Killing Floor by Lee Child

Killing Floor

Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Jack knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell....

Title:Killing Floor
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0515141429
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages:525 pages

Killing Floor Reviews

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    Feb 09, 2009

    Jack Reacher is the kind of guy who will kick some serious butt in the most brutal fashion, and it ain't pretty. I admit that I wince when I see someone die violently on tv and in movies. But I love action movies. Yeah, I know it makes no sense. Killing Floor is the kind of book that I would love to see as

    Jack Reacher is the kind of guy who will kick some serious butt in the most brutal fashion, and it ain't pretty. I admit that I wince when I see someone die violently on tv and in movies. But I love action movies. Yeah, I know it makes no sense. Killing Floor is the kind of book that I would love to see as a movie (if Hollywood didn't manage to bungle most of the movies they make. )Yes, it has some cringe-worthy scenes, but I don't feel bad for the bad guys in this book at all. They were completely loathsome. While I don't consider myself a violent person, there is something deeply satisfying about reading a book with a kickbutt hero who deals with corrupt persons with no morals and no respect for human life, and deals with them hard like they deserve, but they certainly don't expect.

    :

    *He can handle himself

    *He is a good person, but he don't play!

    *He is both the mysterious, strong silent type and a smart aleck with unforgettable lines. What a great combination.

    *He uses his brain and all the assets available. I liked how he assessed the various situations and was able to come up with a good solution, thinking on his feet.

    *He has a sense of justice that I can get behind, and he doesn't let the rules get in his way of seeing justice done (much like Repairman Jack from the F. Paul Wilson books).

    *He treats people with respect, except for lowlives who show that they aren't worthy of it.

    *He can kick some serious butt and teach the thugs some lessons they won't ever forget!

    I immediately thought of Josh Lucas when Jack is first described. Why? Because Josh is hot, he's a good actor, he has the attitude and the presence to play Jack, and the coloring and physical description. Yup. Josh is my Jack. I will not budge on that.

    If the answer is no, I suggest you go find a copy of this book and have a ball reading it. If you don't want to read Killing Floor by now, then I can tell you truly haven't been completely annoyed with how scumbags manage to take advantage of good people and get away with it. Or maybe you just don't like adrenaline rushes in a book, and action-packed suspense with some nifty twists and turns. If that's the case, I still like you.

    Not at all, even though I love Batman and Jack is definitely going on my favorite hero list. No, it's just very good wish fulfillment to read books with tough guys like Jack who can and will take care of the bad guys and have you going, "Dang!" What can I say? I grew up in the 80s, the Golden Age of action films. It's too late for me now....

  • Kemper
    Jul 06, 2009

    This reads like an '80s action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    A big tough ex-military guy drifts into a small town and is sucked into uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy through completely unbelievable coincidences. - Check.

    Hero has a cool, manly sounding name: Jack Reacher. - Check

    Hero is quickly given a personal grudge against the villains. - Check

    Bad dialogue. - Check.

    Stereotypical villains including corrupt businessmen and politicians. - Check.

    Hero finds a few trustworthy allies, but

    This reads like an '80s action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    A big tough ex-military guy drifts into a small town and is sucked into uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy through completely unbelievable coincidences. - Check.

    Hero has a cool, manly sounding name: Jack Reacher. - Check

    Hero is quickly given a personal grudge against the villains. - Check

    Bad dialogue. - Check.

    Stereotypical villains including corrupt businessmen and politicians. - Check.

    Hero finds a few trustworthy allies, but is betrayed at some point. -Check

    Hero shacks up with hottest girl in town within two days of meeting her. - Check

    Hot girl gets kidnapped by bad guys at some point. - Check.

    Stuff blows up real good at the end. - Check.

    I know this is a really popular series these days, but unless it gets a lot better in later books, I just don't get it. I've read far better action scenes from guys like John Sandford who actually write thrillers that have plots that hang together and don't trot out every action movie cliche in the process. Plus, there are massive gaps in logic. A murder victim turns out to be a federal agent who is working on a super-secret case that is so important that it literally threatens the United States. Yet, after he's killed and it's reported, nobody else from the government even shows up to check it out. WTF? I can gloss over unrealistic procedural stuff in the interest of a good story, but since this isn't a good story, the plot loopholes are too horrible to ignore.

