Child, Lee. Killing Floor. New York: Berkley, 1997.
Reason read: New York became a state in July. Lee Child resides in New York. It’s a stretch, I know.
The best part about Killing Floor is without a doubt the character of Jack Reacher. Child definitely planned it that way. He sets up the series with an introduction to a man who is ex-military, ex-law enforcement, and 100% loner with a secret soft heart. Reacher doesn’t like to be tied down to any one place or person, but he can be swayed to stick around for a bit if the cause is good or the woman is pretty.
And now for the plot. Jack has wandered into a murder and ends up being the prime suspect because an eye witness put him at the scene of the crime. Seriously. Less than an hour after Jack arrives in town he is picked up for a violent, over the top murder. He knows he hasn’t killed anyone in Georgia. When the dead man turns out to be Reacher’s brother the plot thickens. How does Reacher clear his name, seek vengeance for his brother and manage to not fall in love with a cop? You have to read the story to find out.
A moment of disappointment: there were several points in the story that were predictable. I won’t mention the biggest predictable moment because it would ruin the whole plot. Let’s just say a guy you think you know turns out to be someone you don’t know until you know.
The sad thing about a book review is that probably everyone knows the name Jack Reacher, thanks to Tom Cruise’s movies. A tale more sorrowful than that? I didn’t know Mr. Reacher until I met him in the pages of Lee Child’s first novel, Killing Floor. Yes, I have been living under a rock.
Killing Floor is fast paced and quick with the action. If the rest of the series is anything like it, I can see why they made one of the stories into a movie. The choice to use an actor who stands 5’7″ for a character described as 6’5″ is a bit of a head scratcher, though.
Author fact: Child hit the ground running with Killing Floor. He has been getting great reviews ever since.
Book trivia: My copy of Killing Floor has a new introduction by the author. In it he explains the birth of Jack Reacher. Pretty cool.
Nancy said: Pearl admitted she previously avoided Mr. Child’s books because she thought they would be too violent. Indeed when I read the praise for Killing Floor descriptions like “the violence is brutal” “nightmarish images,” and “battered corpses.” In truth, some of the murders are over the top.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Lee child: Too Good To Miss ” (p 41).