The Affair
Lee Child
A Jack Reacher thriller
608 pages

Jack Reacher is at it again, or rather he was at it, in The Affair by Lee Child. Set in the spring of 1997 in a world as yet untainted by American reaction to the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers The Affair is a classic Reacher thriller in every sense of the word.

Lee Child captures the feeling of pre September 11, 2001 quite nicely while only reminding the reader slightly about the timing of the thriller. Child’s novels generally have a timeless quality to them but there are just enough small details to date The Affair quite comfortably in the late nineteen nineties.

The setting is a small town called Carter’s Crossing in Mississippi a town that relies on the army base just across the tracks for its very survival. Reacher, still in uniform, still a major and implacable as always is sent to Carter’s Crossing undercover after the murder of a local woman seems to implicate the army. Reacher’s job is simple: protect the Army on the outside while his opposite number Major Munro investigates the Army from the inside. The fly in the ointment for both investigators is local Sherriff Elizabeth Deveraux a former Marine investigator who is smarter than all the other players.

The story plays out in a remarkably well drawn fashion placing The Affair in the same company as The Enemy when it comes to quality of Lee Child novels. Reacher Creatures will be more than satisfied with The Affair and first time readers will head on out and pick up the rest of the canon just so they can get more of Reacher. The Affair is well written and a great prequel novel for one of the most arresting characters in the contemporary mystery genre.