Customer Reviews


639 Reviews
5 star:
 (396)
4 star:
 (146)
3 star:
 (57)
2 star:
 (26)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Jack Reacher origin story
Lee Child must have a thing for small-town America. Maybe it's the sense of isolation he's able to achieve when there are only a few thousand people living in the town? Child's last three "Jack Reacher" novels have taken place in various tiny venues, effectively cut off from civilization except for the highway that runs past it a few miles away. The Affair, Child's latest...
Published on 17 Nov 2011 by David Roy

versus
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Reacher
Lee Childs latest proffering sees Jack Reacher in 1997 - still in the service of the U.S. Army Military Police. When a murder takes place in the sleepy town of Carters crossing, fingers point straight at Kelham army base. But the soldiers who use & train at Kelham are involved in some high-level secrecy and so the entire investigation has an air of conspiracy around it...
Published on 3 May 2012 by J. Morris


‹ Previous | 1 264 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Jack Reacher origin story, 17 Nov 2011
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
Lee Child must have a thing for small-town America. Maybe it's the sense of isolation he's able to achieve when there are only a few thousand people living in the town? Child's last three "Jack Reacher" novels have taken place in various tiny venues, effectively cut off from civilization except for the highway that runs past it a few miles away. The Affair, Child's latest novel, is another example of this phenomenon, and while this aspect of the series is starting to get a bit old, it makes for a riveting tale in this case.

Jack Reacher is a drifter and a problem-solver, moving from place to place and helping those who need help, either with his quick intelligence or his right hook. The Affair tells of what started Reacher on his long road, way back in 1997. He's an Army Military Police officer, sent down to Carter Crossing, Mississippi, where a woman has been murdered, potentially by one of the soldiers stationed at the Army base there. Reacher is there to mingle with the townspeople as another officer investigates on the base itself. The murder may have drastic political implications where the cover-up is sometimes worse than the crime. Reacher gets involved with the beautiful local sheriff, and the affair may be affecting Reacher's thinking--and might end up getting him killed.

Reacher constantly reminds the reader that this story takes place in 1997, before the heightened security caused by the 9/11 attacks. This method of storytelling confused me at first, because I thought this would end up with Reacher telling the story to someone else. However, there is no framing story, and I soon learned to just go with the flow. It gives the story more immediacy and power, especially because this is the first Reacher book (at least in my experience) to be told in first-person.

Reacher is the same type of guy readers are already familiar with, though the lessons that he has since learned on the road aren't there yet. He still follows his duty as an Army officer, though it begins to get strained as events in the novel wear on. He finds himself being torn in two different directions, even more so when information starts to come out that changes everything about the case.

Child's characterizations in The Affair are marvellous, from Reacher himself to Sheriff Devereaux and the other locals in Carter Crossing. All of them come across as three-dimensional (or at least 2.5). Devereaux is an interesting woman with secrets of her own, and the uneasy trust that begins to develop between Reacher and her is interesting to watch. She also makes a great contrast to Reacher.

That also applies to Child's dialogue and prose. The book is divided into very short, punchy chapters. I usually hate this, as it makes the story seem choppy. In The Affair, however, it adds to the intensity of the book, in addition to making it really hard to put down. Your mind tells you "just one more chapter before bed," but then you get to the end of the chapter and are consumed with the urge to discover what happens next. This wouldn't be effective if Child's writing were bad, but that's certainly not the case.

The only thing bringing this novel down at all is the inclusion of the local toughs who harass Reacher and keep him on his toes. They don't affect the plot at all and appear to be included only to demonstrate Reacher's physical combat prowess and to spike the narrative with a little bit of action.

This riveting novel will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's also gratifying to see how Reacher became the man we've been reading about for so long. It's a younger Reacher, but he still has the same smarts he's had all along. We just get to see where the experience he draws on came from. This is a must-read for thriller fans.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2011
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best, But Very Good, 21 April 2012
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In two minds, but still hooked!, 4 Oct 2011
I'm a great fan of the Jack Reacher character and series and was left in two minds as to whether this does justice to them. On the one hand, from a character development point of view, I think that THE AFFAIR is excellent and is a natural extension showing us a younger slightly less experienced and more fallible Reacher. The writing is fantastic and as usual I was hooked from the first page to the last as we follow Reacher assigned to a case by the Military Police. The description is spot on and the pace frantic, even though there is are less violent parts than some of the earlier books in the series. He is teamed up with a beautiful local Sheriff and the inevitable happens as they carry out the investigation which proves to have wide-reaching implications.

On the other hand, there are some serious flaws to the storyline itself. One is Reacher's reason for leaving the Army and the other is the rather dubious conclusion to the book. The Sheriff is just too gorgeous and the gratuitous sex scenes are over-done and unnecessary. I would have preferred to see a deeper reason for Jack leaving the Army, disagreeing with Black Ops or cruelty to prisoners of war, that sort of thing.

If the storyline was as developed as the character then this would definitely be a great thriller. As it is THE AFFAIR is good, but for me far from the best in what remains a gripping series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Reacher, 3 May 2012
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
Lee Childs latest proffering sees Jack Reacher in 1997 - still in the service of the U.S. Army Military Police. When a murder takes place in the sleepy town of Carters crossing, fingers point straight at Kelham army base. But the soldiers who use & train at Kelham are involved in some high-level secrecy and so the entire investigation has an air of conspiracy around it from the get go. Reacher is sent to Carters crossing to investigate the crime unofficially & undercover, are things as open & shut as they first seem?

