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Killing Floor: A Jack Reacher Novel…

Killing Floor: A Jack Reacher Novel (Thornike Press Large Print Famous… (original 1997; edition 2010)

by Lee Child

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5,024179899 (3.82)240
Good read for a thriller. I wanted to read the Jack Reacher books and decided to start at the beginnig. I am putting the second book on my list now !! ( )
  sbenne3 | May 6, 2012 |
English (177)  Dutch (2)  All languages (179)
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Maybe I expected too much after hearing so many great things. However, being the first in the series, I will continue on with the next one. I loved the details of how Reacher figured things out and the pacing worked out good.The plot was also handled well. I want to like Reacher, but I'm not sure yet. I found I was rooting more for the story to work out than the "hero" to win in the end. The writing style took a while to get used to; a lot of short, halting sentences. However, I got accustomed to that pattern. All in all, it was a good book and kept me reading until the end, which is always a plus. ( )
  EJFin | Apr 6, 2016 |
Dick Hill
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
I'd seen the Reacher movie (it was ok, but not amazing), but was trapped in an airport with a book too close to the end for comfort. So I bought the first Jack Reacher novel. I'm impressed to be honest -- its well written, readable, and not trying to be Tom Clancy. Where Clancy would get lost in the blow by blow details of how military hardware works, this story is instead about how the main character feels and where their intuition is up to at that point. Sure, he explains that the shot gun pointed at his is dangerous, but doesn't get too lost in the detail.

I enjoyed this book, and its a well written mystery tale. I'll read more from this series I am sure.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Lee_Child/Killing_Floor.html ( )
  mikal | Mar 16, 2016 |
The plot is relatively confused to start. Jack Reacher is a drifter who gets picked up by the police in a small town as a suspected murderer. He knows he didn't do it, so he is fairly cooperative with the lead detective. But when it starts to appear that some of the other people don't particularly care if he did it, he is a little annoyed that their laziness is going to cost him a weekend in jail with someone else who confessed to the crime. Jack starts to draw on his past skills as an MP in the army to help out the investigation, and then it starts to get personal.
From the word go, Jack Reacher is a solid character. He comes with a lot of history and no baggage, which I understand is how the rest of the series unfolds as well. The characters read a little more stream-lined than perhaps a Robert B. Parker novel, without as much soul-searching, and the action keeps going.
There is a major "coincidence" in the novel, and I really hate novels that hang on coincidence as a major plot device to move the story along. Happenstance is one thing, such as Jack being in the town and subject to being suspected. But when it turns out that Jack knew one of the victims, in a town where he doesn't know anyone, and there's no reason for either of them to be there, it's a bit of a stretch.
Great intro to a series
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Mar 5, 2016 |
My son suggested that I should read this book. Loved the way the book started off but halfway through, the story lagged on. This wasn't a bad book. I'd recommend this book to anyone who gives a shit. ( )
  EzyReader | Mar 3, 2016 |
Jack Reacher is one skilled individual. He can do anything (it seems). Sucked into a dangerous investigation because of the incredible coincidence of being of the site of his brother's murder, Jack figures out the scam, takes out some pretty lethal guys, foils a number of attempts on his life - he's like a super hero! Pretty good start to the series. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Feb 17, 2016 |
3.5 stars.
A great thriller, if excessively violent. The very choppy writing style keeps you moving forward and maintains a high degree of tension. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 11, 2016 |
2.5 stars. It was okay. Sort of fun. Completely and totally implausible. I would alllllmost pick up more in the series, except reviews say it's more of the same. Jack Reacher is an idealized James Bond, if you can imagine that, since James Bond himself is an idealized type of character. Jack Reacher is bigger, smarter, more bad-ass, and more independent than James Bond. He can win against any character in the mystery or thriller genre.

And that's my problem with this book/genre. The stakes don't feel like a problem for Jack Reacher, so I'm not invested in the story or the outcome. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
I haven't read this series in order, and with only 4 or so left to go, I finally read number 1. Because I have already read so many, I expected it to be just another Jack Reacher. I was wrong, this was really the best, at least for me. It certainly explains the endurance of the series when it started out like this! I listened to the audio version, and there was a really cool technique that I don't recall encountering before - the phone conversations actually sounded as though they were coming across a phone line. It was neat and I wish it was done more often. The other thing that I appreciated is that there was less of what I consider to be gratuitous violence than there is as the series goes on. I'm all for getting the bad guy, but in later entries he seems to make those decisions awfully quickly in some cases. Not about to stop me from continuing though - Jack is good entertainment. Now if I can just get the picture of Tom Cruise out of my mind..... ( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
This is a reread of a book.
The first book in the Jack Reacher series, introducing the character of an ex-army, former military policeman, who finds himself set free to explore the States after, literally, an entire lifetime in the army.
Reacher is accused, unjustly, of having killed someone. As a vagrant, he's apparently an easy target. They picked the wrong man.
A fast-moving thriller. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
The Killing Floor is my first Jack Reacher novel and my second book for the British Book Challenge in 2016. My husband has read all of the Reacher novels and enjoyed them so I thought, I’ll give it a whirl. I always liked Robert Ludlum and I enjoy Peter Robinson so….the writing style of Lee Child is a mix of the two.

