Read the affair by Lee Child Online


With Reacher, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child has created “a series that stands in the front rank of modern thrillers” (The Washington Post). Everything starts somewhere. . . .For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A coverup.A young woman is dead, and soWith Reacher, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child has created “a series that stands in the front rank of modern thrillers” (The Washington Post).Everything starts somewhere. . . .For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997. A lonely railroad track. A crime scene. A coverup.A young woman is dead, and solid evidence points to a soldier at a nearby military base. But that soldier has powerful friends in Washington.Reacher is ordered undercover—to find out everything he can, to control the local police, and then to vanish. Reacher is a good soldier. But when he gets to Carter Crossing, he finds layers no one saw coming, and the investigation spins out of control.Local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux has a thirst for justice—and an appetite for secrets. Uncertain they can trust one another, Reacher and Deveraux reluctantly join forces. Reacher works to uncover the truth, while others try to bury it forever. The conspiracy threatens to shatter his faith in his mission, and turn him into a man to be feared.A novel of unrelenting suspense that could only come from the pen of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, The Affair is the start of the Reacher saga, a thriller that takes Reacher—and his readers—right to the edge . . . and beyond....

Title : the affair
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11011502
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the affair Reviews

  • Susan Johnson
    2019-03-02 15:04

    LEE Child Sells OutI love Jack Reacher so much and I feel like Lee Child has just sold him out for money. It is so offensive that Child sold the screen rights to Tom Cruise so he could play Reacher. It didn't seem to matter that Reacher is a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier just to name two obvious reasons he's so obviously miscast. And now it seems like Child is writing the book to support Cruise's portrayal. He usually mentions Reacher size frequently but in this book it's just so casually mentioned that it's hardly noticable. Also, I think the sex tied to the trains is written for a movie in mind. It seems like more of a script than the usual Reacher book. I would have loved this book about Reacher's beginning but it just didn't live up to its potential. I don't think his dismissal from the service was very realistic. The death scene at the Pentagon seemed contrived to me as was the cover-up. I just feel let down. I have read and enjoyed this series for so long and I feel so betrayed.

  • Mike
    2019-03-25 16:18

    I should give The Affair zero stars just on principle. Lee Child apparently agrees with the casting of that little dickhead Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Really? YGBSM!! There is no freaking way that Cruise can remotely approach the kick-ass power of Reacher in a fight with a group of bad guys. Here is one fight in the book that would be epic fail if little Tommy C tries to fill the part:(view spoiler)[Basic rule of thumb with six guys: you have to be quick. You can’t spend more than the bare minimum of time on any one individual. Which means you have to hit each of them one time only. But that’s the minimum. You can’t hit a guy less than once.I rehearsed my moves. I figured I would start in the middle. One two three, bang bang bang. The third hit would be the hardest. The third guy would be moving. The first two wouldn’t. They would be rooted to the spot. Shock and surprise. They would go down easy. But the third guy would be reacting by the time I got to him. And unpredictably. He might have a coherent plan in mind, but it wouldn’t be in motion yet. He would still be jerking around with uncontrolled reflex panic. So I was prepared to miss out on the third guy. Maybe jump straight to the fourth. The third guy might run. Certainly at least one of them would. I have never seen a pack that stayed together after the first few heads hit the pavement. I said, “Guys, please, I just took a shower.” There was no answer, which was what I had privately predicted. They all stepped forward again, which is what I expected them to do. So I met them halfway, which seemed polite. I took two long strides, the second of them powering off the edge of the curbstone, two hundred and fifty pounds of moving mass, and I hit the third guy from the left with a straight right that would have taken his teeth out if he’d had any to start with. As it was it snapped his head back and turned his spine and shoulders to jelly and he was gone, from the fight and from my vision, because by then I was already jerking left and scything my right elbow into the second guy, horizontal across the bridge of his nose, a colossal blow full of torque from my waist and full of force from the fact that I was basically falling into him. I saw blood in the air and stamped down hard and reversed my momentum and used the same elbow backward on a guy I sensed behind me. I could tell by the impact he was flinching away and I had caught him on the ear, so I made an instantaneous mental note he might need more attention later, and then I jerked forward again and changed the angle of attack by kicking the fourth guy full-on in the groin, a satisfying bone-and-flesh crunch that simultaneously folded him in half and lifted him off his feet.Three seconds, three down, one taking an eight count.Nobody ran. Another mental note: Mississippi hooligans are made of sterner stuff than most. Or else they’re just plain dumber. The fifth guy got as far as scrabbling at my shoulder. Some kind of an attempt at a punch, or maybe he was going for a choke hold. Maybe he planned to keep me still while the sixth guy landed some blows. I couldn’t tell. But whatever, he was sorely disappointed in his ambitions. I exploded backward at him, my whole body moving, my torso twisting, my elbow whipping back, and I caught him in the cheek, and then I used the bounce to jam forward once more, in search of the lone survivor. The sixth guy. He caught his heel on the curb and his arms came up like a scarecrow, which I took as an invitation to pop him in the chest, right in the solar plexus, which was like plugging him into an electrical outlet. He hopped and danced and went down in a heap. The guy I had hit on the ear was pawing at it like it was coming off. His eyes were closed, which made it not much of a fair fight, but those are always my favorite kind. I lined up and smacked a left hook into his chin. He went down like a dropped marionette. I breathed out.Six for six.(hide spoiler)]Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? There is no way I can go to the upcoming film with him in the lead role and anyone seeing the movie before reading a Reacher book will be totally confused if they go read any book in the series. If Lee Child is going with current casting for turning his books into movies, he needs to rewrite the character. And if he did, no one would be interested.Now that I ranted enough, I’ll get back to our regular programming and give the book 4.5 to 5 Stars. This book gives needed background on how Jack Reacher came to be. Child goes back and tells the story of the assignment where Reacher uncovered corruption that subsequently led to his leaving the Army early. Some brutal killings have taken place near an army post in Mississippi, home to a special group of soldiers carrying out clandestine missions. Reacher is sent to help determine if the army has any “exposure” to the murders. The local female sheriff is a great counterpart to Reacher and there are some great scenes between the two. The ultimate conspiracy is a bit stretched but the ending ties it up nicely.Great characters here and excellent pacing right to the end. I did not think I would enjoy the story set back in the mid-90’s but I did…a lot. If you haven’t read a Jack Reacher novel yet, you could start here and go on to the rest of the series. If you are a big fan of this series, this is a great story, not a must-read, but still very good. I have to say that Lee Child, born and raised in the UK, has an amazing talent for American regional nuances and US military culture. He sounds authentic, like someone born and raised in the US and a career military guy. One heck of a talent.

