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Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)

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Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Jack knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.


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Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He's just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he's arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Jack knows is that he didn't kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn't stand a chance of convincing anyone. not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.

30 review for Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    This reads like an '80s action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A big tough ex-military guy drifts into a small town and is sucked into uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy through completely unbelievable coincidences. - Check. Hero has a cool, manly sounding name: Jack Reacher. - Check Hero is quickly given a personal grudge against the villains. - Check Bad dialogue. - Check. Stereotypical villains including corrupt businessmen and politicians. - Check. Hero finds a few trustworthy allies, but This reads like an '80s action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. A big tough ex-military guy drifts into a small town and is sucked into uncovering a vast criminal conspiracy through completely unbelievable coincidences. - Check. Hero has a cool, manly sounding name: Jack Reacher. - Check Hero is quickly given a personal grudge against the villains. - Check Bad dialogue. - Check. Stereotypical villains including corrupt businessmen and politicians. - Check. Hero finds a few trustworthy allies, but is betrayed at some point. -Check Hero shacks up with hottest girl in town within two days of meeting her. - Check Hot girl gets kidnapped by bad guys at some point. - Check. Stuff blows up real good at the end. - Check. I know this is a really popular series these days, but unless it gets a lot better in later books, I just don't get it. I've read far better action scenes from guys like John Sandford who actually write thrillers that have plots that hang together and don't trot out every action movie cliche in the process. Plus, there are massive gaps in logic. A murder victim turns out to be a federal agent who is working on a super-secret case that is so important that it literally threatens the United States. Yet, after he's killed and it's reported, nobody else from the government even shows up to check it out. WTF? I can gloss over unrealistic procedural stuff in the interest of a good story, but since this isn't a good story, the plot loopholes are too horrible to ignore. Another problem is that Child couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to write just an action novel or a detective story, and he tried to split the difference. Not good. Reacher is the worst fictional detective I've ever read. Giant clues are put in front of him that anyone who has ever read a book or seen an episode of television since 1962 would instantly recognize, but he misses them. Yet, when called for, he can make ludicrous leaps of intuition that would make Sherlock Holmes scratch his head at the sheer implausibility of them. This might have been a better book if Reacher was just a revenge driven killing machine mowing through the bad guys without the pretense of playing detective. This would have been 1 star, but I gave it an extra star because the main piece of the criminal plot is actually kind of clever and not something I'd read before. Unfortunately, it's the only original thing in this book.* * Update 4/10/16 - I recently read another crime novel that used an identical idea of (view spoiler)[ bleaching $1 bills to use for counterfeiting purposes (hide spoiler)] . Since that book was published 36 years before this one it seems a lot less original then I initially thought so I took away that second star.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Khurram

    This is not the first Jack Reacher book I have read so I did already knew who Jack Reacher is. Lee Child's creation is the modern day Conan. Meaning he is fully clothes, an expert on modern weapons (guns, switchblades, he could probably use a sword but does not yet), as well as unarmed combat. He is a big battle scared and tested fighter. He lives his life as a wonderer a leaf in the wind blown from one place to another usually finding adventure/trouble where he lands. The slight twist on the Ja This is not the first Jack Reacher book I have read so I did already knew who Jack Reacher is. Lee Child's creation is the modern day Conan. Meaning he is fully clothes, an expert on modern weapons (guns, switchblades, he could probably use a sword but does not yet), as well as unarmed combat. He is a big battle scared and tested fighter. He lives his life as a wonderer a leaf in the wind blown from one place to another usually finding adventure/trouble where he lands. The slight twist on the Jack Reacher character is that he has a Sherlock Holmes type of deductive skills. Despite that fact that Jack does not use any flashy moves, his fighting style is to survive and take out the opponent as efficiently/ruthlessly as possible. These tend to be a head butt, snapping fingers, gorging eyes or nut shots. I really do enjoy the way Lee Child (through Jack Reacher's voice) explains the mechanics of the fight, from the best way to strangle someone to the counter. On a whim Jack Reacher visits a sleepy small town, to look into a 63 year old murder. However he finds himself railroaded for a new murder as the only stranger in town. To start with the mystery is just a passing curiosity to him but when Reacher is personally involved, they mystery becomes a top priority, which must be solved even if he has to decimate half the people in town. A great story and a great starting point to introduce fans to Jack. I especially like the way Child ties up all the loose ends, dealing with the aftermath as well. Not just saying the story is over buy the next book. The book is gripping and fast paced. Despite being over 500 pages, the book just seems to fly by. Very enjoyable read!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris "Gunner" McGrath

