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61 Hours (Jack Reacher, Book 14) Hardcover – May 18, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,951 customer reviews
Book 14 of 20 in the Jack Reacher Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lee Child on 61 Hours

Every book starts with a grab-bag of ideas. I sat down to write 61 Hours with six things on my mind. First was the title...it just popped into my head and stayed there (and I knew I wanted the 61 to be written in figures, not words, so if you’re the kind of reader who arranges your shelves alphabetically--I apologize!)

Second, I knew it would once again feature Jack Reacher...over the last 13 books he’s built up such enthusiasm and loyalty among readers I knew I’d be crazy not to keep on reporting his adventures.

Thirdly, I knew I wanted very, very cold weather. My fifth book, Echo Burning, was set in the west of Texas in a heat wave, and the extreme temperature was seen as a real character in the story, so I wanted to try the same thing again, but this time at the opposite end of the thermometer. I was a little nervous at first, because one of my early writer heroes was Alistair MacLean, who wrote cold weather so well. But most of his cold stories were set up on the polar ice cap, or above the Arctic Circle, and I knew Reacher would have no reason to go there. In the end I chose South Dakota in the depths of winter as a location, and I’ll know I’ve succeeded if you shiver over every page.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth, I had three names to work with--winners of your-name-as-a-character charity auction lots. A gentleman named Mark Salter helped out with autism research and asked for his mother’s name to be in the book--Mrs. Janet Salter; and then for two separate literacy projects, a man named Andrew Peterson won an auction, and the man who won the other wanted his wife’s name included--Susan Turner. All three winners made very generous donations to the various charities, so I decided it was only fair to make all three into important, central characters.

The only problem was...Mr. Turner asked that the character named after his wife have a romantic entanglement with Reacher. Read 61 Hours to see if he got his wish!


From 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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; 1st edition (May 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385340583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385340588
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,951 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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