After this first book I know I will continue reading the series. The plot has just enough suspense, gun play and detective work and observations to capture my interest. The Killing Floor, so named after the brutal way a team of bad guys go after their victims is….gruesome. It doesn’t go into serious detail about the killings so I was good with that. It’s the police procedural part that intrigues me. What took some getting used to were the short choppy sentences such as:

I picked up my mug. The coffee was cold. I looked at the waitress and nodded toward my cup.

The entire book isn’t made up of these choppy sentences but there are many in there. They set the scene then the storyline evolves at a good enough rate to keep me reading. Now, after the rich detail in Tana French’s Dublin detective squad mysteries, this may seem low brow. But honestly, if you like a mystery and a bit of action, Lee Child gets captures all of it with his Jack Reacher novels.

Movie vs. Book

When the first Jack Reacher movie came out on DVD we watched it. My husband was not pleased by Tom Cruise playing the part of Reacher. I had not read the books yet so had no point of reference. Allow me to share the differences: Cruise is dark haired and 5’9” and sullen in the movie. Lee Child describes Reacher as a massive 6’6”, broad shouldered and fair haired. So now I know what caused the frown when the movie starred Tom Cruise. Chris Helmsworth would have worked. Big guy with broad chest, blonde……that works.

This is book 2 in my British Book Challenge. ( )
  SquirrelHead | Jan 19, 2016 |
This is the first of a long line of Jack Reacher novels. Reacher is a man's man and a killing machine. I was reminded very much of James Patterson's Alex Cross while reading this.

This book was almost too long. It was interesting, intense and engaging, but I think the editor could have taken out what would amount to a few chapters of description and detail. It just was not needed, in my opinion, even though this is the "set-up" book for the series. Much of the description was repetitive and didn't not add to my view of the characters or my feelings for them.

There is a movie being made of the Jack Reacher character, starring Tom Cruise. Casting Cruise as Reacher is abhorrent. I can only assume that his fee was very low for him to make the cut. I could see Chris Hemsworth (he may be too young, though), Jason Statham or Dwight (The Rock) Johnson. Tom Cruise? No way.

Despite the page count on this one, I will read more and recommend it. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
The first in the Jack Reacher series of books.

Jack is an ex army policeman living the hobo life travelling round America as the fancy takes him. Unfortunately for him he is the only stranger in the town of Margrave the night a murder takes place which leads to his arrest.

Is it a case of mistaken identity or something far more sinister.

With the way he singlehandedly kills almost the entire population of the town it amazes me that Jack didn't end up back in the prison.

The book also has in my opinion a really tacky tag line "Jack Reacher. Men want to be him. Women want to be with him." puhlease wheres my bucket.

The story was certainly actioned packed and it was entertaining, however I am not sure that justifies all the rave reviews the series has.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
So Jack reacher the Ex MP with attitude ventures to a town in search of an old musician Blind Blake, but what he finds in the small town in Georgia is more than he expected ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |
So Jack reacher the Ex MP with attitude ventures to a town in search of an old musician Blind Blake, but what he finds in the small town in Georgia is more than he expected ( )
  JWarrenBenton | Jan 4, 2016 |

I’m not going to change anyone’s minds with this review. Those of you who lap at the water from this hole will come back again and again and again, no matter the toxicity levels. And I don’t think there are many who are just curious about Child’s popular hero – you’re either in already, or you don’t care. There may have been a few, like me, who enjoyed putting the brain on hold for a couple of hours for the recent film adaptation and wanted to see what the books were like – but I don’t suspect that was a very large crowd.

Abandon all intelligence, reason, and common sense, all ye who enter.

Let’s get this straight, I like a good thriller. I can even suspend some disbelief – I wouldn’t have Cussler or Koontz or F. Paul Wilson on the shelf. But at least those guys don’t try to hoodwink me into thinking that they are going to play it straight. Every time Jack Reacher talks through his murderous choices and diabolical plans for the bad guys, Child has him making it seem like there’s logic and reason to it all that, that it all jives with the real world.

Look in the card catalog under “Thrillers for Dummies.”

Look, it was readable pulp, though I wish I’d picked up one of my Spillane’s instead. It past a snowy day inside. And I’m cracking wise at this guy because he’s smurking all the way to the bank.

So, how’d it get three bones? This edition had an introduction from the author, looking back on how he started writing and how he put together this first in the series. There was some fairly thoughtful stuff there, about noodling out what you want to write about before you start writing. I just wish Child had either done better research, or thrown out the pretense that there would be anything but wild fantasy.

Bottom Line: Are you kidding me?

