«Killing Floor» by Lee Child is the first volume of the still-growing-currently 23 volume series, revolving around the ex-MP Major Jack Reacher. Now, it was not the first book I read in the Jack Reacher-Series. In fact, I started with “Night School” one of Lee Childs newer books and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to start reading the whole series. Naturally I wanted to start with volume one, which is “Killing Floor”. In it, Jack Reacher hops off a Bus in the middle of nowhere and is soon after arrested with a charge of murder. But once he learns who the dead man is, everything changes.
I quite liked this book and I think it is a great start to the series. Filled with thrilling action and quite brutal and detailed fight scenes, Jack Reacher Killing Floor” is a great crime thriller that I can recommend to anyone who particularly enjoys this genre
I'd rate this book an 8/10. I think that's a fair review. I enjoyed reading the book and I read it quite quickly. With detailed action sequences and the first-person narrative it makes for a thrilling adventure.
Lee Child is an alias for the british author James Grant, who is particularly known for his Jack Reacher novels. He was born on the 29th of October 1954 in Coventry, England.
Date of release: March 1997
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As I already mentioned, this book was not the first book I read from the Jack Reacher series. I first read “Night School”, which I stumbled upon in a book store. Since I really enjoyed that one, I decided to give the whole series a go and ordered four Jack Reacher books. Namely, “Killing Floor, “Die Trying”, “Make Me” and “The Midnight Line”, which are volumes 1, 2, 20 and 22, respectively.
So, I started reading and was quite surprised. While “Night School” was written in third person, “Killing Floor” made use of a first-person narrative. I absolutely loved this, as it allowed me to identify even more with Jack Reacher, even though I was quite sceptical at first, because I did not know what to expect.
Now, I should mention that I do not remember too many details about the book, as I read it a few months ago. Still, I will try to do my best to give you an honest review of Lee Child’s “Killing Floor”.
The beginning is not, as you would expect it, with the first volume of a series. The action starts pretty much straight away, with Reacher telling us how he was arrested and put in a cell. Then not much happens till he and Hubble are brought to prison and intentionally put in the wrong cell on the wrong floor to get them killed.
At this point, I would like to talk about fight scenes in this book and in all the Jack Reacher novels, for that matter. First, I like them. They are very detailed, and you can follow Reacher’s every step – particularly if the fight is being writing in first-person. And these fights are brutal. As an ex-MP Reacher know exactly how to fight and where to hit, which makes the books even more enjoyable when Reacher fights against, like in this instance, against multiple members of the Aryan Brotherhood. It always made me smile to see how well he knows to fight and you actually see the confidence as it slowly leaves his opponents when they realize that they cannot beat him.
Now let’s talk about descriptions in general. Lee Child describes the scenery always very well – for me almost too well. Hear me out here! Since English is not my mother tongue, I sometimes find it hard to follow all of Lee Child’s descriptions. This then leads to me making my own scenery based on what I did understand and because this is not always correct, I then get confused because he describes something that is not supposed to be there – at least according to my image of what’s going on. In this book, I did not find it that bad. The book where I had way more struggle was “Die Trying”, where I felt like I almost had a completely wrong picture of the environment.
Back to “Killing Floor”, where you as the reader, grow more and more suspicious of all the other people. As it became clear that some cops are crooked, I myself started to suspect Finlay for quite some time. I think this was very cleverly written by Lee Child.
My favourite scene was when Reacher and Finlay were taken hostage by Kliner, Picard and Mayor Teale and they threatened to rape and kill Roscoe, with whom Reacher has spent a few lovely nights. In his mind the tells us how this was the fatal mistake that Kliner made. By doing this he made Reacher want to kill him, which he compared to Kliner jumping out of a window. He was falling but hasn’t hit the ground yet. And I found this scene so powerful and it put a huge grin on my face because I knew that Reacher would do it.
I smiled at him. Kliner was a dead man. He was as dead as a man who has just jumped off a high building- He hadn’t hit the ground yet. But he’d jumped.
In the end, we learn that the whole thing was about fake money and that Joe (Reacher’s older brother) was investigating that, which is fine. It is an appropriate ending to this book. It answers the remaining questions and it is generally an ending that will be the same in all Jack Reacher books I’ve read so far. I liked it because it just ends so abruptly. And it has to, because it wouldn’t make much sense otherwise. The case is solved, every bad guy is dead, and Reacher knows that he has no future with Roscoe. So, what else is there to do?
As a final note, what I would love to see is some characters like for example Roscoe make a come-back in some future volumes. Now, I haven’t read them all – yet. And maybe that happens in one of the remaining novels.
So, to sum this up, “Jack Reacher – Killing Floor” is a great action thriller that is a good start to the series. However, since the books are only loosely connected you do not have to start with this one.