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
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
I saw the Tom Cruise film and, to my surprise, enjoyed Jack Reacher as a character. This drove me online and, again to my suprise, I discovered there were numerous novels (18 to date and a novella due out in August 2013) written by Lee Childs, that the movie is based on one of the middle ones (One Shot) and that the devoted fan following were up in arms at the casting of Cruise in the principal role and the selection of One Shot as the first movie. Now my interest was truly sparked, so I searched out this title, the first chrologically in the series (although there are a number of prequels).
I can now understand the fans concern (although I thought Cruise did a good job in the film). Reacher is meant to be 6' 4" in the old terms, 200 lbs plus. This ain't Cruise! Also, Reacher's ethics are personal, not communal. He has no compunction shooting someone in the back or giving someone a count of 2 when he's promised a count of 3. He is happy to be prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. He has no false morality and such morality as he does have is more vigilante than Virgil. For all that he remained an interesting study, although I kept thinking of the part in the film where Cruise throws away the gun and dukes it out with the shooter. I don't know if that's in One Shot", but it just isn't the Reacher of this title. He'd've just shot him. Dead and done.
I found the plot interesting but a lot of the violence gratutious. The love interest (Roscal, I'm not sure of the spelling, but that's what it sounds like) was a bit two dimensional, too. I like the Finlay character (a black, Harvard Grad' cop coming off a dodgey marriage). Dick Hill did him a bit like the Judge Little character in Presumed Innocent (the film), which was a bit stereo-typical. The villian was completely unredeeming, too. As for the text, it is a bit Raymond Chandler/Marlowe like, in the first person, throuch Reachers eyes andchock full of similes - "his mind was scrambling around like kittens in a sack"; "like a puppett with the strings cut". I quite liked that, although it is hard to take when Reacher is violent (which is often) because it makes you accomplice to his justification (normally, "you started this" or "the end justifies the means").
As for Dick Hill's performance, his characters were distinct and real enough. I have mentioned Finlay, already. Reacher was a bit Bogart in "The Maltese Falcon" (perpetuating the Marlowe theme) and Roscal, Southern Belle. These were fine, but don't rise above what you'd expect from such an accomplished narrator.
All up, a good holiday read. I don't think I'll be reading any more of these except in that vein. However, in that highly popular genre, it's as good as many other serialised anti-hero thriller. Not Harry Hole (by Jo Nesbo) or Chandler for that matter, but better than many others.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
I'm obviously late discovering Jack Reacher, brought to him by the publicity around Cruise's movie (although only the weirdness of Hollywood would cast 5' 7'' Cruise to play 6' 5'' Reacher).
I listened to "Killing Floor" flying across the Atlantic and back. It was the perfect airplane read: fast pace, ingenious plot, lots of action and simple, clear prose.
But what sets the book apart is the Jack Reacher's "voice". He's more than an action hero. He has a world view all of his own and more than a few flaws. I'm not at all surprised to find that he spawned a long series of best selling books. I'm not sure I like him but I find him believable. more than a little scary and yet, somehow, also quite vulnerable. He's a man who has made himself a loner, detached from most emotions other than anger. willing to kill evil-doers without a second thought and yet driven to do what he thinks is the right thing in a charmingly old-fashioned way. He's a sort of anti-hero with a code of honor.
This is not the deepest of books but it delivers what it promises on every page.
If you're in the mood to escape into a world where a calm-but-deadly loner reluctantly but bravely takes the fight to the bad guys, this one is for you. But be warned, the violence is graphic, imaginative, convincing, memorable and frequent.
Say something about yourself!
I enjoyed the book but found the dialogue often seemed awkward. For example, almost every sentence ended in "right". Overall, a good book and worth a credit.
Fanatical Endurance Athlete, who listens to a lot of books while training.
I think DIck Captured Jack Reacher perfectly.
This book was a two sitting book for me. Mainly cause I can't sit still for the time required for the book.
I think most of us would like to fall off the radar like Jack Reacher. I think that alone is a great attraction to the book.
I am an artist, living in Cairns, Queensland, Australia right next to the Great Barrier Reef. I listen to audiobooks everyday while making art and on into the night. I really like mysteries with a good serving of suspense on the side that keep you wondering right to the end. However, I won't say no to any entertaining and well written book which has been read by an excellent narrator.
silly question; I don't read.
Jack, a compelling character with wit, intelligence and an interesting past.
Dick Hill brings Jack Reacher to life. I could not imagine anyone else performing Jack Reacher.
all the above, albeit mildly.
Exciting plot, exciting character and the story moved along nicely and was nicely unpredictable for a change. I have held back on reading this series, and I know not why. I think I had a feeling it was about spies and international intrigue, which I'm not much of a fan of and associate this sort of reading as 'boys.' If you haven't tried a Reacher before either, perhaps it's time for you too.
Truly a character that catches your imagination and leaves you wondering about his past and wanting to hear more.
The voices were imaginative and well portrayed. definitely a new favorite.
Laugh a little and feel a bit sad at times, but mostly excited.
Well worth a listen.
I like the way Reacher thinks outside the box and picks up details that are sought of given in the story but missed by the reader.
The jail cell scene. That could have been blown out to a huge fight scene that wouldn't suit the character, but instead a simple head butt solved the problem.
