My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Readers of Lee Child’s lengthy Jack Reacher series know that he left the military under a black cloud, but until now, the reason was never made clear. Now Reacher’s back story is presented, as the thirty-fivish Major Reacher is sent to a Mississippi military training center for damage control, when it appears that one of the army’s own may be responsible for the murders of three local women. It soon becomes apparent to him that he’s being kept in the dark by his commanders, and he sets out to expose what turn out to be massive corruption at the highest levels.
The reader is supposed to admire Reacher’s strong sense of justice and morality. Actually, the man presented here is thoroughly amoral. A lethal amalgam of Dirty Harry and the Terminator, this Reacher is no better than the criminals he’s out to nail. Characters whom he views as victimized are ruthlessly avenged by him. Those who perpetrated the victimization are brutally exterminated. His behavior, indeed his entire way of thinking, is narcissistic and sociopathic. He’s a killer. Not a man to emulate, and certainly not my idea of a hero. Lee Child is a skilled writer and a great story teller; I just wish, in this series, he’d create some characters with some depth and humanity. There are none in The Affair.