacher/Lee Child over the years. The novels are usually fun, fast-paced, page-turners. The key to enjoying these novels is a willful suspension of disbelief - some require more than others. The big problem for me with this book was that a critical plot point starts developing about half way through that is very obviously impossible. No amount of suspension of disbelief could help. It made me uncomfortable and preoccupied hoping I would be wrong. I am very surprised that Mr. Child would think that a 737 could fly, undetected, into American airspace from a foreign country. It wouldn't get near the border before it was shot down or turned around, much less to South Dakota. If he would have attempted to explain it even with a very questionable reason, I would have been willing to go along with it. I may even have been able to look the other way when he claimed they made it with no flight plan - which would mean they stayed below 18,000 feet the whole way, which would have been a massive fuel burn that would have exhausted the fuel before they arrived. I probably could have shrugged off the landing where the same 737 lands visually and by hand at night on a runway surrounded by dark, perfectly flat, snow-covered terrain with nothing but a couple of car flares for guidance. That is truly heroic flying. I really wanted to like this book, but the story couldn't exist without such a glaring problem and that really poisoned the whole novel for me. Maybe in the next novel Reacher will sprout butterfly wings and fly to Mars to get a special kind of rock to conk his adversary on the head.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can this be the last Reacher novel?, June 20, 2010
By 
Mehetabelle "mehetabelle" (Silicon Valley United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
This novel spends a lot of space on a new character and on developing the relationship between Reacher and the new character. The new character has a lot in common with Reacher so maybe Lee Child wants to transition to a new protagonist, or expand beyond Reacher? Many authors of series have made such transitions successfully.

I love Reacher but I gave one 1 star because several plot devices were very poorly done. See whether you believe the terms the town had with the prison. Did you understand or care how one bad-guy planned to take over the turf of the other bad-guy? Do you believe how critical it was to protect a singular stubborn but highly indulged witness? Were the explanations of the purpose for the underground facility and its dimensions credible? Closing every chapter with "... hours/minutes to go" did create a little suspense the first few times then got old. The "Perils of Pauline" ending, intended to get us to read the next book, was another cheap trick that didn't work.

The good parts are there were several quite well-developed supporting characters. There were some glimmers of Reacher's analytical and insightful mind. I would have liked to read more of Reacher's glib, anti-authoritarian retorts (as in an earlier book The Enemy: A Reacher Novel (Jack Reacher). The part I liked best was about Reacher's motivation to be a protector and how he trained himself to be such.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gross disappointment, June 6, 2010
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This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
I cannot say how much I looked forward to reading the new Jack Reacher. And how disappointed I am! As I texted my 23-year-old son (another big Reacher fan; I'm 74) "Are these characters ever going to stop talking?" Actually, "character" is a poor choice of word. There are no characters here, only names, who engage in endless passages of circuitous, impenetrable dialogue alternating with the verbal equivalent of road maps and engineering drawings. The plotting is phony, loosely connected and meaningless. A sad, mailed-in peformance.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par, June 7, 2010
By 
Matt (Vineland, NJ) - See all my reviews
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No comparison to his previous books. Book has more to do with snow than mystery. 50% of the book is about weather, 30% about other insignificant aspects and the rest about little to no plot. One of my favorite authors seems to be going the way of previous famous authors, downhill.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful Book, June 5, 2010
This review is from: 61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) (Hardcover)
Let me start off by saying that I am a huge Jack Reacher fan! I have read every Reacher novel twice and have enjoyed them immensely. I don't understand how this book is getting such rave reviews from the other readers. This book was a goofy story premise that ends leaving you hanging in mid air. I won't say anything more because I don't want to spoil it if you decide to read it. This book was just released this month 5/2010 and I already see another Jack Reacher novel being released in October 2010. Huh? It seems like Lee Child was under contract to get out a book at any cost. Please don't waste your money, this book shouldn't even have been published! Its garbage! I can't help but feel ripped off.
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61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14)
61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) by Lee Child (Hardcover - May 18, 2010)
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