3 bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Dec 27, 2015 |
Reading this first installment of the Jack Reacher series, it's easy to understand how the character reached the popularity it has, including one major motion picture with at least one other on the way. Reacher is a completely accessible character, and Child manages to incorporate many of the traditional endearing characteristics of action/sleuth literary heroes into a background that is more than believable. An army brat and career military man turned unemployed transient, Reacher is both a product of a life dedicated to loyalty and service, yet an outsider and an underdog with a feeling of societal detachment that has motivated him to exist outside of the system. Like most popular vigilante characters, he is a passive observer who is only forced into action when dragged into a situation on a personal level. Again, nothing new as far as behavior and motivation, but Child's Reacher never becomes anything more than human, as his bursts of super-soldier heroics and Holmes-worthy deductions are tempered with humility, doubt, and the inner turmoil of a man seeking an identity beyond the life he's known.

Child also succeeds in keeping what has the makings of a grandiose plot feel small and manageable. The crimes taking place in the small town that Reacher stumbles into are big enough to have global ramifications, but it never descends into a 'Our Hero Saves the World' cliche, and the masterminds that he eventually faces off against are real life criminals that he doesn't feel the need to elevate to Bond villain status. Everything about Jack Reacher and his first novel is grounded in a reality that most people can at least comprehend, if not fully understand.

Not that reality doesn't take a back seat as some point. If there is any real flaw to Killing Floor, it is that is relies a little too much on extremely coincidental events to move the plot along. This isn't unexpected, mind you - the reader needs to be willing to suspend disbelief to a certain extent to allow for the occasional stroke of dumb luck or random chance. However, there are two glaringly unreasonable coincidences that bookend the novel. First there's the one REALLY BIG ONE at the beginning that seals Reacher's involvement, and having the main character say "what a coincidence" to himself once or twice isn't enough to make the audience swallow it as unquestioningly. Then, just before the climax, another coincidence is revealed that is not only completely unnecessary to the story, but is connected to the other bizarre coincidence that started things off in the first place, as if to remind any reader who might have enjoyed the rest of the book enough to momentarily forget how unlikely the event that started it all out really was. If this was your typical over the top action/adventure novel, perhaps the strain of credibility wouldn't be so jarring. But for a book that succeeds in keeping everything else low key and believable to an extent, they're almost inexcusable shortcuts that weaken the overall product.

The wild coincidences don't weaken it too much, however, and when taking the book as a whole they remain minor blemishes that are easily forgivable in such an enjoyable launch title. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Dec 27, 2015 |
Disappointingly predictable. Of course the mental image of little Tom Cruise in role of Jack Reacher didn't help. ( )
  Qatarjj | Dec 21, 2015 |
THE KILLING FLOOR, by Lee Child, is the first mystery featuring Jack Reacher. Jack is a thirty-something loner and drifter who finds himself arrested in a sleepy town in Georgia for a murder he didn’t commit.
Jack soon provides an alibi, but something shocks him into helping the locals solve the murder. More bodies pile up and along the way Jack falls for a woman working at the police station. Soon the whole town seems to be involved in some kind of conspiracy.
There are lots of killings (some pretty grisly) and the action never stops. Jack knows how to kill quickly and efficiently, and uses his knowledge on more than one occasion.
Although I caught a couple of repetitions in the text (information said twice exactly the same way), overall this is a page-turner, and a good introduction to Jack Reacher. I will definitely read the next in the series.
THE KILLING FLOOR is great for people who like thriller-type mysteries.
~Stephanie ( )
  BooksOn23rd | Nov 25, 2015 |
Adrenalico, mai un attimo di noia. ( )
  Angela.Me | Nov 9, 2015 |
It started well; really well in fact. Within a couple of chapters I understood how a whole franchise could be built on this one book. After a while, though, it kind of lost my enthusiasm.

I don't know if it's that I've read a few other Reacher books, so I knew kind of what to expect, or if I just kept reading it it with a writer's eye. I kept thinking "if I wrote this, I'd make this or that or the other thing happen." Then, of course, I was disappointed both when they did and when they didn't happen.

All in all, a fun ride. I do like the Reacher series, but I always feel like there's some missed potential here. Reacher could be an iconic thriller character but he never quite gets there. ( )
  darushawehm | Oct 24, 2015 |
Read a third of the way in. Not bad, but really not my thing. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 18, 2015 |
No slippery, complex writing here. Not for Jack Reacher. Lee Child’s blunt language and short sentences make for a much parodied style. But it works as a perfect first person narrative, at the same time building Reacher’s character and a fictional world seen entirely from his perspective. There’s just enough military kid, military police back-story to make our hero’s loner status and ultra competence believable, even if his skills stop only just short of the superhuman. I’d almost given up on thrillers, but thoroughly enjoyed this tightly written and satisfying book. Seems my problem is the disappointing sugar rush/crash of psychological thrillers. So in future I’ll give the latest summer ‘must read’ a miss, and seek out the rest of the Jack Reacher series instead. ( )
  Bernadette877 | Sep 6, 2015 |

  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
Great revenge thriller. Written simple. Like buttery popcorn. Or fluffy cake. Short incomplete sentences. Like this. Or this. Ultimately forgettable, but a ton of fun. ( )
  heradas | May 31, 2015 |
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