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61 Hours (Jack Reacher) [Paperback]

Lee Child
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Feb 2010 Jack Reacher (Book 14)
Winter in South Dakota. Blowing snow, icy roads, a tired driver. A bus skids and crashes and is stranded in a gathering storm. There's a small town twenty miles away, where a vulnerable witness is guarded around the clock. There's a strange stone building five miles further on, all alone on the prairie. There's a ruthless man who controls everything from the warmth of Mexico. Jack Reacher hitched a ride in the back of the bus. A life without baggage has many advantages. And crucial disadvantages too, when it means facing the arctic cold without a coat. But he's equipped for the rest of his task. He doesn't want to put the world to rights. He just doesn't like people who put it to wrongs.

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; Airports / Ireland / Export and Waterstones ed edition (6 Feb 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0593057074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593057070
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (438 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee Child is one of the world's leading thriller writers.His novels consistently achieve the number one slot in hardback and paperback on bestsellers lists on both sides of the Atlantic, and are translated into over forty languages.His debut novel, Killing Floor, was written after he was made redundant from his television job in Manchester, and introduced his much-admired maverick hero, the former military cop Jack Reacher.Born in Coventry, he now lives in America.

Photography © Johnny Ring

Product Description

Amazon Review

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"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 is a first-class thriller... Child delivers it brilliantly" (Mail on Sunday) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Lee had a successful career as a British television executive, until he was fired in one of the routine shake-ups that beset that industry, and headed off to America to write. Jack Reacher was the result. An ex military cop, who worked his way up through the ranks until he commanded a special operations unit. Now retired, the habits of a lifetime die hard. Rootless, and liking it that way, Reacher travels America, taking short-term contract work where he finds it - and usually ending up in the middle of a serious criminal conspiracy along the way.

Reacher, the ultimate good-guy has this habit of getting involved. He checks things out and finds them not quite right. His trained, logical mind works out connections nobody else sees, and his unique insights into human motivation raise suspicions in his mind about the otherwise unquestionably pure and honourable folks around him.

61 Hours opens with Reacher riding a bus through an ice-storm in South Dakota, when the driver crashes into a ditch, leaving the passengers stranded for a few days in a small town that depends for its survival on servicing a brand-new correctional facility a few miles out on the prairie. Things are not quite right. The police are locked into a service contract which requires every last officer to rush to the perimeter of the prison within ten minutes of a riot or escape alarm sounding.

These sporadic evacuations of the law from the town provides an ideal opportunity for serious criminal behaviour, especially when not too far away there is an abandoned air force installation (with a network of tunnels ideal for storage purposes), which happens to be occupied by a gang of bikers.
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114 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely tense 20 Mar 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
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 six month gap between installments, you may choose to wait to read this closer to the release date of the next book in September.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puerile tripe 14 Jan 2014
I managed to get half way through this before getting so fed up with it that I came on here to read some reviews to see if it was just me. After seeing some of the comments I then managed to finish it out of sheer pig-headedness, I wanted to see if the end was as bad as people say it is.

Make no mistake, they are right - if you manage to plough your way through the boring turgid mess that constitutes a plot here, you will be rewarded with experiencing one of the most awful, childish, contrived, grotesquely unbelievable piles of drivel that has ever made it in to mainstream print. It is hard to describe just how abominably terrible it is. I think Lee Child must have caught his publisher on their way to an urgent appointment and said "Oh, I've got another book ready for you" - "Ah, right, gotta go, I'm sure it's fine, put it in the print pile over there". There is no way a publisher read this and approved it.

I'm a big fan of Lee Child's Jack Reacher creation, but the standard here of storyline and technical detail is so far below the norm that I am convinced that he was at least helped by another writer, if indeed the whole thing wasn't put out to a very poor ghost writer. I could quite easily believe that a small child came up with the idea for the story. Or his dog. But that is probably an insult to the novel writing abilities of the average canine.

If you like the Reacher books, then it's still worth reading just to see how bad a really bad book can be. But it is not in the same league as the earlier books. Or any books come to that. You have been warned, it's dire.
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