Saturday, November 3, 2012
"The Affair", by Lee Child
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.