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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Affair by Lee Child

The Affair - Jack Reacher 16

March 1997. A woman has her throat cut behind a bar in Carter Crossing, Mississippi. Just down the road is a big army base. Is the murderer a local guy - or is he a soldier? Jack Reacher, still a major in the military police, is sent in undercover. The county sheriff is a former U.S. Marine - and a stunningly beautiful woman. Her investigation is going nowhere. Is the Pentagon stonewalling her? Or doesn't she really want to find the killer? The adrenaline-pumping, high-voltage action in "The Affair" is set just six months before the opening of "Killing Floor", and it marks a turning point in Reacher's career. If he does what the army wants, will he be able to live with himself? And if he doesn't, will the army be able to live with him? And is this his last case in uniform?

My husband is a huge Lee Child fan and when I saw he had a new release I thought I would give him a go. 

Although this book is Lee Child's sixteenth Jack Reacher book, The Affair is actually set six months before his first book, The Killing Floor. Jack Reacher is still in the army and is sent to Carter Crossing, Mississippi, to be the army's eyes in a town shocked by the discovery of a woman, with her throat slit, and left to die.

This is my first Jack Reacher book and there were areas of the story which I found strange - he has to go to the local diner to use the public telephone. Why doesn't he have a mobile phone - of course my husband, a Jack Reacher fan, was able to tell me becuase he doesn't like mobiles, he doesn't like anything which would enable others to trace his whereabouts.  There were a few things within the book that I ended up asking husband about but this was because I was nosey, not to understand the book.  It can be read as a standalone book or as part of the series as it does explain Reacher's past and his reasons for leaving the army.

Although the first crime Reacher looks at is a woman who has had her throat slit, the book did not go into gruesome detail, enough for the reader to picture the scene but not all the nastiness. The crime is in a small town, where crime is nearly non-existent and attention soon turns to the army camp which is on the outskirts of the town.  The army put Reacher into the town as their eyes and ears within the town and to find the culprit, however more murders occur and Reacher continues to investigate and unravel the truth.

The book is mainly about Reacher's journey to find out who and why are committing the crimes, however there is also time for Reacher's personal life. The investigation means that he must work alongside the female county sheriff, Deveraux, and their lives become entwined but with a secret past, does she know more about the crimes than she is letting on. There were times that I thought I had solved the crime but Child threw another fact into the case and sent us off somewhere else entirely. There were sex scenes between these two characters which I did find to be unnecessary and not as well written as other authors are able - stick to the crime Lee!

I will not reveal any spoilers of what happens in the book but I did find that although the book was a slow starter with investigations moving at a slow pace, as the book progresses, as does the pace of the story and towards the last third I found myself enjoying it more. I will definitely be raiding my husbands one book case to read more about Jack Reacher!

Thank you to the publishers, Transworld, for sending me the book to review.

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