    I could not read this. The prose is terrible. Commas are rare. Periods are abundant. It's hard to read. I got through one chapter. I checked later books. They are the same. I had heard good things. I cannot get past this. I am not exaggerating. It's actually worse than this. These are all sentences. Full sentences. Not fragments. There we go. It's like this. Reading a Reacher novel. I considered powering through. But I don't want to waste my time. I bought the whole series for $1 a piece. I regr I could not read this. The prose is terrible. Commas are rare. Periods are abundant. It's hard to read. I got through one chapter. I checked later books. They are the same. I had heard good things. I cannot get past this. I am not exaggerating. It's actually worse than this. These are all sentences. Full sentences. Not fragments. There we go. It's like this. Reading a Reacher novel. I considered powering through. But I don't want to waste my time. I bought the whole series for $1 a piece. I regret it. They're not even worth that much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Jack Reacher is a walking, talking, 6’5” prescription-strength laxative guaranteed to cause scumbags to soil their skivvies. As hardboiled protagonists go, this guy is loaded with awesome and I was well and truly won over by the end of Lee Child's debut novel. Reacher’s a former military police officer who is cucumber cool and carries himself with a calm, quiet stoicism that reminded me a lot of Shadow from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods(another favorite character of mine). In typical hardboiled fa Jack Reacher is a walking, talking, 6’5” prescription-strength laxative guaranteed to cause scumbags to soil their skivvies. As hardboiled protagonists go, this guy is loaded with awesome and I was well and truly won over by the end of Lee Child's debut novel. Reacher’s a former military police officer who is cucumber cool and carries himself with a calm, quiet stoicism that reminded me a lot of Shadow from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods(another favorite character of mine). In typical hardboiled fashion, Jack’s narration of the book’s events is muted and almost detached. This emotionally restrained tone is employed even when he’s describing scenes of grisly, gore filled carnage of which this book has plenty. He keeps his feelings in check and doesn’t phase easily, even when scummy douchesacks intentionally strive to work themselves under his skin. That said, when the moment is right and Jack is required to muster his inner grim reaper against the human stains who have wronged him and his...man is it ever G-fucking-O time. This guy can wetwork with the best of them. PLOT SUMMARY: Since leaving the army, Jack’s been doing the “Kung Fu” drifter/wanderer act across the U.S. of A. When he arrives at a blip on the map called Margrave, Georgia he finds himself immediately arrested for murder. Seems some gentleman had his head removed with a shotgun blast and Reacher finds himself as the prime suspect. So after an eventful weekend in prison during which he redecorates the faces and figures of a handful of inmates, Jack is finally released from jail. At this point, the story takes a dramatic “you must suspend your disbelief” turn when the recent murder ends up having a very personal connection to Reacher. Furthermore, the murder seems to be only a tiny part of a massive conspiracy involving the entire town and the body count quickly begins to rise. Game on. From here, our giant bag of nut-crushing head-knockery becomes a one man Sherlock Schwarzenegger** and proceeds to hunt clues, piece together evidence and unleash a batch of industrial strength payback on a whole gaggle of bad guys. **This is early Arnold and not the later model that comes with man boobs. Game over. THOUGHTS: As you can probably glean from the above, I think Jack Reacher is pretty much THE MAN. What I liked most was that as big and strong as he is, this is no simple, brawn-sporting lug with low voltage wiring upstairs. He’s intelligent, shrewd and has a gift for being able to sift through and digest information while thinking on his feet both tactically and strategically. He’s the complete package, A large, clever anti-hero that knows how to get the job done and who has enough humanity inside him to make you want him to come out on top. However.... Now that I have slobbered all over this review, I do have one major gripe and it is kind of a big’un. Put simply, the writing was painfully bad. The prose is stiffer than rigor mortis and the dialogue was accoutered with more “he saids” and “she saids” than a Hollywood gossip session. For much of the first half of the book it was almost terminally off putting and greatly distracted me from the story. I thought I had struck out with this book and was not looking forward to doing my review as so many of my friends liked this. But, as time went on, as the body count increased, as the stakes got higher and as Reacher’s badass quotient approached epic status, I found myself far more forgiving of the simple, “connect the dots” prose and clunky dialogue and realized I had been sucked headlong into the narrative. From then until the wrap up, I was fully on board. It was like a mini Christmas miracle. I fell right into the central mystery that was fresh and unique and more than worth the price of admission for me (despite having a few far-fetched plot components). When you add to that my increasingly bromantic bonding to Reacher and his “Billy Jack against the evil townies one man army” show, I was in hardboiled action Gagaville lovin me some