    Another problem is that Child couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to write just an action novel or a detective story, and he tried to split the difference. Not good.

    Reacher is the worst fictional detective I've ever read. Giant clues are put in front of him that anyone who has ever read a book or seen an episode of television since 1962 would instantly recognize, but he misses them. Yet, when called for, he can make ludicrous leaps of intuition that would make Sherlock Holmes scratch his head at the sheer implausibility of them. This might have been a better book if Reacher was just a revenge driven killing machine mowing through the bad guys without the pretense of playing detective.

    This would have been 1 star, but I gave it an extra star because the main piece of the criminal plot is actually kind of clever and not something I'd read before. Unfortunately, it's the only original thing in this book.*

  • Stephen
    Aug 25, 2011

    is a walking, talking, 6’5”

    guaranteed to cause

    to

    their

    . As

    go, this guy is loaded with

    and I was well and truly won over by the end of Lee Child's debut novel.

    Reacher’s a former military police officer who is

    and carries himself with a calm, quiet

    that reminded me a lot of

    from Neil Gaiman’s

    (another favorite character of mine). In typical hardboiled fa

    is a walking, talking, 6’5”

    guaranteed to cause

    to

    their

    . As

    go, this guy is loaded with

    and I was well and truly won over by the end of Lee Child's debut novel.

    Reacher’s a former military police officer who is

    and carries himself with a calm, quiet

    that reminded me a lot of

    from Neil Gaiman’s

    (another favorite character of mine). In typical hardboiled fashion, Jack’s narration of the book’s events is muted and almost detached. This emotionally restrained tone is employed even when he’s describing scenes of grisly, gore filled carnage of which this book has plenty.

    He keeps his feelings in check and doesn’t phase easily, even when scummy

    intentionally strive to work themselves under his skin. That said, when the moment is right and Jack is required to muster his inner grim reaper against the human stains who have wronged him and his...man is it ever

    -fucking-

    time.

    This guy can wetwork with the best of them.

    Since leaving the army, Jack’s been doing the

    drifter/wanderer act across the U.S. of A. When he arrives at a blip on the map called Margrave, Georgia he finds himself immediately arrested for murder. Seems some gentleman had his head removed with a shotgun blast and Reacher finds himself as the prime suspect.

    So after an

    weekend in prison during which he redecorates the faces and figures of a handful of inmates, Jack is finally released from jail. At this point, the story takes a dramatic “you must suspend your disbelief” turn when the recent murder ends up having a very personal connection to Reacher. Furthermore, the murder seems to be only a tiny part of a massive conspiracy involving the entire town and the body count quickly begins to rise.

    Game on.

    From here, our giant bag of

    becomes a one man

    ** and proceeds to hunt clues, piece together evidence and unleash a batch of industrial strength payback on a whole gaggle of bad guys.

    **This is early Arnold and not the later model that comes with man boobs.

    Game over.

    As you can probably glean from the above, I think Jack Reacher is pretty much THE MAN. What I liked most was that as big and strong as he is, this is no simple, brawn-sporting lug with low voltage wiring upstairs. He’s intelligent, shrewd and has a gift for being able to sift through and digest information while thinking on his feet both tactically and strategically. He’s the complete package, A large, clever anti-hero that knows how to get the job done and who has enough humanity inside him to make you want him to come out on top.

    However....

    Now that I have slobbered all over this review, I do have one

    and it is kind of a big’un. Put simply, the writing was painfully bad. The prose is stiffer than rigor mortis and the dialogue was accoutered with more “he saids” and “she saids” than a Hollywood gossip session.

    For much of the first half of the book it was almost terminally off putting and greatly distracted me from the story. I thought I had struck out with this book and was not looking forward to doing my review as so many of my friends liked this.

