Daniel Audet's Reviews > The Affair

The Affair by Lee Child
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

it was amazing

Jack Reacher is a complex character, a unique blend of cunning intellectual with purely raw rogue male instinct running underneath, like a deep, dark, silent current. Even within the branch of the military of which he was a part of in the years leading up to and including 1997, which is when this recall story takes place, his job description would best be classified, and it is, as a guy the high ups send in when they need something stopped, when it's last resort time. Child's has spun a tale here, an extremely plausible thriller, with wrenching twists and radical turns, sub-plots that run seamlessly along and threaded into the overall plot and arc in all the right places. And, in a 1st person narrative that, as a writer, caused me to actually re-read many paragraph's to brand on my brain what this author just pulled off in terms of skill level. The back roads of Mississippi and a small town surrounding a special forces Army training base are the backdrop, with maybe a little fun-in-the-sun in DC for locational musical chairs - within the hallowed halls of the Pentagon, of course, and, a couple of road trips done the hard way by our hero. These make up the general outline. Description in this book is absolutely stellar along with a hard smack of a plot line, and, for me Child's has again raised the bar in this my favorite fiction genre. If you're a hard-core thriller fan I highly recommend this book.
I started, with much anticipation, this book the other day and I'm 150 or so pages in.

One thing I will mention at this point is that this book was well worth the wait. If, like me, you're a writer then fasten your seat belts kids. Narrative and dialogue and particularly description will have a whole new meaning for you as a writer. Readers are in for a thrill ride in terms of translated action and vivid imagery.
Jack Reacher is on the hunt for a killer who has an appetite for beautiful young women.
Child's, at one point early on, describes his character Reacher,or rather Reacher is doing the talking, in 1st POV, standing by a railroad track (in the course of the investigation), close, just feet away from the tracks, as a train approaches and then blasts past him and it's a multi-sensory masterpiece of a scene. In another spot (they're all through this book) where the mother of a murdered girl, in the doorway of her little shack, acts and reacts to news of any progress in her daughter's murder case and this too is a passage that you will never forget.
Maybe I just woke up on another level just before I began this book or maybe this book transported me to the lofty world of a bestselling author's perspectives and understanding but I am seriously impressed with Lee's work here and yes, it deepens the story to such a level that even as a well read writer I feel it's affecting my own writing just having been exposed to this exhibition of skill.
I hope this book gets the attention it deserves and everyone reads it, I really do.
More soon, I'm devoting all day today to reading.
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