  • Terri
    2019-03-19 10:24

    Let me say first that I will always choose to listen to a Jack Reacher novel instead of reading it simply because I am so impressed with the talent of Dick Hill in bringing the series to life.The Reacher series is a favorite of mine, and I'm not sure exactly why, since I am not a fan of vigilante justice. I suppose, though, that the lone, mysterious stranger who rights wrongs and stands up for those who cannot stand up for themselves is something of an archetype. Unlike many characters of this type, Child offers us the opportunity to see inside Reacher, to see his insecurities and his code of right and wrong. We are also offered the chance to learn about Reacher's background, and that is especially relevant to this book, set at a time much earlier in his life than the other novels. One of the very good points about this series is that it is not necessary to read the books in order to figure things out, but neither do you become bored rehashing past history. Child is a master at moving things along.In spite of the title of this novel, and it is indeed a sexual affair that is referenced, Child does not write romance novels. In contrast to bedroom scenes that go on and on, Child leaves much to the experience of the reader and is quite capable of summing up the action in a sentence or two. However, what he does describe shows a definite sense of humor. (I'm sorry, but I can't quote from an audio book--that's one of their drawbacks.) Indeed, wry wit permeates the book, from an ongoing joke with a fellow MP about the downsizing the Army will be doing to his comments about how to choose a diner. Of course, I like some books better than other, but I think this new book is one of his best.

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-03-05 10:14

    As my second book in the Jack Reacher series (although #16 in publication and a prequel in sequence), The Affair wasn't a shabby audio read at all. The narrator Dick Hill has a terse, noirish delivery that adds to the story. He sounds a bit older than I would associate with Reacher, but he definitely has Reacher's 'you ain't the boss of me' attitude and conveys his ruthless, efficient approach to solving injustices. I think he is a good choice to narrate for the Jack Reacher books. I do have to admit that I was giggling like a schoolgirl on the love scenes. I can't help it. Audiobook love scenes always strike me that way, and especially with an older male narrator who sort of gave them a 'dirty old man' vibe!It's interesting. This seems like a simplistic storyline, but when everything came together, it wasn't. The Affair is the story of small town secrets tied in with the bigger and murkier waters of powerful people who feel the impunity to do whatever they want. Child kept me guessing. I went back and forth about what was going on and who was behind it. He really had me going and thinking that the killer was someone I really didn't want it to be. In the end, I was like, "So that's not the killer?" That was well done. Child has an interesting way of being very brisk about describing some aspects of his narrative, but descriptive in a vivid, emotive way about others. I felt immersed in this small town with its racial divisions, brutal poverty and a seething sense of injustice that comes from the eternal 'haves versus the have nots'. As it does to Reacher, injustice sits heavy on my stomach, so even though Reacher can be highly ruthless, in a way it's a rewarding thing to know that there is an avenging angel out there at least in the fictional world to fight for those who have been disenfranchised and denied of their rights and their voices. I suppose that's why Reacher is around. When you have these kinds of situations with so much brutality and casual discarding of lives, it makes you want a meaty fist of vengeance like Reacher who is there to clean up the mess. His descriptions of Army/military life also grabbed my interest. I don't know if he got all that right, but it sounded plausible to me. At least some of the governmental parts struck a familiar note.Reacher is an interesting character. He's really kind of a basic sort. His view of life is so simple and without the extra qualifiers that most characters seem to have. He understands authority, but he also has a habit of doing what he thinks is right even if that's against the dictates of authority. Sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux was an intriguing character. Ex-marine and sheriff of Carter's Crossing, the daughter of the long-term sheriff. She's a bit of a study in contrasts. The romance between Reacher and Deveraux was fairly basic, although Child effectively conveys the attraction and mutual respect between them. Neither is a good bet for a long-term relationship, but I still wished that things might work out in that direction (view spoiler)[(even knowing this is a prequel so that wasn't in the cards) (hide spoiler)].The Affair was a good book, but I felt an emptiness when it ended. I don't know if it was just the stripped down nature of the overall plot or that I felt unsatisfied with the overall nature of things that went down. It bothered me to see those people die like that and how it was handled. And while Reacher did what he could to make things right, it doesn't bring those people back, or prevent it from happening again. And Reacher pays a heavy price in the end to do what he did, or maybe for being the kind of man he is. Was that a deliberate thing on Child's part? Maybe. Overall, a pretty good book that I'd recommend to fans of thriller/suspense and kickbutt heroes.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-03-19 13:08

    Mostly solving a mystery. It’s fun because it’s Reacher.STORY BRIEF:Books 1 to 15 in the Jack Reacher series flow in chronological order. All of them are set after Reacher left the army in March 1997 except for Book 8 (The Enemy) and this one. This book 16 goes back in time and is set in March 1997. It describes Reacher’s last investigation as an MP before he left the army.A woman is murdered in a small town in Mississippi. The Kellum army base is nearby. They army is hoping that the murderer is not a soldier. One MP is sent to investigate within the army base. Reacher is assigned to go undercover as a civilian and work with the local cops to investigate. Reacher and the local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux become an item. Reacher learns other women have been murdered in the same manner and some civilians have been shot near the army base.REVIEWER’S OPINION:My favorite Reacher stories are the thrillers where the reader is in the bad guy’s head. I like seeing the bad guy’s motivations, plans and action to get Reacher. This book is not a thriller. We’re not in the head of any bad guy, but that’s ok. This is mystery, suspense, and some action. It’s enjoyable and entertaining because it’s Reacher. I like being in his world. Again, as with all the Reacher stories you need to suspend disbelief. Don’t try to hold him to technicalities. I will admit there were a few things about the plot that were not developed or explained well, but they were minor. This is my comic book hero escape.One of the fun things I like about Reacher is how he confronts people and does not avoid conflict, which is so opposite of me. I like to avoid confrontation whenever possible. In this story, three army rangers are assigned to “sort of” arrest Reacher for a few hours. My reaction would be to sneak around and hope they don’t find me. What does Reacher do? He calls them on the phone and says I’m in the diner, here’s how I suggest you approach the diner to get me, but I’m not going with you.Early in the story, Reacher’s boss orders him to investigate the case from the civilian side. I was chuckling at Reacher’s comment “You want ME to impersonate a CIVILIAN?” Apparently he had never done this before. Then I was chuckling on the subject of Reacher’s toothbrush. (We hear about this toothbrush in every book.) He needs to purchase traveling supplies, so he goes shopping for a toothbrush. He really likes this folding covered toothbrush and buys it. Later in the story, his boss tells Reacher not to go back to Mississippi. Reacher says I need to go back for my personal property. His boss asks what did you leave there? Reacher said my toothbrush. His boss said forget it. Reacher asked will the army reimburse me for it? His boss said no. Reacher said then I need to go back and get it... I then thought of another scene from one of the other books. Some bad guys trashed Reacher’s motel room and stepped on his toothbrush. Reacher walks in and isn’t bothered by the destruction until he sees his broken toothbrush, “b****rds he yells.SEX SCENES:I was laughing out loud at the sex scenes (in a good way - I’m not being critical). This book has more sex than any of the other Reacher books. It had six sex scenes. I’ve read a lot of romance with sex scenes written by female authors. They are sensual and passionate and designed to turn on a female reader. The Reacher sex scenes are not. They are written by a man and told from Reacher’s perspective. And they fit Reacher. There is nothing wrong with them. I just find it funny the way they are geared to a guy - not written to appeal to a female. I liked it for the humor. It fits.SECOND STORY 4 stars:To my surprise a second story by Lee Child was at the end of this audiobook. It was a short story, 1 ½ hours long. It was titled “Second Son.” It’s about Reacher when he was 13 years old in 1974. His brother Joe was 15. They had just moved with their parents to a marine base in Okinawa. There is a local bully and a couple of thefts. Reacher fights the bullies and solves the mysteries. It was good.NARRATOR:The narrator Dick Hill was very good. DATA:Unabridged audiobook reading time: 15 hrs and 33 mins (includes both stories). Swearing language: none. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 6. Setting: March, 1997 mostly Mississippi with some in Washington DC and Virginia. Book copyright: 2011. Genre: mystery suspense. Ending: good.OTHER BOOKS:For a list of my reviews of other Lee Child books, see my review of Worth Dying For

