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67 of 69 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

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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


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Come back Clark Kent!!!, 2 Nov. 2013
By 
John Fitzpatrick (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the second Jack Reacher book I've read and it was remarkably similar to the first - Worth Dying For - although much better but saying it was much better does not mean it was good.

Once again the "hero" (for I assume, six foot five psychopath Reacher is a hero to the author and his fans) finds himself in a rather remote location in the American backlands and proceeds to sort all the bad guys out.

Although he is a military policeman and presumably subject to military and civilian law, his methods including breaking necks, blasting a baddy's head off at point blank range and, best of all... well, I had better not say as it will "ruin" the plot if that is possible.

Anyway, Jack Reacher may be Superman but he is certainly not Clark Kent.

At times, the book is readable and engaging but it quickly becomes repetitive and just plain unconvincing. It is also so disgustingly violent at times with excruciating descriptions of how to inflict pain and death on people that I wonder if the author ought to see a shrink.

I realize it is just a thriller and the reader has to accept a lot but Child just stretches things too far.

For example, we are supposed to believe that the sheriff in the town Reacher visits is a beautiful 36-year-old former marine.
However, she lives in a grungy room in a rundown hotel, eats breakfast, lunch and dinner in a greasy spoon diner and does not seem to be interested in having a husband, children, decent clothes, her nails done or going to the supermarket.

No wonder she falls for Reacher whose idea of haute cuisine and an intimate dinner is a cheeseburger followed by pie and coffee and whose romantic ideas stretch to making love on a railroad track while the midnight special screams as it thunders along above the loving couple's head.

What a guy! What a gal!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over Reaching?, 22 Oct. 2012
By 
John M "John M" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This is the first Jack Reacher novel I have picked up, although it is No. 16 in the series. It looks as if Major Reacher has been busy over the years! Although this is number 16 in the series, it is actually set before any others in the series. The problem with reading a single novel in a series out of sequence is that the character development may take place over the series and so assumptions are made about the reader's knowledge. Also only those that have enjoyed the previous volumes are likely to remain followers, which may explain the balance of positive reviews.
However, I was rather unimpressed. The plotting was clunky and seemed very forced on occasion, the characterisation weak and rather cliched, but above all there was a complete lack of the tension necessary in a good thriller.
I'm a fan of the tightly plotted thriller, but this was most definitely not on display here. The culprit seemed somewhat obvious and the author attempts to muddy what is a fairly straight forward plot by adding rather silly subplots around the military base quarantine and the rather unbelievable character of Sheriff Devereaux (no prizes for guessing how that relationship was going to develop!). There were numerous plot holes or bits that didn't quite pass scrutiny. For example, if one is going to dispose of a vehicle contaminated by evidence, there are better ways than leaving it on a train track (talk about drawing attention!), and if one is going to do so then removing the license plate might seem a good idea. I couldn't believe the subplot around the militia being used to quarantine the base, and reasons for the final murder victim to be in the small town under an assumed identity and killed in such a manner seemed to mix coincidence and lack of logic (why not just dump the body rather than stage some dramatic scene for no reason?). I could go on. All the in-and-out-of-the-dinner stuff was just tedious and lacked imagination.
Unfortunately, not one I can recommend, despite the obvious popularity of the Jack Reacher series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars C'mon Train......................, 16 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Affair (Jack Reacher, Book 16) (Kindle Edition)
I have been methodically working my way through the Jack Reacher novels for a year or so, in between other potboiler/holiday reading stuff, and for the most part have thoroughly enjoyed the first ten of the series. I decided to jump to this latest one, out of sequence in the scheme of things, but a prequel to the first book as Jack is still in the army, just. And for a fiver on Kindle you cannot really go wrong. I have to agree with many previous reviewers that "The Affair"
isn't quite up to snuff in terms of pace,plot ingenuity and ability to hold the readers attention for hours on end. I found myself putting this one down frequently, as the plot often dawdled and dithered without making much progress. Sheriff Deveraux, delightfully drawn by Lee Child, was quite implausible, though no less so than the stunning operatives on CSI and other fun programmes. The midnight train sequences were unusually graphic for this author and I wonder if the publishers had called for more raw sex. "The Return of Shagger Jack" could perhaps be the next title. The concluding chapters of Child's latest book seemed rushed and "convenient" as a way to bring the story to some kind of ill constructed conclusion.

It would be wrong of me to damn this book with faint praise, although since I now have eleven of them under my belt, I feel I can say that I have read much better from this author. It is by no means a bad book and easily outshines the plagiaristic twaddle in which Ben Hope appears. Certainly, he's no match for Jack Reacher, and the books in which he appears pale in comparison.

I detect some pressure on the author to deliver the goods more frequently, and in my reading experience this can only diminish the quality of the output. Not a bad idea for Lee Child to take a year off. Perhaps a walking tour of the USA without a suitcase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Reacher adventure, 8 Oct. 2011
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This book is set when Reacher is still an MP in the Army, but it explains how his army career comes to an end and leads almost directly into the beginning of Killing Floor (Jack Reacher 01) (including explaining why Reacher will turn up in the same town in Georgia as his brother does). A young woman has been murdered in a small southern town which is home to an elite Army Ranger training base. Reacher is sent in undercover to investigate from the civilian side, while another MP is sent into the base.

