Friday, 5 December 2014

61 Hours by Lee Child

Reviewer: JW Hicks author of Rats.

What we thought: You want a mind-filling, worry-blocking read? Then take a gander at Lee Child’s oeuvre. His thrilling series of Jack Reacher novels is a guaranteed escape route from worry, bad thoughts and insomnia. Who cares if you can’t sleep if you have a Reacher novel close to hand?

I’ve just read book 14: 61 Hours. Wow!

61 Hours is a countdown to some unknown, scarily foreshadowed and clearly terrifying event. The opening paragraph reads, ‘Five minutes to three in the afternoon. Exactly sixty-one hours before it happened.’

As the chapters progress, so does the countdown... and the reader’s trepidation.

The protagonist, Jack Reacher, is an ex-army Military Police investigator. At six foot five and a skilled fighter with intimate knowledge of any number of martial arts, Reacher is a force to be reckoned with. Reacher – he only answers to Reacher – really does try to avoid trouble, but somehow always seems to find himself slap-dab in the middle of a whole stinking heap of it.

(In the 2012 film adaption of Child’s Reacher novel, One Shot, Tom Cruise got to play Reacher. As the Americans say, go figure.)

In 61 Hours, you will read high-powered action, experience Reacher winning mentally-planned fights with seemingly unbeatable opponents, and feel racking tension as the plot spirals into free-fall taking Reacher to the very edge.

Child writes with pictorial ease so that we see the pictures he draws oh so very clearly. In 61 Hours he describes snow with meticulous clarity, from the falling flakes to the deepening drifts, and as we read we actually feel the deathly cold that informs this teeth-chattering tale, and experience growing fear for our hero, Reacher.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Hi-octane thrillers, and breath-holding blockbuster films.

Avoid if you don’t like: Walking a virtual tightrope of excited, quivering fear.

Ideal accompaniments: a smooth malt whisky and a giant box of Maltesers.

Available from Amazon

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