Tim Niland's Reviews > 61 Hours

61 Hours by Lee Child
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May 20, 10

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When ex-Army MP and current drifter Jack Reacher hitches a ride on a senior citizen tour bus, he has no idea what is in store for him. After the bus skids off the road during a snowstorm in Bolton, South Dakota, Reacher finds himself marooned in a town in turmoil. An elderly woman has observed a large drug deal going down, and agrees to testify if the outmatched local police can keep her alive long enough to reach the trial. When the police ask for his help, Reacher moves in to protect the woman, and solve the mystery of a biker gang squatting at an abandoned military base no one seems to know the purpose of. Child's setting of this novel in frozen tundra of a South Dakota winter adds an element of man-versus-nature to the mix. To ratchet up the tension even further, he ends each chapter with a running countdown until... what? I'm not going to give it away but the conclusion is worth the wait. This story follows the template of all of the Reacher stories preceding it. Our man drifts into town, finds out the town has a problem, uses his sense of modern chivalry and honor to inject himself into the situation and find a conclusion, kicking much ass in the process. But Child builds in enough tension and surprises to keep the plot gaining momentum throughout the story and keeps the formula fresh and productive. He's got it down to a science by now and the result is a taut and satisfying thriller.
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