Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, No. 1)
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Product Description

Ex-MP Jack Reacher goes into action to find his brother's killers, after a series of brutal crimes terrorizes tiny Margrave, Georgia, only to uncover the dark and deadly conspiracy concealed behind the town's peaceful facade. A first novel. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. BOMC Feat Alt.

When Jack Reacher suddenly decides to ask a Greyhound bus driver to let him off near the town of Margrave, Georgia, he thinks it's because his brother once mentioned that the famed blues guitarist Blind Blake died there. But it doesn't take long for the footloose ex-military policeman to discover that there are plenty of strange--and very dangerous--things going on behind Margrave's manicured lawns and clean streets that demand his attention. This first thriller by a former television writer features some of the best-written scenes of action in recent memory, a crash course in currency and counterfeiting, and a hero who is just begging to be called on for an encore.

Customer Reviews:

    Having read the newest of Lee Child's i.e. Bad Luck and Trouble, I decided to begin all over again and get reacquainted with Reacher from the first. Killing Floor is in the first person. You get to hear Jack's every thought and emotion. He is certainly not the most literate of men, but his intentions are honorable.

    After finding out the initial corpse was his brother, Joe (and it hits you between the eyes)Jack gets down to business to solve the Town of Margrave's enigma.

    It is a fun ride. The money laundering scheme is plausible but at the same time preposterous. Hey, it could happen. Lee Childs sometimes goes over the top and you just have to trust in a great ride of an adventure. One of the reasons I read Lee Childs is to find out how Reacher uses his brain and brawn to get out of tense situations. I dont care how he does it; I am on his side!!!!

    As Jack fades into the sunset at the end of the book, your heart goes with him and you want to search out the next installment....more info
  • Amazing
    I have often longed for the perfect action movie, and action novel. Somehow the main characters always feel soft to me and leave me desiring something more. To be honest I want a brutal main character who can be extremely violent, but also isn't a total wimp when a woman comes into the picture. For me Taken is the epitome of my perfect action movie. The Killing Floor is my perfect action novel. I've been hesitant to read Child's series because it's a commitment to read 12 books (although I'll skip Nothing to Lose)...choosing to read around this novel. I enjoyed Eisler's John Rain, but Jack Reacher would break his liberal neck and Child would continue his reign as one of (and for me THE) best fiction writers out there. Good show. HIGHLY recommended....more info
  • Lee Child not as good as I had expected
    Lee Child's Killing Floor has gotten rave reviews as has Child for most of his work within his genre. To be candid, I just don't get it. What the book does have going for it is that it is a "page turner". That hardly makes up for its deficiencies in many other areas.

    Clich¨¦. This book is loaded with clich¨¦ in both plot and dialogue. With a simple red liner, an editor could have taken this from a fair book to a good book by taking out trite dialogue that is eye rolling and mind numbing. Flaws in plot can be overlooked but the numerous times where characters state the utter obvious and "go macho" is a killer to this book. In fact, the only reason I finished it was some general need to find out what the author was going to do with the Stuart Woods type of plot and the fact that it was so highly recommended to me by readers who typically have my taste. Not with old Jack Reacher.

    Character development. Only in its very nascent stages. We don't really know why any of the main characters are who they are, or where they are, save a few explanatory sentences. That hardly creates a sense of intimacy with a cast of characters we are expected to care about for a few hundred pages. The romance that occurs in this book is without real reason, other than time and place (good enough for some I suppose).

    I am glad I finally read Lee Child. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to read him again. Mysteries are supposed to be fun - not make the reader into a critic, which is exactly what Killing Floor did to me. ...more info
  • A Real Thriller

    Contrary to what many reader's believe Lee Child is British, but moved with his family from Cumbria to the United States to begin a new career as an American thriller writer. What probably fools a lot of people is that is rare for a British author to be able to write American thrillers with any kind of authenticity. He has won a number of awards with his books and he lives just outside New York City with his American wife Jane. The couple have a grown-up daughter, Ruth and when Lee is not writing he shares his time between music, reader and supporting the New York Yankees.

    When Jack Reacher hops off a Greyhound bus near the little town of Margrave, he little realises that in a couple of shakes of a rabbits tale, he is going to end up in jail. The ex-military cop is the only stranger in town, so he is the obvious choice of suspect for a murder that has been committed.