It was good. I could get the sense of the different characters and it helps when you have a Narrator who uses different tones for different characters. It is a bit anoying though how the book is written to include "Reacher Said" after everything. makes it more of a teenagers read.
It Was a Peaceful Town
Good listen, a bit slow at the start but picks up pace later on. The detail given can some times be annoying as it makes you want to some times say "Get a Move on" but it suits the character. I am used to Vince Flynn and Mathew Reilly novels which have a break neck pace and keep it constant all throughout the novel. Jack reacher isn't a bad book to listen to while driving but at times can be slow. I have only listened to Two books so far and will properly buy a few more but I don't know if I will go the whole Series.
Don't Piss-off Reacher
Jack was awesome but great attention was played to each character and I know that I am going to enjoy following this series.
His voice is amazing and kept me engaged at all times. My morning walks went from 1hr to 2hrs during this book.
I was never much of a reader till recently and its books like this that really make me wish had started earlier.
An enjoyable action filled book. It held my attention from start to finish.
The narration was clear and nicely paced and added to the story.
I highly recommend this for action book lovers
"In the beginning"
Having read books from the middle of the series, I've now gone back to the start to see where it all began.
The logical and capable Reacher never fails to keep you turning the pages. I have a clear image of him in my head from the books, and have no intention of seeing the film(s).
I have recommended this series of books to friends and family.
This is up there with the best
The prison recollection about the glasses
I haven't listen to any more but I certainly will in future has a great voice that you don't tire of
All of the book was riveting
Entertaining, easy, superb. Reading this book with no expectations I was delighted with way the author grabs and holds my attention. I couldn't wait to listen to the next chapter.
Sebastian faults and Duncan Faulkner have similar styles.
Strong clear dominating voice
Out of one come many......
A great read, looking forward to book 2
"A Gripping Crime Thriller"
Dick Hill really entered into the character of Jack Reacher and made you feel you were really inside his head as the story developed.
The constant twists and turns of the plot as the story developed and the crescendo of jeopardy which Jack Reacher seemed to find himself in but was able to overcome in the end.
His dramatic characterisation of the different characters was brilliant, they each had a distinctive voice.
This is the first Jack Reacher story I have read / listened to and I was completely engrossed in it from start to finish.
"What an introduction to a astonishing protagonist!"
Having read several Jack Reacher novels over the years, I've decided to go back to the beginning.
A very wise decision.
"Switch off and enjoy."
In light of Hollywood's capture of the rights to convert Lee Child's novels into their usual converted fluff, I decided to see what the fuss was about.
Now, I'd never even read a crime/thriller novel before, but I found this to be fun and engaging and the narrator's effort shone through also. The sole concentration on the protagonist is thorough and in depth and you feel as though you really are walking in Reacher's shoes.
It's a great little bit of relaxation with some tense and explosive moments and rarely deals with extravagant contrivances because it does in actual fact seem void of them.
So switch off, enjoy and use your new six foot five body and military mind to cause havoc to the Crims down in Margrave.
"Pretty good first outing for Jack Reacher"
Mainstream action books in the line of Andy McNab are not really my thing. I prefer my thrillers with a little more thought, and my intruigue with a little more... well... intruigue.
The Killing Floor has just enough subtly of plot to keep the interest going, but is sufficiently well written that when you work out what is going on and where the story is heading you are invested enough to read the second half. The passages in which Reacher internally analyses the finest detail of a situation in sizing up what to do are well written and you find yourself doing the same.
A great performance is one that you don't notice until you focus on it. This one is very good. Easy on the ear, and perfectly suited to its task. Dick Hill's performance adds significantly to the enjoyment and brings a reasonably average book up a division.
All in all a decent offering that passes the time on a long journey. It is entertainment without stretching the mind. There is no killer twist, but the delivery is engaging enough to make this worth a listen.
This is the first audio book I have listened to by Lee Child. Didn't know what to expect . Really enjoyed it. The first Jack Reacher book, I think and you find out a bit about his life and where he came from etc.
Great plot that gets you hooked quickly. Fast paced too. Well worth an ear.
"modern politics in disguise of a thriller."
The audio book allows your imagination uninterrupted access to the geography &characters of this story.
The way new villains are uncovered right to the end.
The way he conveyed the atmosphere.
Are you sure who is your friend.
"Killing Time in Classic Fashion"
These early Reacher novels feel like “classics” to me. When I first picked up on the idea of audiobooks for long car journeys this was one of the first set of CDs I juggled into my player. I always loved the honest but brutal moral code Reacher had, the simple, direct writing style and the well-paced plots that these books deliver. The crunchy gravel of the narration style as exemplified by Dick Hill in this one fits so perfectly with the characters and style of the books. They are straightforward entertainment.
It was also fascinating to re-visit this one and to realise just how Reacher has developed as a character since the beginning. No mention of his inner atomic clock here. Events that were picked up in much later books and re-worked such as his mother’s funeral are also sign posted. “Killing Floor” is a typical Reacher novel with Jack righting wrongs and in genuine revenge mode. A mix of hard action and intuitive investigation work are the cornerstones of the story.
So for me it’s a five star book and always will be. I’m a happy mug for the Reacher stories though I will admit that fifth star might just be a tad powered by nostalgia.
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