|Publisher||Bantam Press (UK), Delacorte Press (US)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback), Audio, eBook|
|Preceded by||Gone Tomorrow|
|Followed by||Worth Dying For|
Set in the town of Bolton, South Dakota, Reacher begins his latest adventure on a wrecked senior citizen tour bus after a near-miss with another motorist leaves the bus spinning on the icy road and trapped in a snowy bank. Immersed in a snowy, frozen landscape, Reacher works with local law enforcement to help the fragile victims.
Hours later, Reacher learns Bolton is not like most towns. Beside its freezing, snowy climate, the town plays host to one of the largest prisons in the US, making the town and its law enforcement subject to the needs and demands of the gigantic correctional facility. At the same time, a band of outlaw bikers, settled outside the town, are on edge after their leader is arrested on drug charges. As the biker awaits trial the top priority then becomes protecting Janet Salter, the only voluntary, reliable witness to the biker's drug transaction, and Reacher agrees to aid local law enforcement in keeping her alive.
Throughout the story brutal enemies, both foreign and domestic, are encountered. The criminal mastermind from Mexico is nicknamed Plato. He dispatches an anonymous assassin to Bolton who murders anyone he suspects of knowing anything and whose ultimate target is Janet Salter. Reacher enlists the help of one of his successors, Major Susan Turner, the current leader of the elite 110th Special Investigations Unit (Reacher's old command), and in the process he is compelled to divulge interesting new details of his personal and professional history and decides to make his way to Virginia to meet her.
The novel's climax leaves the question of Reacher's survival open to reader speculation.
What heats “61 Hours” to the boiling point is Mr. Child’s decision to defy his own conventions. In the interests of pure gamesmanship he seems hellbent on doing everything differently this time. For starters, there’s the setting: recent books have found Reacher in assorted warm-weather American towns and in Manhattan. This one makes new rules by marooning him in South Dakota after a tour bus carrying 20 elderly tourists and one giant (“like a hitchhiker, but not quite”) skids off a road.
- "61 Hours, By Lee Child". The Independent. 21 March 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- "61 Hours by Lee Child". The Guardian. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- "61 Hours (Hardcover)". Amazon.co.uk. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
- "61 Hours (Hardcover)". Amazon.com. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2009.
- Maslin, Janes. "He Needs Only His Wits and the Shirt on His Back". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2014-10-11.