    It soon becomes obvious that Reacher is not the murderer, but imagine his surprise when one of the victims turns out to be his brother. This obviously makes it personal for Jack and his investigations soon uncover things below the surface of what appears to be a sleepy little town, but on closer inspection is anything but....more info
  • Killing Floor
    This was my introduction to Lee Child and I was hooked. I have read all his Jack Reacher books except for the latest and can't wait to read that. Lee Child is a terrific story teller who, from all accounts of my friends and relatives, appeals to both men and women alike....more info
  • The Start Of A Long Run?
    A few weeks ago the book "Persuader" by Lee Child was available free for the Kindle so I downloaded it. While reading the description I realized it is number 7 in a series so I downloaded a sample of "Killing Floor" to read because if I liked the series I wanted to start at the beginning. Not only did I like it, I loved it! Lots of great action, interesting plot. I guess now I'll continue on to see if I hang in all the way to "Persuader" and beyond....more info
  • Oops...
    I made a mistake and declared another book to be the first. that review should of been applied to this, the first one....more info
  • A page turner with flaws
    I confess that this book had me interested from page 1, the gimicky short sentances worked for the narration of Jack Reacher, drifter and superhero.

    The story moved action movie fast, (the final battle certainly has John Woo slo-mo gunfight written all over it) and partly that helps distract from the terrible plot holes and contrived meetings and coincidences that drive nearly all the main events. If this had happened in any other town but Margrave, Georgia, Jack Reacher would still be in prison, not starring in further novels.

    As an former military policeman, given training no other MP on earth has ever recieved he wanders into a web of murders and conspiracy just as it starts to unravel, and by sheer blind luck manages to win through.

    Coincidence as primary plot device is seldome satisfactory, but its here in abundance. The good guys make all the right guesses (including the absurd guess of the alias and hotel one character was staying at, just by knowing the characters music tastes...) and the bad guys, despite being ruthless killers make all the wrong ones. Things just "fall into place" a little to readily here.

    Somehow, Reacher, a drifter and primary suspect in the first murder of the book wins over the cheif of Detectives and can get away with killing and stashing bodies all over the place, vigilante style, and the two good cops (one he is sleeping with a scant few hours after they meet) could care less, he's only killing bad guys. He's not deputised or anything, and just because he doesn't have a criminal record they give him a tacit "007 licence to kill" and be involved in every step of the investigation, civil liberties be damned. Of course the number of people who survive to go to trial is...well that would spoil it.

    I am a former Military Policeman with a spotless criminal record, and I am reasonably certain that a double digit body count even in the smallest town in the south, howerver well deserved and motivated, would get me in trouble.

    None of the townspeople on the take EVER call their family and tell them to move to Margrave to get free money? Big crime coverups on this scale never work, and one this blatant certainly would have come apart sooner.

    One or two elements, fine, but when you add it all up and then toss in Jack Reacher as the ONLY person who manages to figure anything out (MP work rarely reaches the level of investigation that the Boston PD Detective would have seen, so his sheer efficiency is a little out of place) the whole thing turns out to be reposterous, but still a lot of fun.

    ...more info
  • Great book!
    This might be the 2nd or 3rd best Reacher novel (but they're all fantastic!). If you've never read any of Child's books, I'd strongly recommend them, this novel in particular....more info
  • The introduction to Jack Reacher
    Lee Child was an author I was waiting to read. When I read the collection of short stories by James Patterson called, "Thriller," Lee Child was an author I wanted to read. His short story, "James Penney's New Identity," merely gave a snap shot of Jack Reacher. "Killing Floor" gives you a nice introduction. Lee Child decides to let Reacher tell his own story.

    You will meet Jack at breakfast, and you will encounter the most unpleasant interruption that he gets from a couple of cops, one named Baker. Immediately he is hauled into the Margrave police station, located in beautiful Margrave, Georgia. He's been arrested for murder, but he didn't murder anybody. Reacher finds out that he has a few friends, as well as a few enemies in this neck of the woods. Jack Reacher is a drifter. He likes the ladies, and one Officer Roscoe likes him as well. An ex-military policeman, Reacher isn't one to be messed around with. So don't mess with him! Or will people really be that stupid?

    This is a good read, with an even better mystery revolving around it. The money is good, but the story is better. It might even have the obvious ending. You might be surprised, who knows. This is a story that shows a lot of promise, and it delivers. It even includes a little bit of sleaze every now and then.

