Anyone who’s read my second suspense The Chill of Night knows that the brutally low temperatures of a very, very cold Maine winter play a key role in my story. The victim’s corpse is found frozen solid in the back of her brand New BMW convertible. The key witness gets lost and almost dies in a horrendous blizzard. And McCabe himself suffers from near frostbite and comes close to losing the toes on both his feet
I just finished reading Lee Childs’ 61 Hours, number 14 in his terrific Jack Reacher series. And while I do like the way I treated cold in The Chill, I think Childs did at least as good and maybe an even better job of it in 61 Hours. The setting is not Maine but the fictional town of Bolton, South Dakota where Reacher discovers a methamphetamine lab run by a vicious 4’11” Mexican drug lord named Plato and located in an abandoned military facility. A with every Reacher book the pacing is perfect and the action nearly nonstop.
But what stayed with me is the brutal cold. Ten below. Twenty below. Thirty below. On nearly every page Childs vivid descriptions of Reacher shivering and nearly freezing to death made me want to turn the temperature up on my electric blanket.
As in The Chill of Night, the cold, as much as the hero, the victims or the villain is a real character in the Lee Childs’ book. If you’ve read Childs before, you already know he’s one of the top thriller writers in the business. If you haven’t read him yet, pick up 61 Hours. You’ll be in for a delicious, if frozen, treat.