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The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel Hardcover – September 27, 2011
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Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Reacher series
“Child is a superb craftsman of suspense.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The truth about Reacher gets better and better.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Implausible, irresistible Reacher remains just about the best butt-kicker in thriller-lit.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Like his hero Jack Reacher, Lee Child seems to make no wrong steps.”—Associated Press
“Lee Child [is] the current poster-boy of American crime fiction.”—Los Angeles Times
“Indisputably the best escape artist in this escapist genre.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Jack Reacher is much more like the heir to the Op and Marlowe than Spenser ever was.”—Esquire
About the Author
LEE CHILD is the author of sixteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Worth Dying For, 61 Hours, Gone Tomorrow, Nothing to Lose, and Bad Luck and Trouble. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have sold in more than fifty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City.
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However, the last two Reachers - though good - left me a bit cold because I was getting tired of the "Reacher stumbles into small-town corruption" formula. Fortunately, THE AFFAIR flashes back to his army career, where he faces his true arch-nemesis, the military bureaucracy, and we learn why he decided to drop out and become a toothbrush-packing drifter. Even though the novel is mainly set in yet another bleak small town, I'm happy to report that Reacher is back to form. This latest adventure delivers the expected page-turning excitement, plus a few other bonuses:
* Both the beginning and the end are better than usual. Child tends to be too abrupt for my taste. Here he takes the time to set the scene at the Pentagon and ease past the climax in a very satisfying way.
* The love interest, the ex-marine sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux, is Child's most entertaining female character so far. She's not just there to be Reacher's girl. She has an extra dimension and is important to the story.
* The "midnight special" train that roars past Carter Crossing every night is an ingenious device Child uses to ratchet up the suspense, provide a menacing undercurrent, and structure the complicated action in a clear way. It's the most impressive example yet of Child's narrative skill. Plus, choo-choos are just plain cool.
A new reader to the series may find the staccato rhythm of the sentences a bit off-putting at first, and Reacher's tough-guy terseness here and there verging on self-parody. But they're essential ingredients in Child's hugely enjoyable, impressively consistent franchise. Overall, I rank THE AFFAIR with the best of the series, up there with PERSUADER, ONE SHOT, and THE ENEMY.
I really liked the 13-year old Reacher in the Trailer, a kick-ass genius and already getting the women at age 13.
fell flat for me. In essence, I guess its the story of how Reacher and the Army first parted ways. The narrative was hard to follow,
did not seem to make sense, but mostly, it was slow moving, didn't hold my attention. Reacher acted out of character, I thought,
when he shot a militia-type guy, just like that, out in some woods, outside an Army base. He was NOT identified in the story as a bad guy.
I can't remember any Reacher story when he shot somebody who "didn't need killing."
First, he is intrigued by the energetic, hot, sexy town sheriff, Elizabeth Deveraux, the daughter of the town’s long-time sheriff and an ex-Marine. While well-intentioned, Deveraux is not an investigator. With Reacher in town, they start making connections, but it’s not easy. Soon his cover is blown and he has to put several local toughs in the hospital when they block his way. In addition, it appears that the Army is also putting roadblocks in Reacher’s way.
The story is fast-paced with Reacher using his immense physical and mental capacities to wade through the flack. The sheriff is pretty skeptical of Reacher at first, but matters soon take a decided physical turn. Some of the Army shenanigans are a bit over the top, but not totally out of the realm of possibility. Covering-up is usually the first response of organizations and higher-ups in trouble. It’s interesting that after numerous Reacher novels, the author decides to fill in the background of Reacher before he leaves the Army.