You have to be supremely confident of your audience to risk the "wha'happen???" scenario Child employs here, leaving the hero's fate dangling. But those of us who have fallen for the series are likely to laugh at both Child's audacity and our hunger for the next installment. Reacher doesn't win fans as much as he makes us bug-eyed addicts, ready to mow old people and children over to get to the New Titles table. One prominent writer has already suggested breaking into Child's house to read over his shoulder as he typed. When I saw Child stop into a New York bookstore recently to sign copies of 61 Hours, I was tempted to shout, "What are you doing? Get back to work!!" Sound nuts? It is. Lee Child has only himself to blame.
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