The sleepy, forgotten town hasn't seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses events that leave everyone stunned. An unidentified man is found beaten and shot to death on a lonely country road. The police chief and his wife are butchered on a quiet Sunday morning. Then a bank executive disappears from his home, leaving his keys on the table and his wife frozen with fear.
The easiest suspect is Jack Reacher - an outsider, a man just passing through. But Reacher is not just any drifter. He is a tough ex-military policeman, trained to think fast and act faster. He has lived with and hunted the worst: the hard men of the American military gone bad.
Don't miss any of Jack Reacher's adventures.
©2004 Lee Child; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio
No Plot Spoilers.
This is my first foray into this genre- normally I'm into unusual sci-fi or horror, but at the urging of my law partner I jumped in. I thought this was a good listen. As another reviewer noted, there are numerous mild to medium plot gaps. That being said, I'm not listening to analyze how realistic or plausible the author can make the plot line (within reason, of course), but rather to be entertained. This book is the equivalent of a pretty good TV season or a movie- it's not high literature, it's a half step above pulp fiction. Which isn't an attack, but rather a statement of truth.
It's also the first book in a series. In my experience, authors get better as they write more and get to know their character(s) better. Personalities become deeper and more nuanced. I thought the plot line itself, as an overall arch, was pretty good. Much better in the first and second acts than in the reveal. It was... well, obvious past a certain point (well before the intended 'ah ha' moment).
One thing to keep in mind when listening, which some readers may either ignore or forget- this book was written twenty some odd years ago. There are a few perceived plot holes that actually fit with the lack of *immediate* communication that was present at the time. Cell phones were still an extreme rarity and the internet was... well, certainly not widespread.
Worth the time. Entertaining, if implausible at times. Semi predictable. I will be listening to the next installment once I work my way through a few other suggested titles in this genre.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
This book is pure escapism with a protagonist that is bigger than life. Part avenger, part vigilante, part superhero, Jack Reacher is confident that he will prevail no matter who the opponent. He comes up against some pretty evil characters, most of whom underestimate the calibre of their opponent. It's good (well mostly good) against evil and there is usually little doubt as to who will prevail. Never mind that the storyline is fairly preposterous; the action and flow, coupled with some twists and turns made for good entertainment. Author Lee Child took some liberties with his research, for example his re-creation of the layout of Atlanta's airport and his ignoring of the truck inspection facilities on the Georgia/Florida border. But he made up for it with a compelling narrative and descriptive (but not overly so) language. Dick Hill did a good job with the narration and I'd listen to other books he's done without hesitation. This type book should probably max out at four stars and I'm glad to award them. If you're turned off by violence and evil characters, shop elsewhere. Otherwise this book is well worth a listen.
"Killing Floor" begins with an intriguing, attention grabbing opening. Unfortunately, if you're a logical analytical reader (my downfall), this book has so many frustrating plot gaps and reality disconnects that you'll either have to put part of your brain on a shelf, or be annoyed with both Lee Childs and his editor. If you're disturbed by multiple, one in a million coincidences, and utterly unrealistic individual and institutional behavior "Killing Floor" will frustrate you. A couple examples (not plot revealers) a government agent is killed in the line of duty, and no one shows up to investigate; bodies are hidden in a car in airport long term parking and supposedly won't be found for weeks--in a very warm climate (decomposition maybe??); the main character causes serious mayhem, with multiple witnesses, while driving a Bentley, and is apparently never sought by the police and later drives (still in the Bentley) by the scene, which is surrounded by police, and no one raises an eyebrow.
This may sound trivial, but this book is a never ending series of implausabilities that gets irksome.
This said, I found Jack Reacher to be a compelling character, and I'm hoping that the series will improve, so I'll be listening to another one.
I started listening to Lee Child when I exhausted the Patterson Alex Cross series. I started with some of the more recently released titles and then went back to the beginning - Killing Floor. What an awesome, suspense filled delight. Lee Child started his Jack Reacher series with a winner.