  • James Thane
    2019-03-06 08:02

    This is the sixteenth Jack Reacher novel and it's among the best of them all. For the second time, Lee Child goes back to tell a story from earlier in Reacher's life and this is the Jack Reacher origin story. It takes place back in 1997, when Reacher was still in the Army. Reacher loves the Army and it's the only home he's ever known, even as a child, when he grew up a military brat. But the Army is now in trouble. The Cold War has ended; the war on terror is yet to begin, and budget cutters are looking to downsize the Army. Lots of positions could be lost, even that of a career military man like Reacher.More immediately, the Army faces a potential crisis down in the backwoods of Mississippi. A scandal could be brewing there that would hit the Army hard at a time when it is already vulnerable. Reacher is assigned to head south incognito to work as the outside man in a two-man investigating team that will try to define and resolve the crisis. But their most important mission is to protect the Army no matter the cost. The assignment, though, is very vague and it's clear that Reacher's commanding officer expects him to do a lot of reading between the lines.The crisis--whatever its real nature--has been triggered by the savage murder of a young woman in Carter Crossing, Mississippi, a tiny town that exists to serve an Army base with a somewhat mysterious purpose. The Army's apparent fear is that a military man will be exposed as the killer, triggering a major scandal at a time when the Army can least afford it.Reacher makes his way to the little town, but his cover is blown immediately by the local sheriff, a very tough, smart, sexy ex-Marine named Elizabeth Deveraux. The two form a wary partnership and it quickly becomes apparent that a huge conspiracy may be at work here. But what is the conspiracy? Who's involved? And, most important, who can Reacher trust?Reacher being Reacher, he is determined to ferret out the truth. Along the way, he'll have to beat the crap out of some local bad boys and he'll also have to sort out his relationship with Sheriff Deveraux. Reacher being Reacher, he will also attempt to mete out justice, however rough. The real question is whether he can do so in a way that serves his mission and his determination to protect the Army without destroying himself in the process.This is really an excellent addition to the series, much more nuanced than some of the other entries with a plot that builds to a great climax. Reacher's fans are sure to love it and those who have not yet made his acquaintance would find this an excellent place to start.

  • Barbara
    2019-02-24 08:26

    3.5 starsThis 16th book in the series goes back to 1997, when Jack Reacher was an army MP (military police). A young woman named Janice Chapman has been raped and viciously murdered in the town of Carter Crossing, Mississippi - just outside Fort Kelham Army Base. The army brass, fearing a soldier may be blamed, sends two military cops to look into the case. One is sent to Fort Kelham, presumably to discover if a soldier committed the crime. At the same time Jack Reacher is sent to Carter Crossing, posing as a civilian. His job is to see what local law enforcement is doing about the crime and hopefully to deflect attention from the army. Carter Crossing's sheriff, the beautiful Elizabeth Deveraux, rumbles Jack immediately. She's a former Marine, and she knows a military cop when she sees one. Eventually Jack and the sheriff team up to investigate the rape/murder and Jack learns that Janice is not the first victim. Two other women have been killed in a similar fashon, but - because they were black - their deaths didn't attract much attention. It seems clear that a serial killer is at work in Carter Crossing. The army is desperate to keep Fort Kelham out of the news for a number of reasons: some army units stationed there are regularly deployed to Kosovo, a fact unknown to the public; and one of Fort Kelham's high-ranking officers is the son of a powerful U.S. Senator. Thus the army would much prefer the serial killer to be a civilian, and certain officers are willing to go to great lengths to prove this is the case. Jack Reacher is honest to the core, however, and won't stand for any misrepesentation of the truth. There's plenty of action going on in the story: two more people are shot to death; Jack has violent altercations with some Carter Crossing rednecks; there's some romance; Jack eats many cheeseburgers and a lot of pie; Jack has altercations with soldiers sent to detain him; Jack has altercations with self-styled militias; and much more. The book's plot is engaging, the characters are interesting, and Jack does a masterful job of detection. Though some officers try to pull the wool over Jack's eyes he is a very smart guy who figures out exactly what's going on. My major criticism of the book is that it could have been 75 to 100 pages shorter. Some scenes are much too drawn out. At the beginning of the book for example, Jack walks into the Pentagon, and it takes (what seems like) forever for Jack to get from the building's entrance to a General's office. Each of Jack's footsteps is described in excruciating detail, as is every single person he passes, what they're wearing, their demeanor, their shoes, etc. Several other scenes in the book follow this same pattern, which is irritating and boring. Overall, however, this is a good story that I would recommend for fans of action/thrillers and for fans of Jack Reacher.You can follow my reviews at

  • S.L. Pierce
    2019-03-18 14:24

    I pre-ordered this book and am dying to start but I promised myself I would get all my work done first. Don't worry, I'm sure I will be reviewing by this weekend! Warning - I love all his books and can't imagine this one being any different!Update: Well, I finished reading this book and had to think hard about what to write for a review. I love Jack Reacher and I love all of Lee Child's Books but is this the beginning of the end? Is Child tired? Yes, Reacher was Reacher in this book but it all felt very forced. I don't want to give anything away and the mystery part was still so good I didn't want to stop reading but the way Child gets there is too...I can't even think of the right word but things just happen that don't work for me. It felt like he wanted the story to go a certain way and nothing was going to stop that. Didn't matter if it made sense. Anyway, yes , I was disappointed, but in the end, (I read this next part on someone else's review) even a bad Reacher book is good.

  • Ed
    2019-03-14 12:10

    After reading 61 Hours, I thought the Jack Reacher series had sagged a bit. Then I finished The Affair, and I'm happy to report the series is back in full stride, at least for this reader. Jack goes back in time (1997) to his last days as an Army MP major. He's dispatched to Mississippi to work undercover to investigate three murders committed in the small town next to an Army training base. I won't rehash the plot. Jack is a hard ass when he needs to be, and he does at several points here. In some ways, he reminds me of P.I. Mike Hammer, determined to do the right thing but by using his own means, often violent and forceful. He's a good detective who puts it together, and the plot twists are unexpected. At any rate, it's good to learn some of Jack's back story and get to know him a little better. Entertaining tale of which I read the final 200 pages straight through.

