Readers of Lee Child who are already familiar with Jack Reacher but haven’t made the effort to dig up the volume that started it all should make the effort to get their hands on Killing Floor. The Killing Floor is Jack Reacher at his youngest and most passionate. It is easy to see why Lee Child continued on with the character turning Reacher into a franchise of his own. Jack Reacher is a tough as nails former Army MP Detective who thinks on his feet in terms more akin to those of an Army officer and a police officer than your typical tough guy.
For the uninitiated Jack Reacher is a retired U.S. Army major who spent his tours in the military police. Before you wonder what the big deal is about being a military policeman think about the people MP’s have to police – the world’s best trained killers. It wasn’t an easy job but Reacher was good at it. Taking his pension after decades of service and military downsizing Jack Reacher MP became Jack Reacher wandering soul. In Killing Floor Reacher wanders into the town of Margrave, Georgia for a little breakfast and to investigate the long cold case file of a Southern ragtime/blues guitarist named Blind Blake (there is no verifiable record of how Blind Blake died). While sitting at a diner having some breakfast the entire Margrave police force shows up to arrest Reacher for murder.
What follows is one of the most intricate and well thought out freshman mystery/thrillers this reviewer has had the pleasure of reading. There is just enough of everything in Killing Floor (though maybe a little too much Reacher the sex machine but it is endemic to the genre ever since Donald Hamilton put pen to paper). Killing Floor is from start to finish a very tightly told story. There is a rough and ready feel to the novel that is more polished in later Reacher novels. Killing Floor is definitely worth the read for readers new to Lee Child as well as those like me who started reading the series in the middle instead of at the beginning.
Other Lee Child Reviews
Running Blind - A Jack Reacher Novel: When Jack Reacher inadvertently draws the F.B.I.s attention while dispensing his own brand of justice he finds himself a suspect in an ongoing F.B.I. investigation that he must either solve or resign himself to prison.
Without Fail - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher takes the job to kill the Vice-President of the United States - kind of.
One Shot - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher investigates a sniper shooting in which a former Army sniper is accused of being the sniper. All the evidence is there but something is not quite right.
Tripwire - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a private eye finds Reacher in Key West then suddenly turns up dead Reacher becomes interested in why the man was looking for him in the first place.
The Enemy - A Jack Reacher Novel: When a two star general from Amoured division dies in a seedy motel almost 300 miles from where he ought to be Jack Reacher gets the call to look into things.
Persuader - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself chasing a ghost and living with one of the biggest dealers on the eastern seaboard while doing the scut work for the DEA.
The Hard Way - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher helps find the kidnapped wife and child of a mercenary
Bad Luck and Trouble - A Jack Reacher Novel: Do not mess with the special investigators takes on a whole new meaning when Calvin Franz turns up dead and Jack Reacher takes on the case.
Nothing To Lose - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher finds himself moving between Hope and Despair while trying to figure out why he is being kicked out of the township of Despair Colorado.
61 Hours - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is trapped in a small town under lockdown and snowed in while a drug lord makes arrangements to kill a witness.
Gone Tomorrow - A Jack Reacher Novel: Reacher thinks he is dealing with a suicide bomber on a train but he is only half right and comes up against an enemy as strong and clever as he is.
Worth Dying For - A Jack Reacher Novel: It is the Duncan s versus Jack Reacher in the middle of a Nebraska county they control with an iron fist. It is irresistible force meets immovable object.
Echo Burning - A Jack Reacher Novel: Jack Reacher is wandering through Texas and gets picked up by a beautiful woman looking to hire a killer.
The Affair - A Jack Reacher Novel: Still with the 110th Jack Reacher is sent undercover to Carters Crossing to investigate the death of a local woman that may have met her fate at the hands of a soldier.