Review: 61 Hours – Lee Child

4 of 5 stars

Series: Jack Reacher 14

My version: Paperback
Fiction Thriller
Bantam Books

Hour sixty-one
Icy winter in South Dakota.
A bus skids and crashes in a gathering storm. On the back seat: Jack Reacher, hitching a ride to nowhere.

Hour thirty one
One brave woman is standing up for justice.
If she’s going to live to testify, she’ll need help from a man like Reacher. Because there’s a killer coming for her.

Hour zero
Has Reacher finally met his match?
He doesn’t want to put the world to rights. H just doesn’t like people who put it to wrongs.

Yeah, it probably seemed a good idea on paper (ho-ho!), doing the story as a constant countdown to – something. An event. But…it had better be spectacular, amazing, amazingly, earth-shatteringly amazing when you get to zero hour, don’t you think? Not, “erm, hang on, was that what we were waiting for?”

Then you start thinking – does Jack Reacher ever change his underwear?! Ever? He has no bags, no luggage at all, that is mentioned several times each book. He does (in some of the books after this one) mention buying underwear, specifically. Dumping his old stuff in the trash can, as you know. But here – phew! And he’s stuck somewhere in the snow! No way out. And he’s a guest in someone’s house part the time – double phew!! No one says anything though. Maybe they don’t dare: “Oi! Reacher! You’re rather ripe this morning, don’t you think?” And that’s the last we hear of them.

The rigid adherence to a mechanical style, is getting a bit wearing. It may well be a style he has found works for him, as a writer I mean, certainly it works for him as a seller of books. Maybe it makes knocking off a Reacher book every year a whole lot less of a chore. Or maybe it’s a style that covers his limits as a writer. Like the whole thing could be fed into a computer, and a button pressed. Anyway, it needs looking at.

Otherwise, it’s good, not great. Sort of in the middle.

You can buy 61 Hours at

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