  • Maddy
    2019-03-10 13:14

    PROTAGONIST: Jack ReacherSERIES: #16SETTING: MississippiRATING: 4.5THE AFFAIR is the sixteenth book in the extremely successful Jack Reacher series. Most of those books deal with Reacher’s life after leaving the military. He is basically a drifter who travels around the US, encounters trouble and deals with it. Back in 2004, Lee Child wrote a prequel (THE ENEMY) which was set during the time that Reacher was still in the military. THE AFFAIR is also a prequel book, which follows him during the time immediately prior to his leaving the Army.It’s 1997. There is a secret Ranger training school in Carter Crossing, Mississippi. When a local woman is savagely murdered, Major Duncan Munro is the military policeman who is assigned to go to the base and conduct an investigation to determine if the killer is in the service. Jack Reacher is sent undercover to make sure Munro and the local authorities are doing the right thing. Of course, the military is hoping that one of the locals is to blame. Shortly after his arrival, Reacher is made by the local sheriff, a former Marine named Elizabeth Deveraux. Wary at first, she begins to trust Reacher and they work together on the investigation.They soon find that there is a pattern of killing involving at least four women. The evidence points at the fort’s commander, Reed Riley, who also happens to be a Senator’s son. Of course, Reacher isn’t afraid to rattle things around in the military establishment, which causes him career damage. Child keeps things quite suspenseful, and the question of who-dun-it is a moving target. Even Deveraux falls under suspicion.One thing that I thought that Child did extremely well was to set up the framework of the post-military Jack Reacher persona. We see where the beginnings of some of his trademark activities, such as traveling with just a folding toothbrush and no clothing, or the phrase “he said nothing” originated. Child has also sketched out the beginnings of the situation which is the main plot point for the first Reacher book, THE KILLING FLOOR. I thoroughly enjoyed THE AFFAIR. Elizabeth Deveraux was a great character. It was fun to see Child incorporate elements and people that appear in the other books, such as Francis Neagley and Leon Garber. I found the book to be one of the best in the series.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-03-23 09:25

    The Affair (Jack Reacher, #16), Lee Child

  • Michael
    2019-03-06 11:30

    While I've been aware of Lee Child's best-selling Jack Reacher novels for a while, I hadn't really cracked the cover of one until I heard there was a movie based on the series headed our way. Being the guy who has to read the book first, I headed out to the local library and picked up the first novel, Killing Floor, assuming that the movie series would start with the first novel in the series.That's what I get for assuming. Turns out that Reacher, like the Bond movies, has decided not to start with the first published novel in the series, but with the ninth novel One Shot. After reading both One Shot and The Killing Floor, I think this is a pretty good idea. As an introductory novel, The Killing Floor is OK, but it's not great. Having just been released from the Army after 13 years of service, Jack Reacher is wandering the country by bus. On a whim, he decides to visit a small town in Georgia to look in on his younger brother and soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy.The first novel is a good one, but a lot of it depends on coincidence. Reacher happens to wander into vital information and situations at just the right time. This works the first time or two it happens, but I found myself rolling my eyes a bit as it kept occurring through the entire run of the novel.And so it was that after reading the first Reacher, I jumped forward to the ninth novel, One Shot so I could do the inevitable comparing the book to the movie when I see it. As an action thriller novel, One Shot works extremely well. When a sniper goes on a killing spree, the prime suspect has only one request--find Jack Reacher. Turns out our accused sniper was trained by the military for this exact purpose and had a run in with Reacher as an MP. Reacher arrives on the scene and starts investigating, once again finding there's more here than meets the eye. There's too much evidence pointing to our main suspect, which Reacher finds suspicious. There's also a conspiracy in play and Reacher kicking a lot of tail on various people who make the mistake of crossing him.As the outline for an action film, I can see why Hollywood would choose this one first. It's got a good build-up to Reacher arriving on the scene and it's got some good action moments for the character. It shows him as a man of action/detective of sorts, all while pulling in Reacher's past and previous experience. I'll even admit that the first trailer for the film had me hopeful because it looked fairly faithful to the source material, especially the last 30 or so seconds with the big brawl in the street.[youtube]That said, I just can't quite understand why Tom Cruise was cast as Jack Reacher. (OK, I get it--the guy is a box office draw). If you've read the novels, you know that Reacher is a tall, imposing man who uses that to his advantage to impose his will upon people. I know that Hollywood can't always cast a character just as he or she originally is described in a novel, but surely they could come a bit closer than Tom Cruise. Interestingly as I waited for The Hobbit to start last weekend, there was a extended sneak peek at Jack Reacher with author Lee Child extolling that Cruise is a good Reacher. My first thought was, of course he's not going to tear down the casting choice saying "Boy, they sure blew it on this one." That won't encourage your faithful audience to head out and see the film now then will it?**That is, unless you're Clive Cussler, who famously was not a huge fan of what they did to Sahara, thus killing the potential Dirk Pitt franchise.After One Shot, I was significantly intrigued enough to want to read more of the adventures of Reacher. So, I sought out the second novel in the series, Die Trying.   Reacher is in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets pulled into a vortex when he tries to help a woman out on the street.  I have to admit of the five novels I've read in the series so far, this is my least favorite.   It just didn't quite grab my attention and hold me the way three of the five novels in the series have.Next up, I jumped ahead to The Affair.  It's the sixteenth novel in the series but one that cycles back to the time before The Killing Floor and details the events that led to Reacher leaving the Army.  In Carter Crossing, Mississippi, a small town next to an Army base, a local woman has been killed.  Reacher is assigned to go into the town undercover and cozy up to the local law enforcement to find out what they know.   However, the sheriff is an ex-Marine MP and sees Reacher coming a mile away.  She allows him to stay around and begin to investigate things, soon finding a pattern to events taking place in the town.  It all adds up to (wait for it ) another conspiracy and Reacher being caught in the cross-hairs.  I'll admit The Affair works a lot better as an introduction to Reacher than the first two novels did.   Reading the books, I keep finding myself comparing the character to that of Bond--he's a man's man that all women seem to find irresistible.  He also has some eccentricities that are repeated in each novel (or so it seems).  He doesn't use toothpaste, instead always opting for a fold-up toothbrush and mints.  (Reacher loves his fold-up toothbrush, to the point that you'd think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread).  He travels light, often washing the same set of clothes in the hotel sink multiple times per book (and he gets all the ladies, how again?).  He also doesn't believe in settling in any one place for any length of time.   Which is why the third novel in the series struck me as a bit odd.  Tripwire stars off with Reacher digging pools in Key West.  When a PI shows up looking for him, Reacher denies who he is and  the detective gets killed. Curious as to why finding him cost the PI his life, Reacher begins digging around and heads to New York to find the elusive Mrs. Jacobs who hired the PI.  Turns out Mrs. Jacobs is Jody Garber Jacobs, divorced attorney and daughter of his former CO.  The CO has just passed away and Reacher was like a son to him.  It also turns out that Jody pined for Reacher when she was 15 and Reacher always wondered what might have been had she been a bit older.  (There's a nine year gap in their age).  After a quarter of the novel is spent fraught with sexual tension between the two, they finally admit they're hot for each other, have been for years and begin hooking up.   They also look into a situation her father was examining when he died involving a guy with a hook for a hand, scars on his face and a connection to an MIA Vietnam vet.  Tripwire works well because it has an interesting adversary for Reacher.   Hobie Hook is menacing in that Bond villain kind of way and I could honestly see the book translating well to a second film should the first one prove successful.  Hobie chews scenery with the best of them and his plan to bilk a rich guy out of his company is an interesting one.   Of course, a lot of the book would have to be set somewhere else since, unnervingly, Hobie's office is on the 88th floor of the Twin Towers.  (The book was written well before Sept. 11th).  It's also in Tripwire that Reacher is at his most Bond-like.  At one point he gets shot in the chest only to survive because his pecs are so strong the bullet simply couldn't get to his heart. Of course, it's also interesting to see that Reacher is left the house of his former CO in the novel and elects to remain near Jody as the book ends. Considering she's not on the scene by the time we reach One Shot, I can only assume she exits the series at some point.  I just hope she doesn't meet the same fate as Tracy Bond...So far, I like the Reacher novels.  They're not great literature, but they're fun, entertaining action adventures stories that when they're good, keep the pages turning.  I'll be interested to see how the movie does and if that will drive audiences to the books.  I also plan to try and continue reading more of the adventures of Jack Reacher, if only because I'm curious as to what happens to Jody and why, if she's the great love of Reacher's life, she vanishes from the series. 