    But, as time went on, as the body count increased, as the stakes got higher and as Reacher’s badass quotient approached epic status, I found myself far more forgiving of the simple, “connect the dots” prose and clunky dialogue and realized I had been sucked headlong into the narrative. From then until the wrap up, I was fully on board.

    It was like a mini Christmas miracle.

    I fell right into the central mystery that was fresh and unique and more than worth the price of admission for me (despite having a few far-fetched plot components). When you add to that my increasingly

    bonding to Reacher and his “

    against the evil townies one man army” show, I was in hardboiled action

    lovin me some story.

    And thus….

    Overall, a great main character and an interesting central story made up for some less than stellar prose and I ended up firmly liking this tale. I will certainly check out the next tale in this series as I would imagine the writing is only going to get better and the rest should stay at least as good.

    3.0 stars. Recommended.

  • Chris McGrath
    Sep 02, 2011

    I could not read this. The prose is terrible. Commas are rare. Periods are abundant. It's hard to read. I got through one chapter. I checked later books. They are the same. I had heard good things. I cannot get past this. I am not exaggerating. It's actually worse than this. These are all sentences. Full sentences. Not fragments. There we go. It's like this. Reading a Reacher novel. I considered powering through. But I don't want to waste my time.

    I bought the whole series for $1 a piece. I regr

    I could not read this. The prose is terrible. Commas are rare. Periods are abundant. It's hard to read. I got through one chapter. I checked later books. They are the same. I had heard good things. I cannot get past this. I am not exaggerating. It's actually worse than this. These are all sentences. Full sentences. Not fragments. There we go. It's like this. Reading a Reacher novel. I considered powering through. But I don't want to waste my time.

    I bought the whole series for $1 a piece. I regret it. They're not even worth that much.

  • Jane Stewart
    Nov 29, 2011

    4 stars. Rambo, Dirty Harry, with a hint of Sherlock Holmes – fun, exciting, suspense, escape.

    STORY BRIEF:

    This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, sixteen books so far. It’s told in first person by Jack. He was a homicide investigator in the military police for thirteen years, hunting trained killers gone bad. He had to be able to outthink them and fight them. He retired as a major six months ago at age 36. Now Jack just wants to wander, living off his severance pay, buying cheap clot

    4 ½ stars. Rambo, Dirty Harry, with a hint of Sherlock Holmes – fun, exciting, suspense, escape.

    STORY BRIEF:

    This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, sixteen books so far. It’s told in first person by Jack. He was a homicide investigator in the military police for thirteen years, hunting trained killers gone bad. He had to be able to outthink them and fight them. He retired as a major six months ago at age 36. Now Jack just wants to wander, living off his severance pay, buying cheap clothes he can throw away rather than wash, no ID, no Driver’s License, no credit cards, using cash, being anonymous. He travels by bus and train.

    Jack gets off the bus and walks into the small town of Margrave, Georgia, out of curiosity about a singer who lived there sixty years ago. Someone was killed around the time Jack arrived. The local cops arrest Jack for questioning. In the next few days the police chief is killed and someone else disappears. Jack begins investigating. Multiple attempts are made to kill Jack.

    REVIEWER’S OPINION:

    Wow! This was good! When Jack hears the details about the first murder, his analysis was amazing. I was pulled in and didn’t want to stop reading for almost the entire book. I can’t wait to keep going with this series. The plotting is great. No one is being stupid or incompetent – well, maybe a little by some of the bad guys who are not as competent as Jack. Jack is put into circumstances where I think how is he going to survive? But he does neat things and survives and wins. I loved what he did when he was wrongly put into the section of a prison with the worst of convicted murderers. I like seeing revenge and justice for bad guys. So I liked seeing Jack hurt or kill them without worrying about their civil rights. Cops can’t do that.

    Roscoe is a female police officer. She and Jack fall for each other so there is a touch of romance and several sex scenes. The sex scenes are told not shown.

    There were some gruesome torture scenes that might bother some readers, but they are described after the fact, not shown, which may help a little.

