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on October 26, 2011
After a couple of less than exceptional efforts it appears Lee Child had his act together for this one. Written in the first person, a format I prefer for the Reacher novels, it downplays the violence and concentrates more on Reacher's analytical skills. It was a very enjoyable read. I read it beginning to end in one session. Hopefully he will write more about the military adventures of Reacher.
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"So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" -- Luke 17:10 (NKJV)

I highly recommend this book. It chronicles how Reacher became the fascinating civilian we know from earlier books in the series instead of an MP. A major part of the book's charm is seeing how Reacher handled the upper echelons when he reported to them. It's a new view of the Army that will fascinate you, I'm sure.

I would love it if Lee Child would write dozens more books about Reacher in the Army. That would be terrific!

The book's main weakness is that the plot is a little too transparent and some elements are over exaggerated.

But it's definitely a lot of fun!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 3, 2012
Book 16, in the Jack Reacher series

“The Affair” is effectively a step back in time to 1997, the single most crucial point in Reacher’s life, when he gave up his structured career as a military cop and decided to become a drifter with skills to offer. In this undercover adventure, he lets his hair grown long, lets his beard grow and adopts a minimalist way to travel. This eventually sets the stage for his new life.

The plot is uncomplicated and exciting, it sends Reacher to Mississippi, where he will impersonate a care free traveller in order to ferret out those responsible for a secret American military mission in Kosovo that was totally botched and covered up by those involved.

While in Carter Crossing, a small town near the military base, Reacher makes friends with the local sheriff, Elizabeth Deveraux and subsequently gets drawn into another mystery hence a sub-plot comes to life. Elizabeth’s concern about the killings of several beautiful young women and the gruesome manner in which they were left to die piqued Reacher’s interest, he felt he could be of assistance and could not resist getting involved even though he had a full plate with his primary mission.

The author skillfully sets the atmosphere with strategically placed crisp strokes of the pen and the dialogue contains just enough slang to fit the scenes. There is no shortage of action, some very gruesome but each case is handled with tack without slowing the momentum. Our intrepid protagonist is definitely in full, over-the-top form, I like the testosterone driven anatomy comments that add a touch of humour while Reacher faces down two red neck tough guys in a pickup truck. The description of Reacher’s amorous side is also a hoot…. I couldn't help but laugh at times …..

I am a fan of this series and can’t wait to see what will come next.
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To my mind The Affair is one of the better of the Reacher books. From the word go its an interesting tale. Clearly Lee Child has a formula going here along the lines of Jack stumbles upon some misdeeds and sorts them with a mixture of his sharp analytical skills and irresistible violence. Throw in the romantic interest and that's about it really. However these books are written so well that the reader never gets the feeling that he is reading the same story repeatedly.

This time round we go back to the very latter part of Reacher's army career to find out how he blotted his copybook in the eyes of the military. The last of these books I read had Reacher rather overdoing it on the analytical front and even analysing his cups of coffee - strength, stewed, cup smaller than average, bigger, thicker china than normal? However, in the Affair it is a pleasure to see Reacher much less anally retentive and really only bothering with issues which may have some bearing on what was going on - maybe he acquired these more irritating habits with age!

When Reacher gets into a fight its a foregone conclusion whether he is up against two, four, six or really any number of opponents. Similarly on the love front, this man can never fail. There was rather more of this latter aspect than strictly speaking was necessary or usual in a Reacher tale here. However, I did find the concept of using the midnight train as a marital aid innovative and quite amusing!

To summarise, Lee Child writes these stories very well and I normally end up rating at four or five stars as they are generally very enjoyable page turners. On this one and to put it in Reacher's words. Not the best. But very good. Right up there.
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on September 23, 2012
The Affair is a mystery novel with it's fair share of action. Reacher is still in the military and this chronicles the last case he took before leaving the army to roam America. Child engages the reader with the first dramatic scene and maintains the momemtum right through to the last page.

I have found the mystery Reacher novels to be more entertaining than his pure adrenaline action stories. The Affair is a perfectly constructed example of Lee Child at his best. I was kept guessing right until the end. As soon as I thought I was piecing things together Child would send the story in another direction.

If you can appreciate a good conspiracy, mixed with gruesome murder set against the back drop of a small town full of quirky characters. You should enjoy this novel as much as I did. If you're a Reacher fan and you've always wondered how he arrived at the first installement, "The Killing Floor" this is a must read.

A great way to spend a rainy evening. I didn't want it to end.
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on October 1, 2011
As I say in my review of the Kindle edition, I was sorry to finish this Reacher story. I was thoroughly caught up in it and couldn't decide if Devereux or Riley was the killer, half the time thinking she was, half the time thinking he was. Very dark view of the upper echelons of the military and the Senate, but unfortunately quite credible. It was also good to learn about Reacher's start as a roamer. Very much enjoyed the book. Certainly one of Child's better efforts. The downside is I waited weeks for the book to be available and finished it in a day.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 23, 2013
We go back to the beginning for this one, but this outing is pretty similar to the other offerings we've seen recently. That's basically a good thing.

Reacher is sent out to do damage control for the army and finds layers behind layers. This time out, Reacher has trouble keeping his zipper up and once again "solves" things by wiping out whatever problems are in his past. Entertaining but troubling how Lee Child has us rooting for a sociopath.
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on March 27, 2013
Another Jack Reacher book. This is one of the most intriging characters I have ever read. You never know what to expect from these books and I find I can't put it down once I start reading it. I just have to find out how everything works out. I recommend this book to any Jack Reacher fans.
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on October 9, 2015
I ordered three "Jack Reacher" novels together.

What can I say......they're always a great read, and they were shipped at warp speed. I got them the next day, I think. I couldn't plan a better order/delivery.
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on October 10, 2013
This was a delight I was enjoying from the first couple of pages and right to the end.......Delightful and Great Pleasure.
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