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61 Hours: A Jack Reacher Novel Paperback – August 7, 2012
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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!
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
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Much like a movie action hero, Reacher breaks many laws and is never held accountable. Like Dirty Harry, Arnold, Rambo (the list is endless) if you entertain us (or me) and bring me into a world where I just have to see what's coming next, I'll forgive a few plot holes you can drive a jet through.
61 Hours is that kind of book for me. There's always some element of mystery to the series - figuring out who's doing the murders, who's done the kidnapping, who is a bad guy and who is a good guy. What I like about Child's story telling is he tries to throw surprises at you and I get enjoyment trying to figure them out.
Without any spoilers, I will say that Child broke his one rule about his character Reacher. I believe he once said (and I paraphrase) he was tired of the sensitive, navel-gazing super hero and he wanted to create an indestructible character w/out all that. And Reacher has been like 97% that, but there is a part of the book where Reacher feels like he's failed (again, no spoilers) and calls upon someone to basically cry on their shoulder and feel sorry for himself. I thought that was way out of character. In other stories he's introduced some minor chinks in his armor, which he always seems to beat. This time he turned to someone else. Thankfully, he snaps out of it and goes off after the bad guy(s) again.
Nicely paced story. Interesting characters. I might have been too generous when I said Child developed the characters because not all of them are fleshed out, but I don't want a 900 page action adventure. mystery book.
Some people might call this predictable, but then most stories really are. We know Reacher wins in the end. Like James Bond or Rambo. It's how we get to the end that's the ride and I enjoyed this ride.
Downloading the next one now!
Readers need to bring a ready willingness to suspend disbelief. The supposed existence of a 70-year-old "forgotten" stock of 40 tons of cocaine buried on the site of a long abandoned military site in the middle of nowhere, and originally destined for use by WWII soldiers and airmen is but one feature of the plot.
While avoiding a spoiler here, those who have read the book will likely have been disappointed at the abrupt ending, and that there was nothing that could have been called an epilog. This comes across as a cheap trick to encourage the purchase of the next book. Interesting to note that it has had mediocre reviews.
At best a plot for an hour-long TV show.
Most recent customer reviews
Starts slow but picks up the pace where I could not put it down.