Like many of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, 61 Hours start with Reacher coming to a stop, this time because he is on a bus full of senior citizens when it crashes in South Dakota during what sounds like an extremely miserable winter.
He is quickly plunged (reluctantly) into a situation that only he can deal with. This time it involves a small town, a very short (4’9″) Mexican gangster named Plato, the typical assortment of local cops, both competent and bumbling, a woman with a sexy phone voice, a bizarre and abandoned and underground military building, a gang of bikers, and the usual Lee Child quota of broken limbs and headshot wounds.
I’m going to mention the freezing South Dakota winter again here, because it is a character in the book. I have spent a little bit of time in North Dakota, but never in the winter. However, my friend who lived there for years never has anything nice to say about would could kindly be called “bitter cold.”
In one of my favorite scenes from the book, Reacher again shows why he is the toughest man alive when he runs two miles, inappropriately dressed, in the middle of the night, on deadline in sub-zero weather.
Also, to date, 61 Hours contains my favorite description of Jack Reacher’s legendary hand to hand combat abilities: “It’s like having a running chainsaw thrown at you.”
If you haven’t read any of the Reacher novels, any one of them can be read alone, but there are pieces of each story that do make more sense if the series has been read in order. Here’s a quick recap of the main character.
Jack Reacher for beginners
He is a former military policeman.Now, one of my best friends is a former military policeman, and I can totally picture him in the scenarios (and fights) Reacher deals with.
Jack Reacher is extremely tall and well built. In some of the books he is still in the military. He doesn’t own anything and buys his clothes every few days, then discards the old ones. He can talk tough with the best of them and can tell time in his head.
Hmm…sounds a lot like me.
Speaking of, every single one of the Jack Reacher books has been optioned for a movie. I once read an interview with Lee Child where he said that they didn’t have an actor of the appropriate size and attitude.
Please write to Mr. Child and tell him that there is an enormous librarian waiting for his call.
Also, 61 Hours is an awesome thriller. I love Lee Child’s page turners. They’re smut for macho bookworms who aren’t any good in a fight and rarely have to save entire towns from bad guys.
I rate it 95 million degrees below zero. 61 hours by Lee Child. Read it. Live it. Wear a coat.
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