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61 Hours by Lee Child
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's review
Jun 11, 2010

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bookshelves: thrillers

Child, Lee. 61 HOURS. (2010). ***. Here’s the latest beach or airplane read thriller from Child. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed story involving his series character, Jack Reacher. Reacher, as you might know, is an ex-army MP, and is relatively invincible against all sorts of bad guys. In this adventure, he is stranded in a small town in South Dakota in Winter, along with the tour bus full of older sightseers that went off an overpass and got stuck in the sub-zero weather. They are finally rescued by the police from the nearest town, Bolton, SD, a town that exists solely to be where the new prison facilities are located. The town is being menaced by a large collection of motorcycle toughs who are living just outside of town on an old military installation that has been abandoned for the last fifty years. In fact, nobody can remember why it was built or what it was meant for. The police staff of the town are on edge because of a killing and a drug deal that went down earlier that was only seen by a seventy-year old witness, an old woman who was an ex-librarian for the Bodley Library and a former professor at Oxford. She is being heavily guarded night and day because she is the only one to step up and tell what she saw. There’s nothing remarkable about her, she’s just another one of Child’s cardboard cutouts: an old lady who likes to read and believes in doing the right thing. Reacher is interested in what the old military base is all about, and soon learns that it was used as a storage dump for Cold War Era military supplies – including tons of drugs that were routinely issued to pilots and other military personnel to keep them awake on missions. Enter Plato, a drug lord who lives in Mexico in his private enclave who believes he owns the stuff stored at the base. He has sold it to a Russian buyer who wants to be sure that the area is safe and clean before he forks over the money. Plato guarantees this by putting an assassin in place who will take care of the old lady and any other loose ends that might turn up. Reacher, of course, gets actively involved in the whole process. You’ll have to read this to see how it all turns out, but there is a final unresolved problem left at the end of the book. You’ll see when you get there. I can’t tell you.
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