I read Lee Child’s first novel as a Seventh grader. It was called The Hard Way. That was the time when Lee Child’s writing had mesmerised me. After five years today, I again bumped into another Lee Child novel- The Affair. After reading this latest piece from Random House, I’d say that there’s no denying that Lee Child is as phenomenal an author as he was when I got acquainted with his books as a child.
The Affair is the sixteenth novel in the Jack Reacher series, but it can be very well read as a standalone.
The story begins with Jack still being in the US Army and he’s deputed to investigate the series of murders taking place in Mississippi in the year 1997. Reacher, the undercover Military Police Officer, only appears on the scene after the third woman is killed. He later realises that there’s a connection between the killing of the women and the deaths taking place near the army base.
Just like the other Jack Reacher novels, which have been loved by the readers all over the world, The Affair is yet another action packed and adventure filled mystery by Child. With the name, The Affair, as you might have guessed, there’s this love interest in the book which is quite overpowering than the rest of the Reacher novels. There’s another investigator with Jack on the case. She is the very interesting Sheriff Deveraux, who forms a perfect pair with Reacher.
Lee Child has created a remarkable and matchless character in his creation of Jack Reacher. He is a big, tough man who doesn’t take any bull from anyone. I’ve hardly seen a writer have such a grip on creating the characters who force you to live their life when you’re reading. And with the first person’s narrative point of view, you get into the character even better.
But Deveraux was a little too dumb to be a sheriff. Her motives seemed quite different than what was expected of her. She is a bit too interested in Reacher than she should be. But that, obviously is a deliberate attempt by the author. Also, the Sheriff is incredibly beautiful and it is a very important point in the plot. But what irritates you is that Reacher repeatedly keeps on commenting on the dichotomy of how impossibly thin she is while still eats like a linebacker. Come on! He is not a Mean Girls character! He is an undercover Military Police Officer, for God’s sake.
With some clever twists in between, complicated characters, a perplexing case, and wonderful humour between the tensions Child creates, he proves that is an author of great mettle. You’d find something interesting and eventful happening at each page. Child does keep you turning the pages!
But there are points where the book does disappoint you. Don’t lose your mind if the last thirty pages of the book test your patience. The end of the book is slightly abrupt. The loose ends of Jack and Elizabeth’s affair are left untied. One is only left wishing if the few questions you had in your mind would have been answered before the book concludes so unexpectedly.
But it does answer a big question of the Reacher series. It will tell you why Jack, actually, left the army.
I’d recommend this to anyone who likes reading thrillers. And of course, the Reacher fans cannot miss it at all. If you haven’t read of Lee Child’s works before, I am sure this is going to be a wonderful introduction. The Affair is certainly worth your time.