  • Eric
    2019-03-12 12:23

    This one was just okay.It's the long ballyhooed story that explains why Reacher left the Army. Reacher is dispatched to Mississippi to investigate a murder, with the understanding that what he finds out may be so sensitive that the Army may want to keep a lid on it. What seems like a single murder becomes a case of serial killing. Adding to the confusion are cover-ups which lead to other killings.Novels about serial killers often rely on salacious examinations of the abnormal psychology of the perpetrator. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's probably the sine qua non of a good novel of that type. But here we get never get up close and personal with the killer. We see the end results of what the murderer has done, but unlike most Reacher novels, we never stand in the presence of the evil in such a way that when Reacher comes down on the perps in typical Biblical fashion, we feel that it's warranted. The killers and conspirators seem hapless rather than diabolical, so when Reacher finally murders them in cold blood (yes, not even in self-defense, in some cases), we end up directing our opprobrium toward Reacher himself, and not his victims. And that's not why you read a Reacher book. For Reacher's over-the-top brand of violence to work, you need to feel that the bad guy is a monster that needs killing.

  • Darlene Quinn
    2019-02-28 08:09

    While the story was good and well told, I found the abundance of "I said nothing" very irritating. Perhaps I would not have noticed it as much had I read the book in print rather than audio, but it seemed when Child was not saying "I said nothing" he substituted. "He said nothing" or "She said nothing." A lot of unneeded extra words.

  • Randy
    2019-03-26 13:14

    I usually get the new Jack Reacher novel as soon as it comes out but I was so ticked off about Tom Cruise being cast as Jack in the soon to be filmed "One Shot" that I held off for awhile. This is the worst casting since Peter Weir screwed up Master and Commander by casting Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin. Cruise isn't a good enough actor to play the 6' 5", 250 lb. specimen that is Lee Child's creation—Jack Reacher. It used to be fun to think about who might play Jack and how they would bring his overpowering physicality to film. It's not fun to think about anymore. A 5'6" guy just can't pull it off. In the sixteen novels Jack Reacher is virtually undefeated in physical combat. He just mops the floor with people with only minor setbacks. That is part of the persona and what makes his half super-hero, half-Paladin character appealing. In The Affair, Jack feels disrespected when the obligatory local rednecks, seeking revenge, only bring six guys to deal with him. He'd advised them to bring more. He mops the street with them and in Lee Child style, gives the reader a detailed analysis of every move and motivation for the move: elbow, fist, knee, etc. Lee Child likes to describe things in great detail like Jack casing a neighborhood or figuring out how long a murderer took to complete the crime. He's brutal brawn plus brains, with Holmesian flair. He is also apparently irresistible to women as in most books he has an affair with someone. In this case, a very hot local sheriff and former Marine who lives in the town hotel. They bring new meaning to "simultaneous orgasm" as over their four days together they try to time the climax of their lovemaking to coincide with the midnight train that rumbles through the small Southern town causing everything to vibrate like a 5.0 quake. It's a bit kinky. Cruise can probably handle that part.The Affair is a pretty good Jack Reacher. Lee Child is back on track after apparently allowing interns to write his previous two books.Chronologically this is a prequel. Mr. Child did another prequel once before which actually prequelled The Affair. That was a good one (The Enemy) too. This proves that Jack's time in the military is ripe territory for future stories for although this is a series each book stands alone. You don't need to read them in order. As Jack ages and becomes less able to smash giants and groups of six or more, Mr. Child may want to take him back in time, let him be younger and even stronger and more attractive. As a reader I don't want to watch an aging Jack Reacher lose his edge.

  • Steve
    2019-03-07 11:16

    Although I was late to the party, I finally took the advice of others and started working my way through the Jack Reacher series. Sixteen books in, and I'll keep reading because the books continue to entertain. I won't be nominating Lee Child for the Booker or the Pulitzer Prizes - these books aren't intended to be uniquely memorable literature - but there's a reason they enjoy prominent shelf space in airport book stores....And, for me, that's the whole point. I watched the first movie on a plane, and I found it was sufficiently entertaining to pass the time - exactly what I was looking for. Frankly, that's what the books remain for me as well. I tend to read them when I'm travelling - on planes, on trains, in taxis, and in hotel rooms - and in that context they serve their purpose very nicely. (This one got me through the tail end of a trip to Geneva, which is in no way relevant to the book!) They don't require a tremendous amount of concentration, the chapters tend to be short, and characters (for the most part) remain true to form. And, yes, yes, there is a dollop of gratuitous violence. But few actually permit that to dominate. Some of Child's quirks - over time - raise questions, but, hey, it's his series and his protagonist. To the extent the narration vacillates - from book to book - from first- to third-person, I prefer the first-person volumes (such as this one). Also, unlike some series, the books aren't all chronological, and this one involved a trip into the time travel/way back machine, which was OK, particularly because it helped put some characters and context in place. (There are plenty of authors' series that I've read in chronological, rather than publication, order, but ... given how far I've come, I plan to just keep marching along through this series in publication order.) I think I'm about 2/3 of the way through the series and, at my (intentionally) slow pace, I figure I'll catch up/be current is a few years...