story. And thus…. Overall, a great main character and an interesting central story made up for some less than stellar prose and I ended up firmly liking this tale. I will certainly check out the next tale in this series as I would imagine the writing is only going to get better and the rest should stay at least as good. 3.0 stars. Recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    On the Flintstones, whenever there was an indoor chase scene, the background in the house never varied, it would be the same window, table, lamp running repeatedly behind the action, and the chase would go on seemingly forever - a veritable cartoon mile/1.6 kilometers. Watching the show as a kid, it was almost more than my sugar-fueled addled brain could handle. Reading this book was the same type of existentially empty experience. Grafting a promising storyline onto a series of humorless, mind-n On the Flintstones, whenever there was an indoor chase scene, the background in the house never varied, it would be the same window, table, lamp running repeatedly behind the action, and the chase would go on seemingly forever - a veritable cartoon mile/1.6 kilometers. Watching the show as a kid, it was almost more than my sugar-fueled addled brain could handle. Reading this book was the same type of existentially empty experience. Grafting a promising storyline onto a series of humorless, mind-numbing hackneyed plot devices, punctuated by the occasional instances of brutal violence, and you end up with literary inertia, which appears to be going somewhere, but it’s not. Just like Fred and Dino. The book has an introduction by the author that had been added for the Tiny Tom movie release. The introduction details Lee Child’s life from quitting his day job to how he created Reacher. The introduction was the highlight of this reading experience. Child probably had a lot of ideas bouncing around in his head when he began writing this book. Sadly, he picked the wrong ones. A quote he repeats in the intro is, "Dickens wanted what the audience wanted". Sure, but Dickens was his own man, who didn't pander to his audience's fleeting whims. I don’t want to totally dismiss the Reacher series out of hand. The Almighty Stephen King pimps it on the cover of this edition and I’ve read one other Reacher book and it was fairly entertaining. Even though I’ve (over)invested 50 cents in two other volumes, it’ll be awhile before I give my time to another book in this series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    Are you having a bad day? Do you need an Action Pick-You Up? Do you sometimes wish that the bad guys would get exactly what they deserve? Then I have a quick solution. Read a Jack Reacher novel! Jack Reacher is the kind of guy who will kick some serious butt in the most brutal fashion, and it ain't pretty. I admit that I wince when I see someone die violently on tv and in movies. But I love action movies. Yeah, I know it makes no sense. Killing Floor is the kind of book that I would love to see as Are you having a bad day? Do you need an Action Pick-You Up? Do you sometimes wish that the bad guys would get exactly what they deserve? Then I have a quick solution. Read a Jack Reacher novel! Jack Reacher is the kind of guy who will kick some serious butt in the most brutal fashion, and it ain't pretty. I admit that I wince when I see someone die violently on tv and in movies. But I love action movies. Yeah, I know it makes no sense. Killing Floor is the kind of book that I would love to see as a movie (if Hollywood didn't manage to bungle most of the movies they make. )Yes, it has some cringe-worthy scenes, but I don't feel bad for the bad guys in this book at all. They were completely loathsome. While I don't consider myself a violent person, there is something deeply satisfying about reading a book with a kickbutt hero who deals with corrupt persons with no morals and no respect for human life, and deals with them hard like they deserve, but they certainly don't expect. Things I like about Jack Reacher: *He can handle himself *He is a good person, but he don't play! *He is both the mysterious, strong silent type and a smart aleck with unforgettable lines. What a great combination. *He uses his brain and all the assets available. I liked how he assessed the various situations and was able to come up with a good solution, thinking on his feet. *He has a sense of justice that I can get behind, and he doesn't let the rules get in his way of seeing justice done (much like Repairman Jack from the F. Paul Wilson books). *He treats people with respect, except for lowlives who show that they aren't worthy of it. *He can kick some serious butt and teach the thugs some lessons they won't ever forget! Who would I pick to play Jack Reacher in a movie? I immediately thought of Josh Lucas when Jack is first described. Why? Because Josh is hot, he's a good actor, he has the attitude and the presence to play Jack, and the coloring and physical description. Yup. Josh is my Jack. I will not budge on that. Do you still need a reason to read this book? If the answer is no, I suggest you go find a copy of this book and have a ball reading it. If you don't want to read Killing Floor by now, then I can tell you truly haven't been completely annoyed with how scumbags manage to take advantage of good people and get away with it. Or maybe you just don't like adrenaline rushes in a book, and action-packed suspense with some nifty twists and turns. If that's the case, I still like you. Um, Danielle. You sound kind of gleeful about this violent book and I'm a little scared of you right now. Should I be? Are you a closet vigilante? Not at all, even though I love Batman and Jack is definitely going on my favorite hero list. No, it's just very good wish fulfillment to read books with tough guys like Jack who can and will take care of the bad guys and have you going, "Dang!" What can I say? I grew up in the 80s, the Golden Age of action films. It's too late for me now....