    Well, I've had my introduction. Maybe some other time I'll sit down and get to know Jack Reacher a little bit better. Good work, Lee Child!...more info
  • One Jack is Like Another Jack
    Like many others I heard about Lee Child but never read any of his works. I decided to start at the beginning of the series. In retrospect this is an unbelievable story with too many coincidences to be believed. It just goes to prove that if someone can tell a great story you stay riveted and turn the page. At the end you realize that this could not have happened and that Jack Reacher is a super hero. He can beat up anyone and never needs to sleep. I could not feel myself thinking of another superhero, Jack Bauer.

    All I can advise is to enjoy the story and escape from reality. I will read the whole series but take a break in between each one....more info
  • A pretty good plot.
    This book was highly recommended to me and I found it to be a pretty good read. I liked the plot but the main character was a little bigger than life. If you want a fictional book to be realistic, the plot actually was believable and you start thinking this could happen. However, I felt the main character was disproportionate (superhuman) to reality which takes a little away from the validity of the story overall. That being said, I still would recommend the book. It moves quickly and I had no problem staying very interested as the story unfolds. I could not guess either the plot or outcome so it kept my interest throughout. ...more info
  • a new American Writer of triller for me.
    I read a review of Mr. Child's last book in the New York Times by accident.
    I immediately order the first 5 books from Amazon.
    I have read 3 so far.
    I liked "Killing Floor" enough to read the second one as fast as possible, I am now stuck with the third book.
    I find the use of lurid passages of violence a bit too much.
    the plot is simple, the main caracter is true blue and very two dimentional.
    There are a number of great american and English writers in the genre that i prefer.

    There are no surprises, every action can be expected in advance.
    ...more info
  • Good Debut For A New Anti-Hero
    Jack Reacher is a drifter. Not a vagrant or a fugitive, but a transient by choice. After spending his entire life in the army (his father was military, and Reacher was an elite military policeman) he's decided he wants to live free, literally with just the clothes on his back, some money in his pocket, and a folding toothbrush clipped to his pants. He throws away his clothes when they're dirty, buying new, economical ones to replace them.

    Six months after his discharge, he asks the Greyhound driver to let him out in Margrave, Georgia. It is a spontaneous decision driven by the recollection of a story told to him by his older brother about Blind Blake, a famous blues guitarist who was supposed to have died in the small town. Margrave is the perfect small southern American town - literally. Its lawns are all manicured, the streets are spotless, and its inhabitants live a life of leisure.

    Within hours of his arrival in Margrave Reacher is arrested for a multiple murder. Once his alibi and bona fides are confirmed Reacher is released, at which time he makes the shocking, coincidental discovery that one of the murder victims is his big brother, a US Treasury Agent. As Reacher joins forces with the local cops to investigate, he learns that the bucolic fa?ade of Margrave is just that - a fa?ade. Reacher uncovers a conspiracy that involves most of the authority figures in Margrave, as well as some well-placed outside officials. Reacher is forced to use his considerable bag of tricks to counter the ruthless conspirators and help end the threat to the innocent townspeople.

    I'm not really sure of Reacher as a character yet - he seems to be a borderline immoral, yet just man who is not afraid to use his considerable military skills to accomplish his goals. I'll have to wait to read a few more of Childs' books to see how the character develops.
    ...more info
  • A Thriller novel
    This is the first novel in the Jack Reacher series, but chronologically there is a short story that precedes it in time (see the Thriller collection). Jack Reacher left the Army six months before and has been traveling the country, eking out money he received with his discharge. Events lead him to the small town of Musgrave, Georgia, where he just wants to find some information about a blues musician, Blind Blake, who was said to have died in the town. He walks into a murder investigation, immediately arrested and accused. Strangers in town, expecially a small town, are easy to blame for any misfortune.

    Reacher might have left town again, but when it turns out the victim was his brother, he is drawn into the case. He used to be in the Military Police, specializing in homicides. Reacher is a dangerous man when provoked, having previously dealt with highly trained killers in the military, and guilty parties make the mistake of trying to take him out.

    Bodies accumulate as the bad guys kill people, and Reacher adds to the body count. There are some gruesome murders. The nature of crimes in the town, and guilty parties, gradually becomes evident. But there are some twists and some surprises. To say there is a blazing finish is an understatement. As in later novels in the series, Reacher finds it is best to be an old soldier and fade away.