    LOGIC AND COINCIDENCE COMMENTS:

    Some reviewers complained that the author wasn’t technically accurate about weapons, procedures, and other things. I don’t care about that. This is fiction. I don’t require “fiction” to educate me. If it’s entertaining with good action, I’m happy to accept “technical fiction.” I do agree some things were too coincidental. Jack’s ability to guess someone’s alias and location was too far-fetched for me. Even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t have done that. But the rest was such a good ride I didn’t mind.

    Jack did not have a Driver’s License, but he spent a lot of time driving someone else’s car. The local cops didn’t mention it, apparently since he was helping them. He also took a flight to New York. I don’t know if the airlines required ID back in 1997, before 9/11, but I guess it doesn’t matter because this is fiction. Anyway, it unsettled me at first, but I became more comfortable with it in subsequent books. He drives and flies frequently without an ID in subsequent books.

    NARRATOR:

    The narrator Dick Hill was great. He has an amazing range. He did a deep black male voice so well that I thought it was another actor. And his female voices were fine.

    DATA:

    Unabridged audiobook reading time: 14 hrs and 48 mins. Swearing language: mild, as far as I can recall. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 7 told not shown. Setting: 1997 mostly Margrave, Georgia, with a few scenes in Atlanta, Alabama, Mississippi, and New York. Book copyright: 1997. Genre: mystery suspense thriller. Ending: Very feel good, a winning feeling, bad guys got it.

  • Jeff
    Jan 29, 2013

    On the Flintstones, whenever there was an indoor chase scene, the background in the house never varied, it would be the same window, table, lamp running repeatedly behind the action, and the chase would go on seemingly forever - a veritable cartoon mile/1.6 kilometers. Watching the show as a kid, it was almost more than my sugar-fueled addled brain could handle.

    Reading this book was the same type of existentially empty experience. Grafting a promising storyline onto a series of humorless, mind-n

    On the Flintstones, whenever there was an indoor chase scene, the background in the house never varied, it would be the same window, table, lamp running repeatedly behind the action, and the chase would go on seemingly forever - a veritable cartoon mile/1.6 kilometers. Watching the show as a kid, it was almost more than my sugar-fueled addled brain could handle.

    Reading this book was the same type of existentially empty experience. Grafting a promising storyline onto a series of humorless, mind-numbing hackneyed plot devices, punctuated by the occasional instances of brutal violence, and you end up with literary inertia, which appears to be going somewhere, but it’s not. Just like Fred and Dino.

    The book has an introduction by the author that had been added for the Tiny Tom movie release. The introduction details Lee Child’s life from quitting his day job to how he created Reacher. The introduction was the highlight of this reading experience. Child probably had a lot of ideas bouncing around in his head when he began writing this book. Sadly, he picked the wrong ones. A quote he repeats in the intro is, "Dickens wanted what the audience wanted". Sure, but Dickens was his own man, who didn't pander to his audience's fleeting whims.

    I don’t want to totally dismiss the Reacher series out of hand. The Almighty Stephen King pimps it on the cover of this edition and I’ve read one other Reacher book and it was fairly entertaining. Even though I’ve (over)invested 50 cents in two other volumes, it’ll be awhile before I give my time to another book in this series.

  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    Mar 15, 2013

    The reviews for this one are all over the place. It seems that Jack Reacher is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” protagonists and Lee Child is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” writers. It’s also clear that these books rely heavily on action. In fact, as some reviewers have already mentioned, there is a bit of the

    about Jack Rea

    The reviews for this one are all over the place. It seems that Jack Reacher is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” protagonists and Lee Child is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” writers. It’s also clear that these books rely heavily on action. In fact, as some reviewers have already mentioned, there is a bit of the

    about Jack Reacher. The book

    conceived in the 90s, so perhaps it makes sense.

