Delacorte, May 18 2010, $28.00
Military police officer Jack Reacher hitches a ride with a senior citizen church group tour bus in South Dakota. However, a car ahead fishtails on the icy snow laden road; the experienced but tired bus driver overreacts on the frozen bridge; he does everything else right, but weight wins out and the bus crashes near Bolton.
The local cops are slow on helping the twenty elderly passengers; the bus driver remains in shock. Reacher takes over. However, in town, he will find the reason behind the delay is a methamphetamine lab run by a brutal Mexican cartel out of a nearby abandoned military post. At the same time Reacher helps the Washingtonians, an assassin has arrived in Bolton to kill a brave witness, her lawyer, and the outsider who suddenly protects her.
This is an exciting Reacher thriller as the storm and two upcoming storms isolate the already remote town. Fast-paced throughout, the early chapters have little two fisted action, but grip the audience with insight into the roaming hero as his ethics insist he help the passengers and then the townsfolk, especially law enforcement who realize they are out of their league with the cartel. Readers will enjoy the clock ticking down on Reacher and others as the inevitable showdown in the Badlands is imminent.