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. A life without baggage has many advantages, but disadvantages too, like facing the arctic cold without a coat. A small town is threatened by sinister forces. 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.
Reviewed on 31st March 2012
The fourteenth book in the Jack Reacher series sees the former military policeman back in the wrong place at the wrong time. He takes on the protection of an elderly lady - the only witness to a minor crime that could lead the police onto bigger baddies.
The plot is patchy and slow - not a great deal happens for a good portion of the book, where Reacher seems to have lost his touch. The reader is given so many clues that I wondered whether it had gone so over the top it must be a red herring, and yet Reacher had yet to spot them.
The plot is set around an ominous count-down - it takes place over the titular 61 hours - which adds an element of suspense, but at first was quite annoying as the hours were continually ticked off.
There are a couple of places where I wondered how characters knew things that they did - it was almost as if they were reading some of the chapters they didn't appear in. However there are some surprising character moments as well - where we find out several key points to Reacher's backstory.
I must admit to feeling slightly ambivalent about this book. Despite all these criticisms, I still enjoyed reading it. The supporting characters were better developed than in some of the previous Reacher stories, and maybe this depth made up for the downsides. I'm still a Reacher fan, and hope there are many more adventures to come.