Review List · Author List

The Affair

by Lee Child

Reviewed by Pete for ABC 1062 A Novel Idea radio segment on November 17, 2011

The Affair

This 16th instalment of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels begins with Jack entering the Pentagon to extract revenge on a a high ranking military officer. You don’t know who and you don’t know why but then that’s why you have to read the book – to find out!

This differs from most of the previous Reacher novels in that it set in 1997 when Jack is still a major in the Military Police (the only other book to do this was The enemy).  Anyway in this book, Jack, who is under orders, travels to the small town of Carter Crossing in Mississippi to investigate the murder of young girl found raped & mutilated in the town which is close to a large military base.  What goes on at the Fort Kelham base is sensitive and army is concerned that if the murder is handled wrongly by the civilian law enforcement then they could be wrongly implicated, or the some of the bases secrets may be uncovered by the media.  Jack is one of 2 officers sent to investigate, with Major Duncan Munro sent to check things out from the inside and Reacher sent to the town undercover.

It is there that Reacher meets Elizabeth Deberaux, the local sheriff, who besides being beautiful is also an ex marine.  Reacher is smitten, pretty much immediately but he doesn’ t let this stunning woman get in the way of his investigation.  With Elizabeth’s help, he starts to dig to try and work out if the murderer is really a local from the town, just as the army wants, or is it really someone from the base.  If it is a soldier, and some of the evidence point this way, Reacher suspects that the army would like it buried.  For Reacher, this course of action would be unacceptable!

I thought this book was a return to the Jack Reacher of old.  Lee Child’s last 2 books, published in 2010,  61 hours and Worth dying for, where in my opinion a little lacking, but this one is pretty good.   There is a lot to this story, you get to find out some of the things that make Reacher tick, more about his relationship with the army, his friends (I was always under the impression he didn’t have many), his fellow officers and his commander Leon Garber.  You get to find out about some of his habits as well – his passion for bus travel and why he always travels light!  I guess the most important thing is, this story sheds light on why Reacher left the army to live the life of a wanderer (a helpful wanderer though!).

A great read in the tradition of classic Lee Child.  If you like crime thrillers then this ones for you.  The story is gripping, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing, some great characters including Deveraux, Gruber and Munro and a bit or romance!

Publisher: Bantam Press
Year published: 2011
Pete for ABC 1062 A Novel Idea radio segment‘s rating: 8 out of 10

Previous post:

Next post: