The ticking clock

Lee Child, author of the “Reacher” thrillers, created a nice bit of business in his novel “61 Hours,” which I just finished.

He ended every chapter by writing something like, “It was  6 p.m. Tuesday. Fifty-six hours to go…” or “When the police cruiser dropped him off, it was midnight. Thirty-five hours to go….”

“To go” to what? We didn’t know. But it gave the narrative a nice “time bomb” element. The reader knows something big is going to happen, and the reader knows it’ll happen 61 hours after Chapter 1 begins. We just don’t know what “it” is.

It was a quick, elegant way to ratchet up the tension.


About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on December 21, 2010, in Blog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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