Killing Floor by Lee Child (audio)

My love affair with Jack Reacher is going strong; or perhaps it should be just starting here? This is the very first Reacher novel published. (While Child did later publish prequels, he recommends they be read in publication order rather than chronological order. Read all about it.) So, in this book, the Reacher I’ve come to know is just six months out of the army. He’s a former MP – military policeman – just roaming, trying to figure out what he’s doing with himself. He was raised in the army, living just a few months at a time at barracks around the world. When it was time, he went to West Point, and found spending four years in one place bizarre. Then he graduated, entered the army himself, and has lived the rest of his life a few months at a time at barracks around the world, too. So roaming comes naturally. (This is the first time I can remember finding Reacher to be a music fan. The song “Rambling on My Mind” recurs.)

Reacher roams into small-town Margraves, Georgia, and is arrested immediately on a murder charge. He’s calm; he knows he’ll be cleared, since he didn’t do it. But when he finds out who the murder victim was… he’s involved, and has to stick around. The victims start stacking up, and he meets a pretty girl who’s also a local cop, and Reacher is pulled into a big mess. The team of killers is stalking him, and he’s not afraid to do battle, especially considering who they started with.

I’ve written about Reacher quite a bit. He continues to be big and burly and frankly, sexy, and tough and uber-capable and clever. The plot line is actually pretty predictable: Reacher will kill people. He’ll get away with it. He’ll probably get laid, although the sex is not graphic. (The violence is.) He’ll amaze you and make you gasp. Like a sighing reader of romance novels (who reads not to find out if they’ll hook up, but just to be there when they do), I’m not here to find out how he’ll win – I know he will. The suspense is in who the bad guy is and how it all comes out. I feel a little bit wrenched every time he walks away from the town, the situation, the girl, and the new quasi-friends he’s made. But he’ll keep on walking away.

But this is the FIRST time he’s done it! I was thrilled to meet him near the beginning of his lack of career, his aimless wandering, and see his plans formed. This is the first time I’ve seen him consider hanging around – because it’s his first retired adventure. Later in the series he’ll learn not to consider it. We also get to meet his brother (well, sort of) which gives me a differently-angled view into his background. I look forward to reading the prequels, too, for the same reason.

Come meet Reacher at the beginning, y’all. This is a classic of Reacherdom and I love it.

3 Responses

  1. […] of which I’ve read 10-and-change of 16) as an adult; I believe he was 36 when we met him in Killing Floor. In The Second Son, he’s 13. As his fans already know, his father is in the military, his […]

  2. […] interested, I mildly recommend to you that you start at the beginning of the series, with Killing Floor, but only mildly. If you start in the middle you may find yourself very satisfied – just look […]

  3. […] Killing Floor: our introduction to ex-military cop Jack Reacher, on the roam, who is arrested in Margraves, Georgia for a murder he didn’t commit. When he finally finds out who the victim was, it becomes his case to solve. […]

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