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
I was only dimly aware of Lee Child's books starring Jack Reacher and had never been tempted by what sounded like a superviolent macho fantasy series. But the blurb on the library CD of "Gone Tomorrow" intrigued me, and that book's opening scene of -- a tense, suspenseful, wonderfully written series of events on a New York subway -- pulled me in and the rest of the story didn't let me down.
So I downloaded "Killing Floor," the first book in this series (which is indeed often superviolent and has a lot of macho fantasy elements). I was disappointed by the cliched opening sequences (corrupt Southern law enforcers trying to make a fall guy of our hero, seemingly a drifter and probably a Yankee) and a plot driven by far too many coincidences.
I persevered with several other Reacher books and really enjoyed "Persuader," "One Shot," and "Bad Luck and Trouble." Then I listened to "The Affair," a very good recent Reacher novel that's a flashback, an immediate prequel that makes some of "Killing Floor's" coincidences fall into place. After listening to Killing Floor a second time, I added a star to my rating, though it's not the best of Reacher.
If you're new to this series, my suggestion is to start with one or two of the more recent entries (although probably not the most recent one, "Worth Dying For," which has gotten terrible reviews from Audible listeners I trust, and probably not "Nothing to Lose," which I couldn't get even halfway through). If you enjoy those, you can "begin at the beginning," as Jack says in "The Affair."
These books have a very high level of violence, including graphic descriptions of torture. Reacher kills people with impunity--mostly really bad people, but some only moderately bad people and a few innocent bystanders. He always seems to find a beautiful female law enforcement official to ... entrance with his manliness. He walks away into the sunset leaving behind a trail of dead bodies and broken hearts. That should add up to nothing more than stupid macho fantasy, but I am neither stupid nor macho, and for some reason I find these books engrossing. Maybe it's the fantasy.
Just when I was starting to think I had run out good books to listen to, I disocvered Lee Child.
Though the main character is a bit rough around the edges, that's part of his charm & what makes this book a good one.
Its certainly not for the faint of heart but if you enjoy a twisting plot with some interesting character development then this is well worth the listen.
I am looking forward to the rest of the them.
The mark of a good first book in a series is to get you to continue to follow it. I started with this one and have downloaded two more since in short time and will probably continue on. To quickly sum things up, Jack Reacher is a tough, no-nonsense, ex-military guy who seems often to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He's the kind of man women want and the kind of man men want to be. One knock on Reacher from this book and the others so far, is how he always seems to be the only person smart enough to figure things out. The Harvard-educated policeman in this story seemed to stumble left and right, and needed Reacher's guidance to figure it out. That said, I think that's also a huge part of his appeal. It's nice sometimes to drift away into a world where you can pretend you're Reacher (if you are a guy or that you know a guy like that if you are a woman), and you use both brains and braun to deflect anything that comes your way. How great would it be to go through life like that? So if that type of escapism is calling out to you, let Reacher answer it.
This is a good listen if you are into mysteries and thrillers. A fast paced book with a lot of plot twists and a tough guy hero.
This is a greaat read. Great tough-guy character, Jack Reacher at his best. Ramps up about a third of the way into the book and ties together beautifully at the end. During the last 3 hours I was late to work on two occasions sitting in my car listening for the outcome of various predicaments.
I like these books. I like their allusions to cultural heros, old music, and literature. I like the way Childs weaves those things into his plot. There are phrases that I **know** he lifted from old rock songs.. .I hear them all the time in his books, but can't think of any one now except, "walked on down the hall," but there are many. Among the Child/Reacher novels, this is quite good. Yes, it's a bit of a stretch to accept the coincidences, but so what? It's fun, it's harmless and, as always, we get a lot of education -- geography, history, psychology and always specific information about an important and interesting subject -- this one being... well, you know.. can't spoil it here. But from this book I learned more about the economy and about printing processes and qualities of paper than I ever thought I'd need to know. All good stuff. All worth listening to.
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