Can it be a good Reacher novel with only two fights and Reacher not screwing the damsel in distress back to normal mental health? The answer is a qualified yes. 61 Hours falls into the Lee Child overly contrived Reacher story section along with Nothing To Lose and Echo Burning. That doesn/'t make it unreadable just of a different character than other novels in the Reacher series.
The 61 hours motif is strained and a little annoying. There is a count down from the start of the novel to the end of the novel. The entire story takes place in 61 hours - less than three days. It could be that Child was trying to give a sense of urgency and show just how much can happen in such a short length of time. Alternatively he could have been trying to see how often Reacher could complain about the cold and snow in 61 hours. Either way the story follows the Reacher formula to the letter - except for the screwing.
The premise is simple enough. Jack Reacher gets stranded in a small town that has only three businesses contributing to the economy - a state of the art prison, a recently expanded police force and methamphetamine. Throw into the mix a murder, the rumour of a hit man coming to town and Reacher/'s obvious qualifications in the area of killing and you have a reason for Reacher to be a person of interest to the local constabulary (isn/'t he always?). Following the tried and true approach of previous Reacher novels the start is methodical and lays all the ground work for the unfolding story. The problem with 61 Hours (aside from the annoying time checks) is that it is not overly complicated to figure out who the bad guy is by the time you are half way through the book. If you don/'t then you are not reading closely. On the other hand an author who gives the reader the same information as the hero is to be commended on giving the reader a fair chance to solve the detective part of the story.
Other Lee Child Reviews
Running Blind - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher inadvertently draws the F.B.I.s attention while dispensing his own brand of justice he finds himself a suspect in an ongoing F.B.I. investigation that he must either solve or resign himself to prison.
Without Fail - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher takes the job to kill the Vice-President of the United States - kind of.
One Shot - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher investigates a sniper shooting in which a former Army sniper is accused of being the sniper. All the evidence is there but something is not quite right.
Tripwire - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a private eye finds Reacher in Key West then suddenly turns up dead Reacher becomes interested in why the man was looking for him in the first place.
The Enemy - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a two star general from Amoured division dies in a seedy motel almost 300 miles from where he ought to be Jack Reacher gets the call to look into things.
Persuader - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself chasing a ghost and living with one of the biggest dealers on the eastern seaboard while doing the scut work for the DEA.
The Hard Way - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher helps find the kidnapped wife and child of a mercenary
Bad Luck and Trouble - A Jack Reacher Novel: Do not mess with the special investigators takes on a whole new meaning when Calvin Franz turns up dead and Jack Reacher takes on the case.
Killing Floor - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher wanders into the town of Margrave he is quickly arrested on suspicion of murdered and the strength of an unimpeachable eyewitness.
Nothing To Lose - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself moving between Hope and Despair while trying to figure out why he is being kicked out of the township of Despair Colorado.
Gone Tomorrow - A Jack Reacher Novel: Reacher thinks he is dealing with a suicide bomber on a train but he is only half right and comes up against an enemy as strong and clever as he is.
Worth Dying For - A Jack Reacher Novel: It is the Duncan s versus Jack Reacher in the middle of a Nebraska county they control with an iron fist. It is irresistible force meets immovable object.
Echo Burning - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is wandering through Texas and gets picked up by a beautiful woman looking to hire a killer.
The Affair - A Jack Reacher Novel: Still with the 110th Jack Reacher is sent undercover to Carters Crossing to investigate the death of a local woman that may have met her fate at the hands of a soldier.