Book Review: The Affair, by Lee Child

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It is always a treat to read another of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series.  In audio they are even better, narrated by Dick Hill.  He is just the right voice, and attitude, for Jack’s laconic character.  The entire series is so enjoyable, one I highly recommend.

Reacher isn’t your usual hero.  He has the skills.  He is very good at seeing clues and solving crimes.  He is well trained, which is a good thing since he is often taking on multiple attackers.  When the story ends, and as it begins actually, you will find him on a bus heading anywhere, carrying with him only the clothes he is wearing and a toothbrush.

He travels light, buying new clothes, usually from thrift stores, when he needs a change.  He is a likable, unusual guy, his stories always a fun way  to pass the hours.

The author, Lee Child, is excellent at bringing us along on the trip.  The detail he includes about the surroundings, the weapons, the events, include detail that leads you to see his scene exactly.  That he does it in a way that involves the reader without it slowing down the story is a talent.

The Story

While this selection is number fourteen in the series, Mr. Child finally takes us back to the time when Jack was still an MP.  We get to see what caused his separation from the Army and led to his boarding that first bus.   The Affair takes us back to the 1990’s, when the younger Jack was still in the military.

On orders, he is in a small town in Mississippi, going undercover to get close to the police there and watch out for the military’s interests.  There has been a murder and a rape and someone on the Marine base there may be responsible.

Things aren’t what he expected.  No surprise there.  His cover quickly blown, he finds misinformation, outright lies, and an enemy who wants him out of the army.  He learns of more murders that garnered little interest.  The military base is locked down, no one allowed in or out.

Yet someone is killing people to keep them away from the base.  A senator is influencing the investigation.  So is his son, a rising star in the Marines. The sheriff—the beautiful sheriff—may or may not be helping Reacher, but that doesn’t stop a relationship from forming.

As number of dead rise, confusing the purpose and the number of suspects.  And swirling in and around it is the military’s need to control the situation, to protect their reputation and cover up what they want covered.  The only thing is, Jack Reacher won’t stop until he learns the truth and their is justice.

The Series

If you are new to the series, the first book is Killing Floor.  An excellent book to begin with.  You could almost start with this book though, if you prefer.  It’s a well done lead into that first novel.  I’m not sure which I would recommend.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the books in order.  It was entertaining to read this one the same way, already knowing Jack fairly well after so many great novels.  Sometimes a prequel does well later in the series.

Still, The Affair does set the stage.  Either way, read one of Lee Child’s most excellent novels.  Great fun, very entertaining, with mystery and plenty of suspense.

There are nineteen books in the series already, along with a few short novellas.  Still, there is so much of the country yet to explore, I hope Lee Child has plans that include every state.  A character like Jack deserves to continue indefinitely.

The Killing Floor, Book 1 in the Series

Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher novel had  a very successful debut!  He won the Barry Award for Best First Mystery, and the Anthony award for the same.  Published in 2006, The Killing Floor takes Reacher to the small town of Margrave, Georgia.  He gets into town, rather indirectly in itself, to find himself under arrest for murder. What he discovers is a dangerous conspiracy that envelopes the town. When he learns the identity of the murder victim, nothing will stop him from finding those responsible.  Great description, wonderful characters.



Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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