‘The Affair’ is Lee Child’s 16th Reacher novel and takes us back to Jack Reacher’s time in the army – just before he left to live his life of wandering and righting wrongs.
Janice May Chapman was raped and murdered in a small Mississippi town called Carter Crossing. The town is close to an army base from which Rangers are carrying out clandestine operations, so the army needs the case sorted without any impact on the army. Reacher is sent under cover to Carter Crossing to keep an eye on the local police investigation.
But when Reacher arrives, he finds the truth very different from the story he’s been told. Janice May is the 3rd woman killed. The first two just weren’t considered as newsworthy. The sheriff, Elizabeth Devereux is an ex-marine and immediately works out what Reacher is doing there, but Reacher gains her confidence and becomes part of her team (and her lover).
The more Reacher investigates, the more he realises that he is in a no win situation. There are things going on that Reacher will have to expose if he wants to be able to live with himself, but this will almost certainly spell the end of his career. And as fast as Reacher finds evidence, a brutal killer is covering his tracks.
This was an excellent Reacher backstory. It was good to find out how Reacher became the man that we see in the other novels in the series. But it worked well to have this as the 16th novel when we already know so much about the man.
Book Published 2011