  • Alison
    2019-03-13 09:15

    As a long time fan I loved the context and idea of this book. Having some of the back story, the events that have been hinted at that lead to Reacher sticking his thumb out and setting off wandering around America But there things bugged the hell out of me1. How many times do we need to hear that it's 1997; do we really need the constant reminder that this is set prior to 9/11?!2. Mindless killing. Up until recent books Reacher has killed, but pretty much only in self defense. He certainly didn't blow the brains out of some guy he'd just unarmed. Shoot him in the stomach, blow out both his knee caps, sure, but out right murder? No3. I've read romances that have less detailed sex scenes (and I usually find sex scenes boring and laking in plot enough to just skip; this was no exception)Perhaps it's been since 9/11 that the writting on Lee Child has gone downhill, I don't know. But it certainly seems that he's no longer writing great thriller/crime novels, he's now just writing Team America-Fuck-Yeah type rah-rah. On the back of The Affair is the quote "Jack is Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis all into one, a superman for our time." and it's true, which is a pity, because a few books ago he was "Reacher" and we didn't need to compare him to anyone else because he was a unique hero that others would get compared to. Not so much these days. If we had to compare Reacher, I'd much rather he be a Macgyver/Commando hybrid.The Affair was certainly a huge improvement from the last three, with some clever twists. I'm still addicted to the story, but only because I keep hoping for a return to the first few books.

  • Tijanailich
    2019-03-11 14:29

    I've been a Jack Reacher fan for years and usually enjoy Child's novels, always finding some basic humanity in the themes of the lone MP against great odds and a corrupt system.While this novel is well-crafted and has a complex plot narrated in Child's terse style, I did not care for Jack Reacher in this story. Too much unwarranted killing and too little compassion make the main character seem as malevolent as the bad guys he is after.This version is an audio book narrated by Dick Hill, another drawback. Hill tends to overact on many of his recordings, making the reader (listener) more aware of him than of the words on the page. This is not television. The voice he uses in reading the female roles make them all sound like hillbilly bimbos.Too interesting a plot to just stop listening to the story, too irritating on many levels to be enjoyable.

  • Nate
    2019-03-10 09:23

    Unquestionably one of the better Reacher novels and a sorely needed satisfying Child experience after The Enemy, which I found to be one of the weaker novels of the author’s thus far. I really don’t know why Child insists on not writing all of his books from the first person. The third person entries are less riveting and tend to wander into painfully boring territory. When you’re in Reacher’s head, even when the story is not at one of its several extremely tense or riveting moments, it’s still fun because it’s fun to hear Reacher tell stories about his life. You can tell that Child is really hearing Reacher’s voice and isn’t forcing it.The per usual, the less said the better but this one was a doozy. What starts as Reacher investigating the rape and murder of a woman in a town next to an army base (in his official capacity as a 110th MP, because it’s 1997) quickly mutates, changes and spins into one of the more tense and complex Child plots I’ve encountered. Seriously, there was no point in the story where I could guess where the next twist was going to come from or what it would entail. I’m not saying I’m the sharpest reader to walk the earth, far from it, but I have read a decent amount of these dumb books and can usually sense the patented Child sucker-punch chapter end coming. Not so with The Affair! This led to some teeth-grindingly tense passages, which is one thing Child is definitely good at.This one was also fun due to the fact that it’s kind of the Reacher origin story. Sure, there are other Reacher stories that predate this one but this is where the Reacher character is fully gelled and sets out on his country-traveling mission to see, come, and conquer. (Get it? ‘Cause Reacher visits a different locale every book? And sleeps with a different lady every book? And absolutely wrecks someone’s shit every book?) The exact cause for Reacher’s long-mysterious split from army life is finally revealed, which was gratifying. Child also sticks with the long game element, kind of atypically for this series, by retroactively setting up the plot threads that would become Killing Floor. Overall a very fun entry in the series and one that reminded me why I read Lee Child.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-07 16:27

    I admire the fact that Lee Child is comfortable writing books set in different parts of Reacher's life. In his latest, he dials time back to Reacher's last case as an MP and walks us through the events that, ultimately, pointed Reacher towards the nomadic life that he embraces after leaving the military. Child drops a few bits that connect to the book that launched the series, "Killing Floor," and each elicited a little "yippee" of delight when I came across it. It's a trick, for sure, but Child has become very good at this kind of thing after sixteen books.Sixteen Reacher books; damn. Truth be told, if someone, years ago, had told me that I was going to pick up a series about a wandering ex-serviceman who gets into the shit with various crime elements, and that I would stick with it for sixteen books, each weighing in at well over 450 pages--well, I would have been hard-pressed to believe that person. Yet here I am, faithful to the series and already looking forward to the next (the title: "A Wanted Man." Cliche? Yes; doesn't matter, I'm still enthusiastic).Fact is, Child is talented at what he does, and what he does is entertaining. Reacher, too, is such a draw: of all the heroes that I've come across in fiction, Reacher is one that has the winning combination of a capacity for brute force, a keen mind, and an observant nature. He's a modern-day wandering swordsman, one who explores the world around him while keeping a wary eye open for trouble. Naturally, trouble is always waiting at the top of the road.I enjoyed this book more than I have previous installments. Hopefully, Child is onto a new trend.

  • Richard Starks
    2019-03-21 13:17

    This is the third Reacher book I've read, and I think it will be my last. Lee Child is still a very good writer, but Reacher has evolved into something akin to a brutal psychopath - not someone you'd like, ever want to meet, or aspire to emulate. Stock characters are introduced solely to allow Reacher to beat them into submission; and he keeps killing people in the presence of, or with the connivance of, law-enforcement officers who are made by the author to think that Reacher's concept of justice is of greater merit than the laws the officers have sworn to uphold. The book has a limp plot that's lazily worked out, and it comes seriously off the rails near the end; but the worst thing about it is not that it's derivative - something you would expect in a series - but that it's a virtual carbon copy of earlier Reacher books (the main element that's new is the title). If I do decide to read another Reacher book, I'll probably reread an earlier one that I've been through before.

  • Chloe
    2019-03-04 09:28

    I really enjoy the Jack Reacher books - they are good as a stand alone story, but also a great series. This one was particularly interesting as it goes back in time, to when Reacher is still in the army. Throughout the series, there are hints that something big went down, and Reacher left in some sort of scandal - and this is the story about it.4.5 stars. Now I want to read the first book in the series, which is apparently set 6 months after this one finishes!

  • Cathy DuPont
    2019-03-10 16:28

    I read this earlier and forgot to post it. It was better than others and I think I like Reacher more in the Army than as a civilian. I'm giving four stars...more 3 1/2...because the others I read were clearly three stars. Two stars for a couple. Needless to say I'm not a Reacher fan but many of my friends are and they still like me, I think. I hope.