    I would rate the novel, at best, PG13 leaning towards adult only. You will learn a little along the way about economics and money supply, and why other countries are a step ahead of the US with their paper currency....more info
  • Jack Reacher No 1
    My first Jack Reacher encounter!
    Absolutely loved the beginning of the book - one of the most intriguing and mysterious and amusing starts to a book in a long time. Then things got real complicated real fast.
    Lee Child handles the mystery and pace just perfectly - it is not a book you put down easily, because you want to read just one more page.
    Putting in some romance and some interesting characters like the old time barbers is a great touch.
    Be warned - it is definitely violent.
    But if you like your main man to be street wise and strong, to get things done, but to have a vulnerable side, then this is for you....more info
  • As usual for Lee Child...
    One of the very best one in the Jack reacher saga...

    action packed, suspens, Reacher at his best......more info
  • Great debut that falls short with the romance...
    I was recommended this book by a friend and I picked it up on a whim. I expected a nice mystery and good way to spend my Christmas break. I read into 70 pages and I wasn't bored (some other reviewers claim the first 100 pages or so are dull). I kept reading and then new plot events occur that shoot the story into a new direction. You meet great characters and even have that "thing" inside your mind that automatically knows how to picture the characters and hear how they talk.

    The setting is very small and I had a little trouble imagining the actual size of Margrave, Georgia. It says it's 14 miles long, but the way he describes Jack walking from the suburbs to the police department in ten minutes (the suburbs and police department are on opposite ends of the town), I was a little stumped. Maybe I missed something, I dunno.

    I'm not going to go in the plot, look to the summary below the book price and figure it out there. If I restate it here, it'll just be filler. Basically, Jack meets Roscoe, this girl who works at the police department. They become romantically involved, almost so much that I really did not care for most of their scenes and ended up in me resenting her. I'm not a fan of romance however, so my opinion might be biased.

    The small town is going to be naturally small in population, but good lord does Mr. Child give such a chilling feeling to the town. He continually adds that the town is deserted on Main Street and no one is outside. You literally feel you are the only in the town aside from the characters that are involved in the story. This may be a good or bad thing for some people, but take it as it is.

    That's all I can say right now. I enjoyed the book from its start to its epic final showdown. Also, look out for this little word Mr. Child seems to use fanatically: "shrugged". I read a review stating this and it seems it is true. The word is used nearly obsessively and if you nitpick at it like I did, you could really get frustrated. Hopefully you aren't the type of person like I am that gets sidetracked from the story by disbelief of the word being seen, again!

    Pick up the book; it's a great start to a series and only gets better from here on out....more info
  • Not a bad series
    This book is pretty good. I was a little worried about reading this type, because it was a little bit out of my league of choices. But once I started reading it, it got better and better. Reacher does appear realistic, even though some of the military stuff isn't exactly on point. I like the way Child makes his character think. Child told me he was concerned about me reading this because some of the graphic violence in it (he knows I like the cozy), but it surprised me by being less than gross than what I feared. This is a book worth reading, and as the series goes on, you can see Reacher change his manner, if not his attitude about people....more info
  • Overly flaws
    The book's scam was really good. The problem was that you'll have to trawl it away from more than 400 pages.

    The way Jack found Hubble was overly far-fetched. I mean the way he explained to him why he thought he was in that specific city, in that specific hotel with that specific name.

    The love story was pathetic. A female officer just smitten with the supposedly killer.

    The 20 years' veteran cop that does not know what to do with a phone number just because is a cell.

    And I can keep writing on and on....more info
  • Did not care for sentence structure
    I liked the book well enough but I was not comfortable with the sentence structure. The story was good and the characters were interesting. But I can't say if I would buy another book because of the too short sentences just don't sound right...more info
  • Great debut novel introducing a hero for the ages
    Killing Floor was Lee Child's first book featuring ex-military cop and all-around hero Jack Reacher. Published in 1997, Child's debut novel (and especially his rugged-individualist protagonist) struck a nerve with audiences in the U.S. and in his native England and established him as a new force to be reckoned with in the emerging thriller genre. Even a decade later, anyone reading this book will immediately see why.

    Jack Reacher is the consummate thriller hero. He's the ultimate man's man--unflinchingly brave, an unapologetic warrior for justice, street-smart, handsome, and huge (six-five)--and with just enough of a soft, sensitive side to capture any woman's heart. He's John Wayne meets Jack Bauer meets Dirty Harry, a literary hero whose exploits and adventures (and misadventures) are just plain fun to read about.

