Friday, February 17, 2012

The Affair by Lee Child

    This is a Jack Reacher novel. Jack Reacher is an army MP sent on an undercover mission to a small Mississippi town whose sole support is the nearby military base. There has been a murder, and personnel from the base could be involved. The army sends Reacher to keep an eye on local law enforcement. If they get too close, Reacher is to let the army know immediately.  However, the local sheriff, a retired marine, makes Reacher the moment he hits town. They quickly begin to work together to investigate.

          Reacher soon discovers that there have in fact been three murders with similar MO’s in town. The first two were poor black women and did not make the media splash that the third, a white woman, did. Through careful investigation and a thorough knowledge of human nature, Reacher determines that [SPOILER] not only is a man from the army base responsible for the murders, but his Senator father knows about them and has gone to great lengths to cover them up. He has used his political power to manipulate the Marine Corps to frame the local sheriff. 

          Jack Reacher develops a plan to solve the case permanently, taking out both parties like the mad animals they are. 

          I liked this book. And, at the end Jack resigns from the army.  I wonder if this means the end of the Reacher novels or if it merely means they are taking a new direction. I hope it’s the latter.

          This book raised the question in my mind of what I would do if I knew my child had murdered someone.  Would I cover for her, try to stay out of it, turn her in, testify against her?  I feel quite certain that I would not attempt to blame someone else for her actions.  And I believe that my actions would depend on the reason for hers.  If I believed the killing was done in defense of another or herself, I would probably avoid assisting the police in their investigation.  If, however, it turned out that she was killing for profit or pleasure, I’d like to think I’d turn her in so fast her head would spin.

          What would you do if you discovered a loved one was a serial killer? 

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