  • Jacqueline
    2019-03-22 08:23

    This is a prequel of sorts. It is the story of Reacher's decision to leave the army and start his cross country wanderings. It takes place in 1997 and in places Reacher seems to be talking directly to the reader which is not a device that I typically like. It is in first person POV. In general I enjoyed it. There were a few things that I found odd. There are way more sex scenes than in any other Reacher novel. I know Reacher sleeps with a lot of women but they were longer and more fully described than normal. So the book felt a little romancey. Nothing really wrong with that, I just wasn't used to that tone in my Reacher books. Also, I read a lot of sex scenes written by women so at least it was novel to read one written by a man and see how they differ. Also, I didn't really like the woman he was sleeping with. She was the sheriff in the town where the murder took place and she just didn't seem very interested in solving the mystery. In fact she almost got belligerent with Reacher when he reminded her several times that they were supposed to be solving a crime. Plus she made several pure D stupid moves. (view spoiler)[ I know her stupidity and lack of drive were supposed to make her more believable as the bad guy but since she wasn't, then her lackadaisical attitude toward solving the crime and her removing of the mud just showed that she was lazy and not real moral.(hide spoiler)]As another reviewer said, Child didn't stress how big Reacher was in this one as he usually does and it very well may be because of the whole Tom Cruise debacle. Still I did enjoy the book. The mystery was interesting and I like the military aspect and would be happy to read an entire series of Reacher novels about his cases while an MP. There were some fisticuffs but I'm not sure there were enough to suit my friend Jane! ;-)In the end any Reacher is better than no Reacher at all.

  • Julie
    2019-02-28 15:04

    Awww Jack Reacher, I swore that if you ended up in another small town walking this way and that way, that we would have to break up for good. I mean Boyfriend, we know that it would be a cheaper movie to make, but can't you just go to a city every now and again? The only saving grace that you went to this small town in 1997, and you were still in uniform, sort of, and so I enjoyed that little distraction. Your author kept mentioning in the last two books about the incidence in your past that ended up with your discharge, so it was nice to find out what you did.Now back to the Tom Cruise issue - Big NO!! He is all wrong, too old and too little. I am thinking you would be more Sam Worthington, big and broody. If they make a movie and do it wrong it will be all over again Jack Reacher, it's feeling like you're skating on thin ice.So, back to the book. It was an ok read - Lee Child is a good author, with great flow, punchy smart and intelligent dialogue and characters and I am sure I won't be able to think of a big train passing the same way again. I am however, as you can tell still peeved that he seems to have spent the last four books wandering around small derelict towns walking up and down tarmac, and for that I can only offer you a 3/5.

  • Gaurav Parab
    2019-03-19 16:06

    Let me start with a confession. I was a little skeptical about reading a Lee Child book for the simple reason that I had heard so much about it. You know how it is right, too much praise especially from the not so bright sort of person can put you off.Then there was the grown up inside, trying to get old reading 'serious' literature on weekends with a thoughtful look plastered on the face. Then there was that writer inside, who has to be very careful about not reading anything toxic that can affect your own work.I am so glad that I picked this up. Fast, well-written (there are times when you sense that Child is just holding it back to dumb it down a bit for everyone - yet sometimes the brilliance just breaks through like a beast accidentally left unleashed) and most importantly clever.You know one big issue with being a writer/reader is there are two people reading a book. It eats into the enjoyment of the experience when you are double guessing why a plot goes this way or that or how you would have written it. But with this book, it was like being grabbed by the collar by Reacher and being told in a gruff voice, 'Listen...'Definitely recommend this.

  • Melody
    2019-03-13 12:22

    I am a sucker for a good Jack Reacher book. I was expecting to be disappointed with this one because Ellen, who introduced me to this series, said it was one of his weakest. But I will disagree. I do have a couple of complaints and that is why I've marked this review as containing spoilers. Suspecting Deveraux was never a possibility because we had already learned there was a bad guy in the Pentagon trying to cover things up. Trying to make us believe Elizabeth Deveraux was a woman scorned turned murderer was weak and distracting. But I will just shove that complaint in front of the midnight train. Boy oh boy don't cross Reacher. He won't just knock your tooth out, he'll break your neck and dispose of the body. And now we have Munroe to love too.

  • Michele
    2019-03-05 14:11

    I loved it. But then I love all Jack Reacher novels. Kept me hooked. Onto the next

