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Lee Child is British, but after he was made redundant from his job in television, he moved with his family from Cumbria to the United States to start a new career as a writer of American thrillers. He now divides his time between France and New York. All his novels feature the maverick Jack Reacher, and all have been international bestsellers.
Narrator Dick Hill has been perfecting Reacher's hard-boiled verbal swagger for years. In this installment, Reacher is stranded in a snow-bound South Dakota town where a biker gang has turned an abandoned facility into a meth lab. A member of the gang is in prison awaiting trial, and a hit man has been hired to remove the only witness to the crime, a 70-something librarian. According to a curious stipulation, every time the prison's trouble gong sounds every policeman in town must report there immediately-even if it means leaving the sweet old librarian to the mercy of the unknown assassin. Happily, none of these convolutions give Hill pause. It's his job to entertain, and that he does, almost chuckling as he describes Reacher's takedown of two giant bikers, relishing the hero's heralded powers of observation, or summoning up a large, accented ration of nastiness for the villain of the piece, a diminutive Mexican crime boss named Plato. When the book finally arrives at the end of its 61-hour countdown, thanks to Hill the time seems to have been well spent. A Delacorte hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 1). (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.