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The Pentagon is the world's largest office building, six and a half million square feet, thirty thousand people, more than seventeen miles of corridors, but it was built with just three street doors, each one of them opening into a guarded pedestrian lobby. I chose the southeast option, the main concourse entrance, the one nearest the Metro and the bus station, because it was the busiest and the most popular with civilian workers, and I wanted plenty of civilian workers around, preferably a whole long unending stream of them, for insurance purposes, mostly against getting shot on sight. Arrests go bad all the time, sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose, so I wanted witnesses. I wanted independent eyeballs on me, at least at the beginning. I remember the date, of course. It was Tuesday, the eleventh of March, 1997, and it was the last day I walked into that place as a legal employee of the people who built it.
A long time ago.
The eleventh of March 1997 was also by chance exactly four and a half years before the world changed, on that other future Tuesday, and so like a lot of things in the old days the security at the main concourse entrance was serious without being hysterical. Not that I invited hysteria. Not from a distance. I was wearing my Class A uniform, all of it clean, pressed, polished, and spit-shined, all of it covered with thirteen years' worth of medal ribbons, badges, insignia, and citations. I was thirty-six years old, standing tall and walking ramrod straight, a totally squared away U.S. Army Military Police major in every respect, except that my hair was too long and I hadn't shaved for five days.
Back then Pentagon security was run by the Defense Protective Service, and from forty yards I saw ten of their guys in the lobby, which I thought was far too many, which made me wonder whether they were all theirs or whether some of them were actually ours, working undercover, waiting for me. Most of our skilled work is done by Warrant Officers, and they do a lot of it by pretending to be someone else. They impersonate colonels and generals and enlisted men, and anyone else they need to, and they're good at it. All in a day's work for them to throw on DPS uniforms and wait for their target. From thirty yards I didn't recognize any of them, but then, the army is a very big institution, and they would have chosen men I had never met before.
Excerpted from The Affair by Lee Child. Copyright © 2011 by Lee Child. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Maverick. Nomad. Vigilante hero. Jack Reacher is all these, and more. An elite military cop who turned his back on his career, he has been wandering across America for years, mostly keeping to himself, but dispensing justice with lethal efficiency when necessary. But how did it all begin? What happened to cause him to go on the road?
A novel of unrelenting suspense that could only come from the pen of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, The Affair answers these questions, taking us back to 1997 and the event that altered the course of Reacher’s life.
A woman has been killed, and evidence points to a soldier stationed nearby. Jack’s orders: go undercover and quietly monitor the investigation from afar. That doesn’t last long. Reacher’s a good soldier, but he soon realizes that there’s more to the case than meets the eye. Sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux, a former marine with a nose for trouble, thinks so, too. Teaming up, they begin to dig for the truth…and discover that their quarry has friends in high places. Reacher isn’t the kind of man who likes to back down; if he keeps quiet, he won’t be able to live with himself. But then again, if he speaks out, he won’t be allowed to live…period.
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press ( September 27, 2011 )
Item #: 13-443619
Product Dimensions: 5.25 x 8.5 x 0.94inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Read all of Lee Childs books. This one did not provide a wow factor for me. Don't understand reviews saying this was one of his best. On the contrary, I believe it was not up to par, when compared to his other novels.
Reviewer: Gary G
I loved this newest book by Lee Child! I read it once quickly, because I could not put it down, and then immediately went back to read it all over again! No kidding! The plot held my interest every step of the way. (I love the character of Jack Reacher. Lee Child could even write about Jack reading recipes and I think I would enjoy it!) Can't wait for his next book! Hurry up, Lee!!
Reviewer: Mary K
Anyone who writes for a living deserves a lot of praise and certainly Lee Child does. However, this is an easy book to lay down when other things come up and then pick up later. Its OK, I did finish it although the plot was pretty transparent by chapter 5.
Reviewer: Nnacy W
I always enjoy the Reacher novels. They hold your interest from cover to cover with their twist and turns.
Lee Child keeps getting better!! I've read all his books & loved every one of them. I agree with the other readers about Reacher sleeping with the women he meets, but he sure seems irrestible! Who wouldn't want a man like that!! I love it when he beats on the bad guys. It's the best!