Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"'s Reviews > 61 Hours

61 Hours by Lee Child
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's review
Nov 25, 2009

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bookshelves: all-fiction, suspense-thriller, miss-trees
Read in May, 2010

I'm going with 3.5 stars on this one. There's only one reason I can't nudge it up to 4 stars, which I'll explain at the end of the review (with plenty of advance warning.)

Jack Reacher novels fall into two categories. One is the big city, ABO, non-stop action, heavy violence thriller such as Gone Tomorrow. The other is the small town, slower-paced, watching and waiting type---more mystery than thriller. 61 Hours is in the second category, although it does get pretty exciting later on. I'm cool with both kinds, but the adrenaline junkies probably prefer the action-packed ones.

A bus accident leaves Jack stranded in the fictional town of Bolton, South Dakota in the dead of winter. Brrrrrr! Cold and getting colder. Snow and ice and wind...and more snow. And of course, the town has problems only Jack can fix. Murders in town, a mysterious abandoned military site a few miles away, a biker in the local prison, and a midget called Plato down in Mexico all combine to give Reacher's solving skills a workout.

Less action, but a lot of fun stuff here. I loved the interaction between Jack and the voice on the phone in Washington. Also the discovery of the original purpose behind the military site. Very cool and creepy. And there's a new angle on the old drug running plot element which caught me off guard and then made me laugh at the end with its final effects on the town. We also get to learn a little more about Jack's childhood, thanks to a certain snooper.

This concludes the spoiler-free portion of my review.



The inconclusive ending was frustrating and unsatisfying, so I can't go up to four stars. I don't mind not knowing everything, but we should at least get to find out how Jack escaped from the explosion and see him exiting town with another successful problem taken care of. The last we see of him, he's trying to get out before the flare hits the fuel, and we're left hanging until October. No fair! I think Child made a tactical error with this ending, but I guess now it's all about selling more books more often.

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Reading Progress

05/20/2010 page 115
30.03% "I am determined not to hurry through this." 4 comments
05/21/2010 page 201
52.48% ""Five to one in the afternoon. Fifteen hours to go.""
05/22/2010 page 291
75.98% "Oh, the things we learn from Jack Reacher. There's no such thing as a spiral staircase."

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Edward Trujillo I agree. Setup for a sequel but no need to do a cliffhanger

Sarah I enjoyed the ending but I understand what you say about it being a little frustrating.

Jeremy David I disagree about city vs country. I think these books revolve around the BAD ASS DETECTIVE angle more so than the violent one. I enjoy the ones in the middle of no where a lot better because it brings out the resourcefulness of Reacher! I think you're looking at it wrong...

james patterson Do not want to read

message 5: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Caldwell Read what I thought was the next one but it didn't explain the cliffhanger. Now about to read Worth Dying For which follows it by publication date, but opening gives no hint at explanation.

Ridzi Ditto.... I had bought this book long ago but got it mixed with my locked down stuff. Imagine my surprise when I found it in one of the boxes, but somehow it wasn't worth the enthusiasm at all. And I could very we feel that the chief was the traitor, quite well before the ending. Also I feel that it was totally unnecessary to kill the old lady, or the lovely cop who gave shelter to Reacher. And how come the gangster who tortured people just for pleasure, fall into a setup sorry easily....... The end just wasn't good enough.

Vishakha Agrahari Can't agree more! What happens to Reacher? And no one in town cared to know who was the serial killer, and wasn't that supposed to bring all suspect on Reacher? And was it just a coincidence that 4a and 4b guy died in road accident! Can yhe russian huy be behind it.
Leaves too many questions for the readers to keep guessing on. Disappointing end. But otherwise great story!

message 8: by Machanga (new) - added it

Machanga Its been some months since I read it and you reminded me of the ending haha it leaves out the details and the reader wondering ...what just happened, come back ...haha you haven't told me how he did that ...I so enjoyed the drug underworld part of the story, the double cross :) ...I hated putting this book down till I was done :)

Bo Howell The ending was frustrating.

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