There was some excitement recently at the offices of Transworld, publisher of the British thriller writer Lee Child, who has so successful conquered America with his Jack Reacher adventures. Child usually produces only one novel featuring his tough ex-army action hero each year, but the latest book, 61 Hours
, will be followed up with a speedily issued second new Reacher-related novel this autumn. 61 Hours
-- admirers will, of course, have to have both. Sales of such Child novels as Gone Tomorrow
have exceed 74,000 copies – and he continues his upwards ascent, singularly unimpeded. But the new book has Jack Reacher in the most extreme danger of his career.
South Dakota is shivering under an icy winter, and the roads are particularly treacherous. As a snow storm gathers force, the tyres of a bus skid and there is a crash, stranding the bus and its passengers. And if you think that this atmospheric set-up sounds like the perfect introduction to a Jack Reacher novel, how right you are: Lee Child's granite-tough hero has hitched a ride in the back of the bus, and finds himself (like the other passengers -- a particularly ill assorted group) facing the problems of surviving in sub-arctic weather. Needless to say, Jack is able to draw on more resources in such a situation than many of his fellow passengers. Some 20 miles away from the crash is a small town, where a key witness is being guarded against sinister individuals bent on murder. And another elements in this combustible mix includes an omniscient figure who is to have a crucial role in the dramatic events that follow -- even though this figure is many miles from the frigid landscape that Jack Reacher is marooned in.
All of this is typically suspenseful fare (in fact, the real surprise would be if it weren’t -- Child is one of the most reliable writers on the face of the planet). And there’s an ending quite unlike any other Jack Reacher novel you have read. Lee Child aficionados need not hesitate. --Barry Forshaw
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"Child has somehow forged that magical grail: a new and believable hero. Reacher is strong, tall, principled and a quiet master in unarmed combat. But he's also a wizard at determining likelihoods, at extrapolating miniscule details and thus forming chains of inferred logic... celebrate the achievement of giving us addicts a new and mesmerising fix, when we thought all the heroes had been written" (Euan Ferguson Observer
"It is always a pleasure to read another Jack Reacher novel. A kind of highlight of the year, really. There is only one downside. It's all the other people hanging around your house saying things like, "Oy! Haven't you finished with the Reacher yet?" (Andy Martin Independent
"Reacher is an iconic modern thriller hero: the ultimate loner... won't disappoint the British-born Child's millions of fans... Fast, compelling and with that nugget of poignancy that sets the hero apart" (Daily Mail
"Explodes into one of the best thrillers I've read for ages. Lee Child is a Brit who has managed to becomes more American than most US authors... 61 Hours is destined to do big things... Superb stuff!" (Independent on Sunday
"This is the first of Lee Child's popular Jack Reacher novels I've read. I'd assumed they were merely the macho adventures of a boneheaded lone wolf: lots of guns and explosions and little to occupy the mind. Well, I was wrong: there's also an abundance of intelligence and surprise. 61 Hours
a first-class thriller... Child delivers it brilliantly" (Mail on Sunday