  • Scott Rhee
    2019-03-24 08:00

    ****The following review may contain some spoilers. Be forewarned.****Lee Child’s sixteenth novel in the Jack Reacher series, “The Affair”, is, as expected, a phenomenal suspense thriller and a riveting murder mystery. One can, of course, enjoy the book on those merits alone, strictly as entertainment, but, like most of Child’s previous Reacher novels, “The Affair” can also be looked at as an examination of relevant societal issues. In this case, the issues seem exceedingly apropos given some of the recent headlines: racism, government corruption, and the military mentality. (See Ferguson.)Through entertainment, Child proffers his own social criticism and commentary, filtered through the voice of his character, Jack Reacher, who has a unique and singular view of the world.Reacher is, to put it kindly, an unusual character. A former MP who no longer has an affiliation with the Army or the military, Reacher seems to work outside the system, beholden to no governing body or person other than himself and his own personal brand of justice.This may make him seem like a vigilante, and, for all intents and purposes, he is one, but he is a reluctant one. He doesn’t seek trouble. He would probably be much happier sitting on a beach with a cold beer and a beautiful bikini-clad blonde at his side. Unfortunately, trouble tends to find him, mainly due to his heightened sense of justice, one based on a very simple precept: don’t fuck with good people.Reacher has disdain for powerful people who use their power to oppress or take advantage of those who are weaker and less-powerful. He absolutely hates it when people use their power to get away with murder.In previous books, Reacher has put a stop to corrupt CEOs, white supremacists, sociopathic FBI agents, Russian assassins, pedophiles, and back-water county sheriffs. People who have used their power for exploitative and inhumane purposes.In “The Affair”, Reacher turns his sights on an institution that creates a conflict of interest for him and one that will change him forever: the military.It should be noted that “The Affair” takes place in 1997. It is set just prior to the events of Child’s first Reacher novel “Killing Floor” and five years before the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, both of which are significant and help create context for the novel. This novel, more than any Reacher novel previously, helps to explain what set Reacher off and what made him the wandering outlaw hero that he has become. Reacher is assigned to investigate the murder of a local girl in a small Mississippi town that is home to Fort Kelham, an Army base where Army Rangers are trained and housed. He realizes that it is not going to be a routine investigation because one of the commanding officers at the base is one Reed Riley, son of U.S. Senator Carlton Riley, who also happens to be the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.When he arrives in town, he immediately finds himself on the radar of Sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux, a whip-smart and extraordinarily beautiful former Marine. They hit it off instantly. (Reacher possesses an almost divine luck when it comes to women, of course.) In the course of his investigation, Reacher discovers that there is more than one victim. The most recent victim is white. Two previous victims were young black girls, but these murders received very little attention. There are only a few things that the girls seemed to have in common: all of them were extraordinarily beautiful, and they coincidentally all dated Reed Riley.As the investigation progresses, Reacher begins to suspect that corruption at the highest level has been perpetrated, an illegal cover-up designed to deflect attention from a heinous crime and one that has resulted in loss of innocent lives. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Reacher feels that the Army---in an attempt to save face and prevent a PR debacle---is handling the situation poorly, thus making the situation worse.To give more away would be providing spoilers, more than I’ve probably doled out already.Tangential Thoughts and Philosophical RamblingsFrequently unasked are the questions: Does the military create killers? Or, does the military take people who have violent tendencies and provide them with a safe context in which to express their violence and kill for a “cause”? Does the military breed violence? Or, does the military simply channel violence in productive directions? I doubt anyone can adequately answer these questions. They are probably rhetorical. Not that people throughout the centuries haven’t tried to answer them.As I write this, Clint Eastwood’s film “American Sniper” is receiving both positive and negative buzz. Pundits want to make the film’s more controversial aspects a partisan issue, but I think that, at the heart of the film (and the memoir that it’s based on, written by Chris Kyle), the real controversy is a human one.(I should preface the following with the disclosure that I have neither read the book nor seen the movie “American Sniper” as of yet. This is not due to any moral or philosophical dilemma that I have with either, I simply haven’t had the time.)I do not consider myself a violent person. Indeed, I tend to live a rather pacifistic life. I am generally against war. I abhor guns. I have never served in the armed forces and, while I have no hatred or ill feelings toward the military, I have never had the desire to be a part of it. That said, I also have to profess the following: I love fictional violence.I love violent action movies, and I love reading violent books.I am well aware of the striking contradiction of this. It is something that I have wracked my brain over numerous times. I have felt guilt and self-loathing over it. It has puzzled and disturbed me to no end.The reviews I have read about “American Sniper” have been enlightening. They tend to say more about the diverse contentious views that people on both sides of the political divide have about the military and, specifically, the Iraq War. They tend to spend more time on what people “should” think about Iraq than on what people actually “do” think about it. But all of that is besides the point and could probably be covered elsewhere.How does “American Sniper” relate to Reacher?For me, it relates to Child’s ninth Reacher novel, “One Shot”. This was the novel that was also the basis for the Tom Cruise film “Jack Reacher”, a thoroughly watchable adaptation. In the novel and film, one of the main characters is a sniper, accused of going on a rampage in downtown Pittsburgh, killing several random people.In the novel, the sniper is a disturbed young man who is sent to Iraq. He has an insatiable desire to kill, bordering on the pathological. It all culminates one day in Fallujah when he snaps and kills four U.S. soldiers at random.Ironically, it turns out, the four soldiers were part of a “rape squad”. They, themselves, were partaking in a series of atrocious rapes of young Iraqi women and girls. In order to avoid a PR nightmare for the military, it was decided to cover the whole incident up. No disciplinary actions were taken against the sniper, and he was sent home with an honorary discharge, where, it was hoped, he would spend the rest of his life quietly as a civilian. Then, of course, Pittsburgh happens.Reacher, the military police officer in charge of the case in Fallujah, wanted the sniper put away. He didn’t agree with the Army’s handling of the situation, but it was not his place to question it. He comes to Pittsburgh to put an end to the sniper, only to find that the sniper has been framed. The story builds in intensity from there, and it is, of course, a riveting one. But, I digress.Chris Kyle, the real-life sniper of “American Sniper”, is responsible for 160 confirmed kills. That is documented. Supposedly, he may have been responsible for roughly double that number, but even Kyle wasn’t exactly sure how many kills he made. Kyle was killed in 2013 by an ex-Marine suffering from PTSD as the result of a gunshot wound.Critics have lavished praise on director Eastwood and Bradley Cooper’s sympathetic performance of Kyle, commenting that the movie gives a human face to the Iraq War. Other critics have pointed out that Kyle, in his memoir, had a rather cold and dispassionate view of his time in Iraq, that he felt little remorse for his kills, and that he referred to his time in Iraq as “fun”.I suppose it’s easy to make Kyle both a hero and a villain. As stated before, I have never served in the military in war-time, so I can’t imagine what I would do or think or feel in some of the situations that servicemen and -women face on a daily basis.A part of me feels nervous and afraid of people like Kyle, but another part of me has great respect for him. Not because he is a killer but because he was put in a position where he felt he had to be a killer, and he became one. A good one.In many ways, the character of Jack Reacher is like Kyle. This could be why many people don’t like the Reacher novels. It is also why so many people DO like the Reacher novels.Reacher is a killer. There is no question about that. But we as readers let that fact slide because he is doing good. He is righting wrongs. He is protecting the innocent. It’s what fictional heroes do all the time.And yet when people in real-life do the same things that our fictional heroes do on the page or on the screen, we are strangely silent and disturbed. Somehow it is wrong.I have no idea why this is. I have no idea why I love violence in books and movies but hate it in real-life, although I suppose it’s healthier than the flip-flop.I have nothing against Chris Kyle. Then again, I have nothing for him, either. Is he representative of the vast majority of men and women who fight and die for our country? Or is he, as some critics want us to think, a sociopathic monster?I have no idea.I do, however, have the belief that violence lives within all of us. We either choose to suppress it or let it out. This is the way it has always been, and it’s the way it will always be.There are times, reading a Reacher novel, that I sometimes wish that he were real, fighting the good fight. Then I think to myself: what the hell is the “good fight”? My good fight may not be my neighbor’s good fight. We can’t even agree on who to vote for president, and if our political positions can cause us to dislike each other so much, I hate to imagine what our positions on something REALLY important would cause us to do.I have no right to judge people like Kyle. It doesn’t stop me from doing so, of course. Additional ReadingsThe following are some interesting reviews of “American Sniper” that I found to be enlightening and thought-provoking:

  • Monique ~ Sinfully
    2019-03-25 13:10

    Audiobook...narrated by Dick Hill.Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series has been a favourite of mine for years...this, however, was not up to his usual standards.This book goes back in time to when Jack was still in the Army and gives us an insight into the reason he left and why he chose the life of a drifter....I think the idea was a good one, but on this occasion I did not connect with the Jack I know and love. It is the usual plot with Jack saving the hero! But found myself drifting whilst listening, the story was weak and wasn't able to hold my attention.Lee Child also introduced a 'love interest' (shock, horror)...well, more like 'fuck buddies' as there was no romance involved! I can only compare it to a 'how to' guide on sex and should definitely not be attempted again, no squirming during those sex scenes, Ooooh no, cold clinical and hard and fast, hard and fast, hard and fast....and so on! and I can't even blame it on the fact it was written by a man as there are many male authors that I have read that can write the hell out of a sex scene! This has not put me off my love for was always stronger than the mere disappointment of one book and I have already purchased his new one on Audio, so fingers crossed it will be an improvement.