In my admittedly biased, Lee-Child-loving opinion, The Affair by Lee Child is as good as any of his other Jack Reacher books, and better than a few.
If you have followed the series you have seen Reacher go from being a military policeman to an unemployed drifter, but we never got the story of exactly why he left the military.
The Affair tells that story. It’s a good one.
This book has more potential for spoilers than many of the other Reacher novels, so I’ll keep it brief. Here’s what I can say about this book, most of which will come as little surprise to fans of the series:
- Reacher makes tough guys look like wimps
- He has to visit a small town and pose as a vagrant to keep tabs on the local cops
- He makes smart people look stupid
- He is ruthless and savage when necessary
- He gets laid a few times
- Being in a militia does not prepare you to tangle with him…for that matter, neither does being an elite ranger
- He says a few lines that really made me laugh
- He stares at would-be attackers until they grow very uncomfortable
- It is a bad idea to attack him with fewer than, oh, I don’t know, a dozen trained people
Sound familiar? It is, which is why I liked it, and why I keep returning to the series. I don’t go in looking for big surprises. I go in looking for fun, action, tough guys, and mystery. I always get it. Child is nothing if not consistent.
You know what? I take it back. I did get a surprise in this book. It opens with a hilarious scene in the middle of the pentagon. More than perhaps any other situation Reacher has been in, this might be the one where I thought “How in the world is he going to get out of this?” and actually wondered if he would get out of it.
You know the drill if you’ve read any other Lee Child book. If you’re a fan you’ll find a lot to love in The Affair.