- Listening Length: 15 hours and 33 minutes
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Release Date: September 27, 2011
- Source: Personal Copy
The year is 1997. Jack Reacher is still in the military police, ordered to go undercover in a small town in Mississippi after a young woman is found dead. All signs implicate that a soldier at a nearby military base is guilty, yet powerful friends in Washington deny it.
Upon arrival in the small town, Reacher meets local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux, former military herself. She instantly sees through Reacher’s facade, nailing him as a member of the military. They reluctantly join forces, both desperate to solve the series of murders that begin to crop up.
By far, this may be my very favorite Reacher novel. Likely I’ve said this before, but The Affair delivers something that the other novels do not: an inside look at Reacher’s military background and experience. This is a flashback novel, set before Reacher leaves the military, the reader gets the unique opportunity to see a side of Reacher only alluded to in previous books. Also, this novel contains what may be the hottest romances Reacher has experienced. I’m talking blush-worthy sexual encounters. In this sense, I may have learned more about Reacher’s sex life than I ever wanted to know, but despite this I found myself rooting him!
One of the most complex devices Child uses to garner suspense is the nightly midnight special train that roars through the small town each day. Like the train, the suspense builds gradually, then blowing past, rocking everything in its path.
The character of Elizabeth Deveraux is a truly complex and well-developed one. Like Reacher, she has quite the secretive past with dozens of skeletons in her closet. The female version of Reacher, she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to get it.
All in all, this novel just proves the pure talent Child has as a writer. Just when I think he can impress me no further, he does so, ten-fold. The Affair is certainly a book to be enjoyed by any fan of Reacher, perhaps a good starting point for those new to the series. Highly, highly recommended.
A note on the audio production: Do I need to say how perfect a narrator Dick Hill is for this series? I think I may have mentioned this a few (dozen) times, but Hill perfectly captures Reacher’s personality and attitude. It is for this reason that I will stick to listening to the audios in this series unless *gasp* the publisher decides to change narrators.