This is Jack Reacher 16, and having read all of them, Jack is starting to feel very time-worn. Lee Child writes as if he is narrating from the future e.g. "remember, this was 1997, four years before the event that changed security procedures" and this is very distracting. If you are going to base a book in the past, that is fine, but don't interject the narrative with information or perspectives that the characters couldn't have possibly known/had at the time.

The story is basically the same as The Enemy with a few minor variations and Reacher's invincibility & infallibility is getting more & more unbelievable; he wins a 6 on 1 fight, taking no hits and wanders off to a date immediately afterwards...

Anyhow, more of the same, if you're familiar with Lee Child then you know what to expect. Otherwise, not one of the best Reacher stories by a long shot!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that is hard to put down, 22 May 2012
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
Well, this was my third Jack Reacher book (not really reading them in the right order, but The Affair is set chronologically before the very first book, so I don't think there is any harm in reading it out of sequence). I loved the first Jack Reacher book (Killing Floor), second book (Die Trying) was a disappontment and left me in doubts about if I would like to read more Jack Reacher books. However, my neighbour gave me The Affair, so I was curious if it would be as good as Killing Floor or as bad as Die Trying.
And the Affair turned out to be pretty good! It has suspence, it has twists and turns, it is hard to put down. Jack Reacher still works for the military police and he is sent to a small town with an army base nearby to help with murder investigation and to clear of the suspicions the army staff located there. The action has good pace, the book is written well. So why do I give it only 4 and not 5 stars? Probably because the rest of the book (apart from the investigation) is quiet predictable - Reacher single handedly fights off several guys (as usual) and has a fling with the most beautiful woman around (as usual). I have not read the rest of Jack Reacher novels, but I can bet that in any of them there would be a beauty in love with Reacher and he would fight at least 5 guys with very small damage to himself. If you are ready to put up with that (or just to ignore it) and focus on the actual investigation, the book is very good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The long, drawn out affair, 15 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
I have to admit to being a fan of the Jack Reacher novels and have read all the books. The novels sometimes hit and sometimes they miss. This one unfortunately for me was a large miss.

A slow story line, no real 'Reacher" tension or drama in the story line and a conclusion that had me confused as to how Reacher had reached it.

What with the rather poor iPhone Reacher "game" and the somewhat confusing casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher in a supposed movie, it looks like Mr Child has sold out and forgotten some of the original core values of the earlier books. Please get back to the style in the 'Killing Floor' or 'The Persuader'.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still get the next Reacher, but will wait until it is available as a cheap paperback next time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, 18 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Affair: 16 (Paperback)
Recently read the whole series of Reacher novels and thought I may have tired of them, but it has not happened yet and now I have just finished reading the latest one and have to wait for Lee Child to write a new one. The affair is a great read, that annoyed my wife as I could not put it down, so did no work until it was finished. Not sure about Tom Cruise being cast as Reacher, he will not fit with my veiw of him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Going Strong, 12 Nov 2011
By 
This review is from: The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) (Hardcover)
Although it might not have the pace and excitement of some of Lee Child's best, it is great to get a look at Jack Reacher prior to Killing Floor. The impressive level of detail and the confident, taut writing style marks this out perhaps more than the plot, which is very straightforward. The character is better than in some more recent books too. The romance might to some be a little overdone and not quite necessary, but it is a younger Reacher and perhaps he was more passionate back then. All in all, very well worth the time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you start reading this you will get addicted my son said in Oct 2011, 23 April 2013
By 
Well my youngest son was right I did and have read all the Reacher books. Now reading again. I think I may have at last worked out why they are so addictive. Unlike many of my peers I read fiction books simply for enjoyment and interest and not as a cryptic crossword teasing out hidden meanings etc. I conclude now that Lee Child writes adult books in the same style as children's books with everything clearly laid out and easy to assimilate. He leaves plenty of hooks for mystery and secrets and loose ends to keep you page turning. Again in this book there are relatively few characters but each is well drawn and memorable so one does not have to work too hard to remember who they each time their name comes up in the book. I have a feeling the plot structure is similar to others in the other seventeen books but then so are many roast dinners and I keep eating them as well. The ingredients are good and the mixing and cooking make this book better than a high average. The synchronisation of the train and the affair was the highlight I recalled from the first read. No doubt I will read again after I have read the other sixteen after I have completed this second read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down, 26 Aug 2012
By 
I've never read a Lee Child (or Jack Reacher) book before so had no pre-conceptions. Loved the book and couldn't put it down. Was a teeny bit disappointed with the ending (which fizzled out a little, compared to the earlier pace).

I didn't agree with some of the other reviewers complaining about the sex scenes or the use of the diner. I think he has a good literary technique of giving you enough detail to paint a mental picture, while being concise. Which stopped me skipping paras because I wanted to get to the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 264 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16)
The Affair: (Jack Reacher 16) by Lee Child (Hardcover - 29 Sep 2011)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews