Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Affair

The Affair by Lee Child

Everything starts somewhere. . . .For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A coverup.

A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington.

Reacher is ordered undercover—to find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control.

Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justice—and an appetite for secrets. Uncertain they can trust one another, Reacher and Deveraux reluctantly join forces. Reacher works to uncover the truth, while others try to bury it forever. The conspiracy threatens to shatter his faith in his mission, and turn him into a man to be feared.

--The Affair
by Lee Child
Copyright © Sep 27, 2011 by Lee Child
Published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House

My Review

In my last Lee Child review for Worth Dying For, I was less than enthused by Reacher’s motivation for sticking around and resolving the mystery. May I say my enthusiasm has been revitalized.

In The Affair, Jack Reacher is talking to us, telling us the story of how he got kicked out of the Army. I knew, from book one, that Reacher’s departure from the Army was not a voluntary thing and I wanted to know how it all came about. And now, with this story, we know.

Reacher is sent undercover to the town of Carter Crossing, Mississippi to help another Army investigator figure out if anyone from Fort Kelham, the nearby Army base, is responsible for the death of a local girl. The other investigator, Munro, will work on base while Reacher works the town. He meets the town sheriff, Elizabeth Deveraux and, being a former Marine Chief Warrant Officer herself, easily makes Reacher for who he is. They team up to figure out the mysteries surrounding Fort Kelham and the mystery of the deaths of five—not one, but five local people.

I think Reacher took justice a little bit too far in this story, but I guess that’s just Reacher’s way, and he had to take it too far in order to achieve the end result—his removal from the U.S. Army. There’s also some intriguing foreshadowing… Backshadowing? Hindsight? Flashback? … okay, I don’t know if the right term exists, but there’s a hint toward the events that take place in Child’s first book, The Killing Floor. It almost—almost—makes me want to pick up the first book and read it again.

I’m glad to finally have the answer to one of the mysteries that surround Jack Reacher, namely why he left the Army. I was also happy to see Frances Neagley make an appearance. She’s another intriguing mystery and I hope to see her again in a future Reacher novel, however, in a recent interview, the author said that is unlikely to happen.

I give this story FOUR and a HALF STARS.

Finishing this book actually made me a little sad. Now that I’ve read all the Jack Reacher novels (in less than a year, mind you), I have to wait at least another year for the next novel to come out. Fortunately for me, I have a lot of other novels to fill that void. But I’ll be watching…and waiting…

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