    And the hero is far from the only thing to enjoy about Lee Child's writing. From its opening line ("I was arrested in Eno's diner"), Killing Floor is engaging and intriguing. The first-person narrative with short sentences and a strictly linear plot make for fast, enjoyable reading, and the setting (small-town Georgia) seems familiar enough to put the reader right into the action. In some ways the novel is a formula book (the lone gunman rides into town, identifies injustice, defeats it, gets the girl, and rides off into the sunset), but the writing is good enough that it doesn't matter. Child allows the suspense to build throughout the story and provides a real sense of small-town community, politics, and corruption.

    The story opens with Jack Reacher's arrest in Margrave, Georgia, for a crime he knows he didn't commit. Right away the reader is treated to Child's evident research as Reacher silently critiques the arresting officers' mistakes in apprehending a man they believe to be a murderer. As the local authorities rush to put together the pieces of what happened outside of town, Reacher must clear his name and then track down the real criminals. Along the way, he teams up with a veteran detective and a beautiful female police officer to apprehend a villain who turns out to be much closer than anyone could have predicted.

    Killing Floor is exceptionally entertaining, and though it does contain some fairly graphic descriptions of brutal violence (the cover art is a bloody handprint) and a few rather modest sex scenes, there is hardly any foul language, and the overall worldview is one of good over evil and justice for all. It is without question an "R-rated" book, but it's more like Die Hard than Quentin Tarantino. There's no spiritual content to speak of, but the underlying morality of the central characters could present opportunities for discussion. Highly recommended for readers who can enjoy a thriller with a conscience, set in a purely secular world....more info
  • killing floor
    It didn't matter that I read Killing floor last instead of first. It was still a very good book and a nice intro to Jack Reacher, this is another series that I really like and have collected. Jack Reacher is unique and fun, it's nice to follow someone that you really don't know from one book to the next where he will be, that is some of the appeal of Reacher, you just never know, a man without a home base, there's no telling where he'll wind up, or what kind of messes he'll end up in....more info
  • An excellent read !
    I really enjoy Lee Child's style of writing. This book takes you on a few twists and turns and ties everything back together again in the end. I believe this book is out print now, so if you have a chance to buy a copy, get it. ...more info
  • Classic Child, Vintage Reacher
    I've been a big Lee Child fan, but if you're like me, following a few recent outings ranging from the mediocre ("Bad Luck and Trouble") to the abysmal ("Nothing to Lose"), you may be asking: "Is Child losing his edge, or have my standards changed that much?" So to find out, I went back and re-read Child's first Jack Reacher carnival of violence, "Killing Floor", originally published in 1997. My conclusion: it is Child who has changed: "Killing Floor", even when read the second time, is an adrenaline-charged escapist romp of mayhem balanced with suspense and mystery, a larger-than-life drama that while wholly unbelievable is nonetheless addictive and enjoyable.

    With homage due to David Morrell's contemporary classic "First Blood", Jack Reacher, former Army MP Major and current drifter, is arrested over a cup of coffee while passing through backwater Margrave, Georgia. Triggering unavoidable images of Stallone's Rambo, Reacher is accused of murder, and hauled in by the local sheriff's deputies on way to the state penitentiary's holding cells for the weekend. His incarceration is brief but hardly uneventful, and soon Reacher finds real motivation to stick around and help solve the murder for which he was originally charged.

    Reacher's stoic loaner is the classic American icon - conjuring images from the Marlborough Man to Batman to the adventurous nomads who rode the rails without strings or responsibilities. With Rambo's command of martial arts and weaponry of all kinds and Sherlock Holmes-class power of deductive reasoning, Reacher thinks and slugs and gouges and shoots his way to resolution and redemption. Child sets his story and his hero well above the fray with lean and crisp prose, embellished but not unencumbered by liberal doses on fact and trivia on wide ranges of topics, Child's research adding authenticity and credibility to a tale of greed and corruption the would otherwise be tired fare.

    In short, if you don't think too hard about coincidence and implausibility, "Killing Floor" is the literary equivalent of eye candy - a boisterous, no-holds-barred thriller that stands alone in pop crime fiction. Leads one to wonder if Lee Child shouldn't go back and get reacquainted with the original Jack Reacher as well.
    ...more info