The countdown has begun. Get ready for the most exciting 61 hours of your life. #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child's latest thriller is a ticking time bomb of suspense that builds electric tension on every page. Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: May 2010
From the book
Five minutes to three in the afternoon. Exactly sixty-one hours before it happened. The lawyer drove in and parked in the empty lot. There was an inch of new snow on the ground, so he spent a minute fumbling in the foot well until his overshoes were secure. Then he got out and turned his collar up and walked to the visitors' entrance. There was a bitter wind out of the north. It was thick with fat lazy flakes. There was a storm sixty miles away. The radio had been full of it.
The lawyer got in through the door and stamped the snow off his feet. There was no line. It was not a regular visiting day. There was nothing ahead of him except an empty room and an empty X-ray belt and a metal detector hoop and three prison guards standing around doing nothing. He nodded to them, even though he didn't know them. But he considered himself on their side, and they on his. Prison was a binary world. Either you were locked up, or you weren't. They weren't. He wasn't.
He took a gray plastic bin off the top of a teetering stack and folded his overcoat into it. He took off his suit coat and folded it and laid it on top of the overcoat. It was hot in the prison. Cheaper to burn a little extra oil than to give the inmates two sets of clothes, one for the summer and one for the winter. He could hear their noise ahead of him, the clatter of metal and concrete and the random crazy yells and the screams and the low grumble of other disaffected voices, all muted by doglegged corridors and many closed doors.
He emptied his pants pockets of keys, and wallet, and cell phone, and coins, and nested those clean warm personal items on top of his suit coat. He picked up the gray plastic bin. Didn't carry it to the X-ray belt. Instead he hefted it across the room to a small window in a wall. He waited there and a woman in uniform took it and gave him a numbered ticket in exchange for it.
He braced himself in front of the metal detector hoop. He patted his pockets and glanced ahead, expectantly, as if waiting for an invitation. Learned behavior, from air travel. The guards let him stand there for a minute, a small, nervous man in his shirt sleeves, empty-handed. No briefcase. No notebook. Not even a pen. He was not there to advise. He was there to be advised. Not to talk, but to listen, and he sure as hell wasn't going to put what he heard anywhere near a piece of paper.
The guards beckoned him through. A green light and no beep, but still the first guard wanded him and the second patted him down. The third escorted him deeper into the complex, through doors designed never to be open unless the last and the next were closed, and around tight corners designed to slow a running man's progress, and past thick green glass windows with watchful faces behind.
The lobby had been institutional, with linoleum on the floor and mint green paint on the walls and fluorescent tubes on the ceiling. And the lobby had been connected to the outside, with gusts of cold air blowing in when the door was opened, and salt stains and puddles of snowmelt on the floor. The prison proper was different. It had no connection to the outside. No sky, no weather. No attempt at décor. It was all raw concrete, already rubbed greasy where sleeves and shoulders had touched it, still pale and dusty where they hadn't. Underfoot was grippy gray paint, like the floor of an auto enthusiast's garage. The lawyer's overshoes squeaked on it.
There were four interview rooms. Each was a windowless concrete cube divided exactly in half by a wall-to-wall desk-height counter with safety glass above. Caged lights burned on the ceiling above the counter. The...
"[The] craftiest and most highly evolved of Lee Child's electrifying Jack Reacher books... The truth about Reacher gets better and better." - The New York Times
"Child is a superb craftsman of suspense, juggling several plots and keeping his herrings well-rouged....Best of all, this is a rare series book that reads like a stand-alone. Everything you need to know about Jack Reacher is contained within its pages. And chances are you'll want to seek out other Reacher adventures the moment you finish." --Entertainment Weekly (A-)
"Jack Reacher is much more like the heir to the Op and Marlowe than Spenser ever was." - Esquire
"As usual, Child's writing is superb. Not only is this thriller believable, but the descriptions of the blizzard will make readers want to hug their furnaces. Fast paced and exciting, this is highly recommended for thriller fans." - Library Journal (starred review)
"Get prepared for teeth-chattering suspense....Child sets up one of his most ingenious plots in the Jack Reacher chronicles. A fiery finale will leave fans talking and speculating for weeks to come." - Madison County Herald
"Child deepens the mystery considerably, providing an explosive climax that will have you tearing out your hair until Reacher's next appearance." - Miami Herald
"Once again, Child spins a riveting, ticking-clock Jack Reacher adventure....It's guarantees you'll finish this one in less than 61 hours--and the jolter conclusion will shock and awe you." - Romantic Times Book Review
"Implausible, irresistible Reacher remains just about the best butt-kicker in thriller-lit." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Child keeps his foot hard on the throttle...As always, Child delivers enough juicy details about the landscape, the characters, and Reacher's idiosyncrasies to give the story texture and lower our pulse rates, if only momentarily...This is Child in top form, but isn't he always?" - Booklist (starred review)