Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Affair by Lee Child

The Affair, the latest of Lee Child's novels to feature Jack Reacher, may be one of my favorites because it tells the circumstances of how Reacher left the U.S. Army after a distinguished career as an MP.

The tale begins with Maj. Reacher being assigned as second string investigator on a civilian murder in a tiny Mississippi town outside an Army base. The first stringer is on the inside, working to ensure that no one from the Army was involved. Reacher's role is on the outside, where's he's to remain undercover and keep tuned to the local sentiment and any progress made by the local sheriff, an ex-Marine and stunning woman.

The rest of The Affair features Reacher at his best - keen instincts, attention to the tiniest detail, and his own personal brand of justice, right and wrong. Reacher needs them all because the sheriff has a history of her own and the Army has an agenda of its own. And in the end, it's Reacher who ends up a civilian.

There are a couple of things that don't work in The Affair. There are two romantic interludes that are a little over the top. Maybe I think that because listening to Dick Hill's precise baritone reading those passages during my commute home was a little unsettling. And there was a subplot involving Reacher's confrontations with the local toughs that never played out and I felt could easily have been dropped without influencing an iota of the story.

I can't emphasize enough that the main reason I'm hooked on Jack Reacher is because of Dick Hill's superb voice acting.

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