If you are a Jack Reacher fan, you will love this book. If you are NOT a Jack Reacher fan (which just means that you haven't had the opportunity to read any of these novels) then you should start right now. Seriously, go down to the library and check out any one of his books and start reading. The first book I read was Bad Luck and Trouble, which falls somewhere in the middle of the series, and I have since read every single novel Lee Child has written about Jack Reacher.
I think if I had to do it all over again I would read the books in order, and then read The Affair, which is a prequel, coming after Worth Dying For, which I believe is the last book before The Affair. But there is no reason in the world why you couldn't read this book first, and then the rest of the series later. This is the first I have heard of an author writing a novel that takes place in time before an established series, but it really did answer a lot of questions I had thought about while reading this series. I think it was a brilliant idea and Lee Child did an amazing job of showing us how Reacher became the man he is today. You can sum up Reacher by this one paragraph in The Affair:
he was walking down a dark road, deciding what to do when a stranger in a car drove up and blocked his way, the stranger rolling down the window and sticking his elbow outside so Reacher couldn't pass:
First, stop and chat.
Second, step into the weeds between the pavement and the ditch, and pass by him.
Third, break his arm.
I actually laughed out loud on that one. Lee Child is a great writer, and I love his sense of humor. He brings Reacher to life, showing us a man who is strong, smart, handsome (I imagine he is handsome) but who is also human, and who makes mistakes. Not many mistakes, but when he does he admits it and moves on.
If you like mysteries, action, humor and a little bit of romance, you will love this book. It is perfectly fine to read this as your first Jack Reacher novel, and then you can start at the top of the list and work your way down. You will not be disappointed!