Lee Child, The Affair: A Reacher Novel (New York: Delacorte Press, 2011). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
If a whodunit is still a page-turner on the second read, it’s a good book. The Affair is a good book. Even though it’s my second time reading it, even though I knew how it would end, I still found myself turning pages late into the night until I finished it.
The Affair is set in 1997. Major Jack Reacher is an active duty soldier and an experienced investigator in the military police. In response to the Clinton Era peace dividend, the U.S. Army is winnowing the ranks, and Reacher’s own career is on the line.
He is ordered to investigate under cover the murder of a woman near an Army base in Mississippi. Members of a special ops group are considered suspects, but the Pentagon wants to make sure the blame is placed anywhere except on its soldiers. The case is political suicide, professionally speaking, but like a good soldier, Reacher takes it anyway.
And solves it. I won’t reveal the solution, but readers of Lee Child’s previous novels will now understand why Reacher left the service and began his peregrinations across the American heartland.
The Affair is the fifteenth novel in Lee Child’s Reacher series, but its events precede the other fourteen. You can read the series in publication order, starting with The Killing Floor, whose events are foreshadowed in The Affair. Or you can start with The Affair. Either way, you’re in for classic Lee Child—even the second time around.
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