Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book #49 The Affair and The Second Son

I’m including two books here since one is a Kindle Short, a few chapters of a story. Second Son is a short book about the young Jack Reacher, on Okinawa with his father, brother, and mother. His grandfather is Paris has died and their mother moves on. Their father, the only interaction we’ve had with him in the series, is a Marine, in charge of some secret codes in case the US invades China and loses a code book.
Meanwhile we have Jack and Joe, young boys that need to start school, and also deal with the local bullies. Joe avoids, preferring to focus on school and htink about things, while Jack is, well, Jack. He’s the older Jack Reacher we know, cold, calculating, thinking a few steps ahead, seeing connections others miss, and of course, getting into a fight. 
It’s a fun short story, leaving me wanting more, but it also seems to be an evolved Reacher, not a kid. Almost as thought the writing of The Killing Floor has preceeded it (which is has), but the character is more of a complete character in this one than it is a kid.
The Affair is set back in the time when Reacher is in the military. In fact it’s just before The Killing Floor, just before Reacher is going to be discharged and in some sense, this book is the reason. He’s sent by Graber to Mississippi to a small town that lives on the local Army base as the outside investigator when there is a killing of a civilian woman. Another from the 110th in Germany is sent to the base as the inside investigator.
The book is interesting in that it starts with Reacher walking into the Pentagon, sure he’s going to be arrested. When he isn’t, and he gets to the meeting in the inner ring with a colonel, the book jumps back three days to Reacher’s start in the town.
As with many of the other books’ formulas, he arrives in town, impresses someone, upsets someone else, and gets into a fight. It almost reminds me of My Cousin Vinny with the locals that want to fight Reacher. He puts them off when it’s two, then again when it’s four and makes it a fight when it’s 6.
The story is similar to the Gone Tomorrow where we have politics mixed in with an investigation and no one is really sure what’s going on. Reacher pushes and pulls, working with the local Sherif, a woman he becomes attracted to, to unravel the mystery.
I enjoyed this one, with the setting of Reacher in the Army, but not in it, getting help from Nagley and Dixon in this one, though just a phone call from Dixon. It also reminds me of the time I grew up, when we were at the end of the Cold War. Worth the read if you like the Jack Reacher series.

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