About the author:
Lee Child is the nom-de-plume of British thriller writer Jim Grant. Child’s novels follow the adventures of an American military cop Jack Reacher who is a wanderer.
My thoughts on the book:
There are times when I wonder whose thrillers are the best… Reilly, with Jack West Jnr. and Shane Schofield, Higgins with Sean Dillon, Patterson with Alex Cross or Child, with his character Jack Reacher. Each of these characters now holds an expectation of thrill in my mind.
61 Hours is the fourteenth novel in the Jack Reacher series.
Reacher is on a bus, asleep, when the driver loses control on the icy road as he tries to avoid a skidding car, and crashes. He makes sure the passengers are doing fine, inspects the bus and tries to get some warmth back into it.
After hours of waiting, a bus from a nearby prison facility comes to transport the passengers to the town of Bolton, where they’ll be put up in the houses of the generous residents till an approaching storm passes. Using his usual analytical mind, he comes to a conclusion that it was something other than being busy that delayed the arrangement.
He begins to talk to the assistant chief Peterson, who begins to trust Reacher slowly. We find out that the top priority of the Bolton PD is to protect a star witness, an old lady who can expose the drug trade that’s just outside their city limits. Reacher investigates, and also befriends the old lady, helping her to learn some basic self defense if it’s needed.
Meanwhile, he also calls up the present commander of his old commanding unit, who he calls Amanda and takes her help in understanding what sort of military facility is it that’s near the town. Considering the lust factor that’s usually associated with Reacher in Child’s novels, I found it a little out-of-character that there’s only a phone infatuation in this story. Also, Amanda’s character felt a little unnecessary given that Reacher himself finds out what the military facility was.
The thrill factor is still there for sure. Right from a seemingly harmless visit of a lawyer to his client, to the bus crash, and then later, an anxious few hours to protect the old lady witness… the story keeps you hooked. Reacher’s character proceeds as we expect it to, and his arrogant, yet confident attitude and personality are profoundly illustrated through other incidents.
One or more of the characters seems unnecessary at the end in the context of the book, and it feels like they have been just put there to either stick to a character, or to trick the reader’s understanding of the crime. Though both are good reasons, it makes me feel the story could’ve gone down similar lines without them too.
Some little parts can be skipped over, so it’s not a page-to-page addicting thriller, but it keeps us hooked to it. Nothing very much negative about it, and not my favorite Jack Reacher novel, but a very enjoyable read for sure.
Title: 61 Hours
Author: Lee Child
Genre: Mystery/Crime Thriller
Publishers: Bantam Books
Price: Rs. 350
(March 6th, 2013)