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
Escapism at its best.
Yes, by weaving a cohesive and interesting story.
I also felt part of the action, like I was there.
It's just some fun. Don't try to analyse it too much, just enjoy it and forget your day to day troubles. Also its written in a positive manner.
Great start to great series. looking forward to hearing the rest of them.
"Shows its age"
After liking the thriller aspect of it at first, the over the top coolness of the protagonist and the incredibly cringeworthy female characters slowly took away from my enjoyment. The closer I got to the solution, the less I cared what it was.
"Great story but clumsy writing"
great story, but uses "I said, he said" far too much though, makes it feel clumsy and ill though through
This was my first experience of a Lee Child book despite may recommendation from friends. It was like watching a movie as it is so well written. I listen to my audio books to relax before sleep and every minute of this book has been a pleasure. I am delighted there are so many more in the series.
"Orr but I like the Herod to win"
I read it all a bit far fetched,but as I said I read it all narrater was good. Regards. J Hayes
As good as ever. Brilliantly read by Dick Hill and some very clever sound effects. Even though I am not listening to the series in order, this book is very complete and stands alone.
"wonderful introduction to Reacher"
super story, classic reacher, worth listening/reading, plausible plot, great character development, interesting twist at the end
"Not convinced despite everyone else loving them!"
I listen and read a huge amount of detective/murder/thriller books and this series often comes up as a recommended listen on Audible so the fact that so many other people also enjoy this series made me give it a go. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
Firstly it is an American narrator which I knew would reduce my enjoyment of the story, not his fault at all I just prefer British accents to some of the American ones. However if the story had been up to it then I'd have carried on to the end (I've binned it half-way through, can't be bothered with another 7-odd hours of it!) as the narrator wasn't horrendous by any means.
I shall get to the point! The whole story is absolute pony! I appreciate that murder-mystery plots aren't always the most believable of things but the whole premise of this story and the way that the main character is introduced and inserted into the investigation is just ridiculous, and from then on the whole story is sycophantic twaddle with everyone bowing down to the superior intellect of the main character right from the get-go. It reminds me quite a lot of James Patterson's Alex Cross books in as much as absolutely no one else would be able to figure out who the murderer is and everyone in law enforcement must therefore request that only the main character comes to help out, absolutely no one else will do, cue a load of sycophantic back-slapping and ego bolstering nonsense. The downside to this book though is that it's twice the length of an Alex Cross book so you have to put up with it for twice the time!!
I mentioned to my husband how I really hadn't got along with this book and he was surprised as he's watched the movie (I didn't as I was planning on reading the books at some point), turns out that the movie doesn't even mention this first book so whether it goes straight in at book no.2 I don't know, maybe it doesn't follow any of the books at all ... not sure if that's a good thing or a bad!!
"Love Lee Child books"
Love the way the story builds, it is easy to visualise the characters and the events.
Jack Reacher is my favourite, he is an unusual guy and very private; he attracts attention by being different and because people are suspicious of things they don't understand!
I love the different voices he uses - he makes it easier to get a sense of the characters.
I couldn't single out one moment!
An absolutely fantastic listen, excellent plot, well read and a cracking plot. I purchased this after watching the Tom Cruise Jack Reacher film and enjoyed it so much that i'm now plowing through the series. The characters are well drawn and brought out throughout the novel. The narrator also does a superb job of bringing it all to life. In all an ecellent audio book and one i'd recommend to anyone
Characters and plot line
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