    So, Reacher. He is huge (yes, literally) and he doesn’t take any crap. As in

    . Expect broken limbs, mashed-in faces, blown-up buildings, and very-dead scumbags, as he sets about solving mysteries. He doesn’t have an alcohol problem, or domestic issues, or any other of the plethora of baggage we have gotten used to in crime fiction. Some argue this makes for a one dimensional character, while others are content to sit back and enjoy the ride. Both these schools of thought have merit, so it’s really the plotting that makes or breaks a book like this.

    I read this on my wife’s recommendation, and I enjoyed it. It’s possibly the literary equivalent of a Cinnamon Bun, not all that much nutrition but high on calories. Thing is: I enjoy a Cinnamon Bun every once in a while. I also happened to enjoy the fact that this particular protagonist doesn’t care two hoots about protocol and consequence. Realistic? Maybe not. Fun? Indeedy.

    Also, bear in mind that Jack Reacher isn’t a detective. Not really. He is ex-Military Police so he has a few skills, mostly in breaking heads to get the information he needs. He also likes to travel…

    As for the plotting: it wasn’t bad at all, in my humble opinion. I enjoyed the mystery, and the unraveling of it, and the big reveal(s), even though I have to admit that there is at least one

    coincidence and a few things that didn’t tie up all

    nicely. May I suggest you read this as an

    romp, rather than a sophisticated thriller?

    The big question here is obviously “will I read the next one?” – hell yes I reckon I will.

    3.5 exploding, um, objects out of 5

  • Supratim
    Jun 02, 2017

    A friend had “very highly” recommended Jack Reacher novels to me a long time back. I had add a few Reacher novels to my TBR but never got around to reading one. A few weeks back, during the Goodreads

    – I saw Killing Floor in the top 100 mystery & thriller novels list. It renewed my interest in the series and luckily I found the book in my library.

    I can sum up the novel in two words:

    The book introduces us to Jack Reacher, formerly of th

    A friend had “very highly” recommended Jack Reacher novels to me a long time back. I had add a few Reacher novels to my TBR but never got around to reading one. A few weeks back, during the Goodreads

    – I saw Killing Floor in the top 100 mystery & thriller novels list. It renewed my interest in the series and luckily I found the book in my library.

    I can sum up the novel in two words:

    The book introduces us to Jack Reacher, formerly of the US Mlitary Police. He has now become a drifter and on a strange whim arrives at a small town in Georgia. A bad time to arrive – he is soon arrested as a murder suspect. So begins the adventure…

    First, a few words about our protagonist – he is the quintessential action hero. Big (or rather huge) & tough – not a man to mess with if you have any brains. But, there is more to him than just brawn. He is quite a detective too – some of his deductions are a bit too farfetched though. There is no rule which states that a huge man can’t have brains but the deductions should have been more logical. The author has tried to portray Reacher as the Rambo-meets-Sherlock Holmes type. Like James Bond he can easily attract women.

    Anyways, something dangerous is afoot in the little town and as the blurbs of thrillers love to say –“the bodies keep piling.” Reacher makes allies in the police force ( he also manages to hit it off with the only female in the force) and is involved in solving the mystery.

    The novel is pretty fast paced and full of action, suspense and excitement. Just imagine a novelization of any action movie. Plenty of fistfights and gunfights – there are hired thugs, dangerous prison gangs, psychotic murderers, FBI agents, a mysterious foundation which literally owns the town etc. to keep you turning the pages.

    I have to say that the solution to the mystery was pretty good.

    Now let’s go the flaws in the book.

    Trust! Trust is a very big thing. People don’t trust strangers that easily. But, in the book the police detective trusted Reacher so easily. He started discussing the case with a man – who was a murder suspect sometime back. Difficult to digest!! Roscoe – the lone lady cop also fell for a stranger just like that!!! At times, Roscoe was also shown as a bit too weak.

    The story was good. I wish the author had executed it better. He did succeed in creating an atmosphere of suspense though.

    This is just an action adventure thriller meant to provide some thrills and excitement. Do not expect anything more out of it. If you like your crime thrillers to be realistic then this book is definitely not for you. However, if you want to enjoy some escapist action then you can give it a try. I myself would like to try out a couple of more books in the series.


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