61 Hours by Lee Child
South Dakota is shivering under an icy winter, and the roads are particularly treacherous. As a snow storm gathers force, the tyres of a bus skid and there is a crash, stranding the bus and its passengers. And if you think that this atmospheric set-up sounds like the perfect introduction to a Jack Reacher novel, how right you are: Lee Child’s granite-tough hero has hitched a ride in the back of the bus, and finds himself (like the other passengers — a particularly ill assorted group) facing the problems of surviving in sub-arctic weather. Needless to say, Jack is able to draw on more resources in such a situation than many of his fellow passengers. Some 20 miles away from the crash is a small town, where a key witness is being guarded against sinister individuals bent on murder. And another elements in this combustible mix includes an omniscient figure who is to have a crucial role in the dramatic events that follow — even though this figure is many miles from the frigid landscape that Jack Reacher is marooned in.
Having not read any of these before I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a pretty gripping yarn and Reacher is a credible central character. Not sure I want to catch up with the 13 earlier ones though.