Killing Floor is the first book in the internationally popular Jack Reacher series. It presents Reacher for the first time, as the tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode: a righter of wrongs, the perfect action hero.
Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia. An arbitrary decision he's about to regret. Reacher is the only stranger in town on the day they have had their first homicide in 30 years.
The cops arrest Reacher and the police chief turns eyewitness to place him at the scene. As nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall.
©1997 Lee Child (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Random House Audiobooks 2013
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"Started off well but a struggle to finish"
No, i would rather i had not bothered with this particular book. The actions of Jack Reacher as the story progressed seemed more and more unbeleveable. I completely disengaged with the main character.
Make a more like able main character.
Not for this story line as its all wrapped up by the end.
The narration was excellent, can't fault it at all. I just can't see the appeal of Jack Reacher as a character, i was very bored towards the end of the book it just seemed like one cliche after another. Also Reacher to a large degree seems no better than the people he went up against.
"An entertaining listen"
Would listen again because there were character clues early on that I didn't really pick up on on the first listen. Some seeming peripheral characters were more important than it initially seemed.
The story was sufficiently complex and unexpected to hold my interest, without being too hard to follow. As the story unfolded I became increasingly reluctant to stop listening - always a good sign, though not necessarily compatible with family life:-)
Jack is the main character and so has to be my favourite, but Dick's acting skills were well applied to the different characters so you always knew who was 'speaking'. Was particularly impressed with his interpretation of female voices which sounded feminine without being squeaky or forced.
Really felt the horror of the scene when the bodies were found mutilated - even though an advance description had been supplied. Perhaps it was the empathy with the feelings and reactions of the other characters.
Will be looking to listen to more of these!
Yes. As with any book I am sure I have missed bits.
Sorry nothing to compare with, the book, the narration & the character are unique.
Th e Jack Reacher character. This is the second JR book I have listened to and I am sure will not be the last. having listened to The Affair & thoroughly enjoyed Jeff Harding narration I was a little nervous that Dick Hill would not be as good as the narrator is important with audible books however he was brilliant!
The end however I understood without this end there would not be other JR books.
Can't wait to start book 3. My 2 hour travel time to & from work is no longer a chore.
Love the characters, especially Reacher. The plot is compelling as are all of the Reacher stories I have listened to so far. The narration is excellent, lends a lot to the building of the characters. Fantastic way to escape from the real world for a while. I will be listening to more of these stories.
Good book, very much enjoyed it! There could have been less 'he said' and 'she said'. It's not needed in audio format and becomes annoying.
"Loved the narration"
This is the first book and my first experience of Lee Child and Javk Reacher.
Because of Dick Hill's performance, I thoroughly enjoyed it. He plays a range of characters brilliantly - it was more like listening to a play than a book being read.
Liked the clever premise of the story.
A really good listen.
"gripping story expertly performed"
compelling page turner enhanced by a fine performance keeps you enthralled and entertained to the end
""I have to be somewhere""
In its own terms, it's a quite an achievement.
Reacher, the narrator.
There are already 20 or more.
I read “A Wanted Man” (2012) three summers ago and, before that a couple of other Jack Reacher novels: enough to appreciate that Lee Child’s series about a tough loner mopping up trouble across the USA is a cultural phenomenon. It was revealing, then, to read the first Reacher, “Killing Floor” (1997), though I probably won’t read any more.
So much of the formula was in place right from the start, even before Reacher states his name for the first time, but “Killing Floor” also shows how skilfully Child refined the concept in later novels. Right from the outset, Reacher gets pleasure from or finds reassurance in or feels the need to fill up empty time by relating the minute details (to himself, as narrator, and to us as readers) of anything, it turns out: from the rudimentary furniture of a lock-up, through off- and on-ramps of a highway (“the cloverleaf”, which features regularly in later novels) to grammar (hooray for the villains’ use of the apostrophe!) to the geography of Margrave, the nondescript small town in Georgia where Reacher pitches up one day after an overnight bus-ride. He is a loner, from the first novel, and very self-reliant, though, here, Child (a British author) knowledgeable draws on an American tradition dating back through the urban and, earlier, wilderness past and writers from Emerson (“Self Reliance” was published in 1841) and Whitman (“Song of Myself”, 1855) through Melville, Twain, dime-novel writers, and on through Hemingway (especially a “Clean Well-Lighted Place”, 1933) to the beats (Kerouac’s “On the Road”, 1957) and tough-guy detectives in the twentieth-century. Reacher is, though, more forthcoming and even emotional about his past than in later books, not simply, I think, because this is the introductory novel in what has turned out to be a very long series, but because Lee Child learns, later, both to provide a backstory in passing rather than in a statement and to maximise the mythic dimension of his hero. Whereas the early Jack Reacher rather endearingly explains to the local police officers who arrest him for murder that "I have to be somewhere", we know, as the series gets more confident, still that Reacher (like the Clint Eastwood character) has to be exactly where there is a conspiracy or some craziness going on and where the law can’t or won’t fix the problem. In later novels, more than here, where he is temporarily vulnerable and even involved, in spite of his protestations to the contrary, part of our pleasure is in knowing that however awful the conspiracy or craziness, Reacher will win through.
Reacher gets off at Margrave, which is an unscheduled stop on a cross-country bus. It’s a "no account place" but is wonderfully described during the novel, to the extent that we know its geography and its ordinary strangeness intimately by the time of the climax. He takes a walking tour of a small town that is just too perfect, too deserted, even for a Sunday. "The most immaculate town I'd ever seen", with echoes of Norman Rockwell and an image of how one might recreate how American should be. The barber’s shop is a treat. The geography expands to include a high-security prison outside town and the freeway, which, following the 1956 Highway Act that changed the geography and the look of the US, and, in this novel, by-passed Margarve, while leaving it precisely placed to host the sinister Kline Foundation. Although Reacher has to make excursions, even as far as New York City, during the course of the novel, it is Child’s ability to make the dreariness of the local and the everyday quite fascinating that is, I think, his greatest achievement.
"Get it now"
Brilliant story. I listen to loads of books but this was different it was .... gripping, I even drove round the block to finish it off after a 4 hour drive. wonderful.
Really enjoyable fast paced book, excellent characters and sinister bad guys, the narrator has an amazing voice and keeps you on the edge of your seat, I couldn't stop listening to this book and would highly recommend. its so good I've just bought the second one.
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