Book Review: The Affair by Lee Child

I watched the Jack Reacher movie that came out in – what was it 2014?  I thought it would be like the Bourne movies so I was excited to see it, but the Jack Reacher movie was so boring that I was fighting to stay awake.  Afterwards, I found out that it was based on the book series by Lee Child.  Unfortunately, because of my experience with the movie, I put it towards the bottom of my “to read” list.

A couple of days ago, I wanted to read something, but needed a break from the current book I was reading (Kingdom of the Wicked by Anthony Burgess) so I started reading The Affair by Lee Child.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t the first Jack Reacher book, but as it turned out, the order didn’t matter much (at least with this book).  There were some characters that Jack had known, probably from previous books, but not knowing who they were didn’t impact the story.

In this book, Jack is sent undercover to report on any unusual activities in a small town with a military base nearby.  A woman’s murder causes friction between the military base and the townspeople – the military, of course, want the murderer to be a civilian but the townspeople suspect that he murderer is someone from the base.  I found the characters in the book, as a whole, to not have much personality.  The characters who played the “good guys” seemed to have the same characteristics.  They didn’t stand out from one another.  I’m not even sure that I liked Jack the best of the characters, nor was he the most interesting.  There is a beautiful sheriff who Jack ends up sleeping with (everyone sees that coming from the first description of the sheriff).  Personally, I found her more interesting and smarter than Jack.

The most interesting parts in the book were the parts where Jack wasn’t sure which “side” to be on.  On one side, his superiors were keeping information from him and may be setting him up to take a fall.  On the other side, he is military personnel and is supposed to be following orders.  It was fun to see him choosing different options in tight situations in the book.

All in all, the book wasn’t bad and I would read other books by Lee Child, but this book definitely fits into the “book candy” category.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Affair by Lee Child

  1. I liked how Jack Reacher wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty and how sure he was of himself. I mean, he didn’t agonize over making the hard decisions (i.e. killing of baddies). He knew it was the right thing to do and he just did it.

    In other stories, you can’t kill if you want to be a “good guy”. The “good guy” delivers the baddies to the law. Can be frustrating to read, when the bad guys just end up in some comfy hole eating three squares a day or when good people get sent to jail along with the bad guys for doing the right thing.

    That’s why Jack Reacher novels are so refreshing!

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