The story unfolds somewhat slowly initially, but develops into an intriguing whodunnit. Initial clues point towards one suspect, before another set of clues point in an entirely different direction. Whilst it's apparent that one thread is a giant red herring, the question for the reader is which it will be.

Reacher exhibits a disdain for authority and a propensity to use violence as a solution that fits with his behaviour in subsequent books, but it does raise the question of how he survived in the Army for as long as he did. I found some of his actions hard to accept as even remotely likely. There's an obligatory love interest and the sex scenes are fairly descriptive - more so than usual, and also more so than I'd like. If Lee Child is trying to tailor to his female fans, this one says "less is more, Lee!".

I did feel it was slightly too easy to guess what the eventual outcome would be, but I still enjoyed it and I'd describe it as a solid Reacher adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An affair to remember?, 5 Oct. 2011
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I'd made my mind up I wasn't going to read any more Lee Child novels after the last two increasingly disappointing books to feature Jack Reacher. But then somebody who thought I liked these books sent me a copy and so I'd made my mind up I wasn't going to enjoy it at all.

For two reasons: one as stated above and two, I just don't like books which go back into the past to make a story out of not much. Well, I was wrong because this book does grow on you. It's nowhere near as good as some of the earlier Jack Reacher novels but it does make you feel you are a little closer to a (fictional) human being.

Reacher does best when he's sorting out the reasons behind some oddball killings. If the ending is poor then those sex scenes are just plain daft. Lee Child should stick to what he does best which is most certainly not sex scenes. I suppose the author can squeeze in another story or two set in this period but where then? Jack is now theoretically in his early fifties, so less gung-ho and more little grey cells would suggest themselves. Whether this fits the established profile of one of the most popular book heroes of recent times is another matter. And as for Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher - I guess money talks when it should remain silent.

So, fans will no doubt have mixed views about this new - yet old - era for Reacher. There's lots in the book that confirms what we already know about military life and it's good to see Reacher cutting through all that BS, even if he doesn't quite get away with it. It's an interesting read, spoiled in parts but, after all, well worth the effort to see a little more ino the mindset of an old favourite. I will look out for the next book later on - if only to see just what Lee Child has in store for us.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prequel Reacher Magic, 29 Sept. 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
With 16 Jack Reacher books under his belt, Lee Child has at times alluded to backstory that the fans will not only want to know but demand, so it was with great joy that I managed to get an early copy of this book to enjoy. What unfurls within is a story taking us back to his early days when he first starts out in the life to which he is now famed. It's cleverly written, fills in a lot of the details and gives the reader an adventure that gets back to the roots which allows the reader to see why he developed the way he did.

It's cunning, it has some great twists and with a secondary character that tests him all the way it's a story that gives you a more rounded opinion of the character. As with Lee's usual writing, it's fast paced, the action is crisp and bloody and when you add the authors penchant for twists as well as misdirection it's one that's hard to put down.
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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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best. Not his worst. Not sure he has a worst., 30 Dec. 2012
By 
Philtrum (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This is the 16th Jack Reacher book, though it's actually a prequel of sorts. Reacher was a military policeman for 13 years, leaving the Army in 1997. The events in the first Reacher book - Killing Floor - took place just after Reacher leaves the Army and The Affair is about his last case as an MP just before he leaves.

So, after 15 books, we finally learn why he left the Army. There's some fun foreshadowing here, if you've read the other books, but, like all Reacher books, this can be read in isolation without missing much.

This one is certainly by-the-numbers - maybe, arguably, a little too much. He's a one man force of justice, as always, but, to my mind, the assassinations at the end were a little too gratuitous.

I'd read Killing Floor about fourteen months ago and have been happily working my way through the canon, saving the 16th and 17th books for the holiday season, pacing myself.

I thought this one was good, not great, and, even though it would be the first to read chronologically, I would not advise anyone new to Reacher to start here.

7/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the top half of the table, 21 Oct. 2011
It's not one of the very best but it is definately not the worst. Personally I enjoyed this and I think it did a good job of filling in some historical gaps - as well as being a good page turner in its own right. I heard Lee Childs on the radio the other day saying that he will only ever write Reacher books and some of the character development he does in this helps give him the scope to do that for a while yet. Certainly an upward trend since 61 hours..... worth a buy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Affair!, 21 Oct. 2011
By 
Je Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Having read all of the Jack Reacher titles previously, I was really looking forward to this one. In The Affair, Jack finds himself working undercover in a small town near a large army base where a murder has been committed. He is sent 'to work on the outside' whilst Major Munro, another MP is inside the base as the two try to determine if anyone from the army was involved.

Reacher's cover is soon blown by the female police chief, who just happens to be an ex MP, who has returned to the town where she grew up and has taken over from her father after her time in the military. She and Reacher soon get together in more ways than one as the story develops and the twists start to emerge as further murders are discovered.

The Affair isn't the best Reacher novel I've read but it was a book that I kept reading and wanted to find out what had happened at the end. Reacher has run ins with the locals as usual but not as many as he does in most stories and the normal 'bone crunching' seemed a bit subdued but overall it's another good novel.
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