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    Suspension of disbelief required I was a policeman of sorts for thirteen years and I can smell a worried man a mile away. The reviews for this one are all over the place. It seems that Jack Reacher is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” protagonists and Lee Child is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” writers. It’s also clear that these books rely heavily on action. In fact, as some reviewers have already mentioned, there is a bit of the 80s Action Hero about Jack Rea Suspension of disbelief required I was a policeman of sorts for thirteen years and I can smell a worried man a mile away. The reviews for this one are all over the place. It seems that Jack Reacher is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” protagonists and Lee Child is one of those “either you love him or you hate him” writers. It’s also clear that these books rely heavily on action. In fact, as some reviewers have already mentioned, there is a bit of the 80s Action Hero about Jack Reacher. The book was conceived in the 90s, so perhaps it makes sense. Well, tough shit. He started it, right? Attacking me was like pushing open a forbidden door. What waited on the other side was his problem. His risk. If he didn’t like it, he shouldn’t have pushed open the damn door. So, Reacher. He is huge (yes, literally) and he doesn’t take any crap. As in none. Expect broken limbs, mashed-in faces, blown-up buildings, and very-dead scumbags, as he sets about solving mysteries. He doesn’t have an alcohol problem, or domestic issues, or any other of the plethora of baggage we have gotten used to in crime fiction. Some argue this makes for a one dimensional character, while others are content to sit back and enjoy the ride. Both these schools of thought have merit, so it’s really the plotting that makes or breaks a book like this. I calculated angles and estimated distances. I came up with one definite conclusion. It was a hell of a problem. I read this on my wife’s recommendation, and I enjoyed it. It’s possibly the literary equivalent of a Cinnamon Bun, not all that much nutrition but high on calories. Thing is: I enjoy a Cinnamon Bun every once in a while. I also happened to enjoy the fact that this particular protagonist doesn’t care two hoots about protocol and consequence. Realistic? Maybe not. Fun? Indeedy. His skull exploded under the impact of the huge bullet. His legs crumpled and he started falling. I fired my last four shells into him before he hit the floor. Also, bear in mind that Jack Reacher isn’t a detective. Not really. He is ex-Military Police so he has a few skills, mostly in breaking heads to get the information he needs. He also likes to travel… I wanted the open road and a new place every day. I wanted miles to travel and absolutely no idea where I was going. I wanted to ramble. I had rambling on my mind. As for the plotting: it wasn’t bad at all, in my humble opinion. I enjoyed the mystery, and the unraveling of it, and the big reveal(s), even though I have to admit that there is at least one brobdingnagian coincidence and a few things that didn’t tie up all thaaat nicely. May I suggest you read this as an action romp, rather than a sophisticated thriller? The big question here is obviously “will I read the next one?” – hell yes I reckon I will. 3.5 exploding, um, objects out of 5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    A good action / mystery. To be clear, the real success here is that writer Lee Child introduced us to his ultra-cool, badass drifter hero Jack Reacher. Described as 6’5, lean and strong, this former Army MP has left the service, taken his severance pay and is just walking the earth, kind of like Jules from Pulp Fiction. And like Jules and Jedi Knights the galaxy over, he finds adventure, beats the crap of bad guys, solves problems with Sherlock Holmes grandeur and generally has a big time doing i A good action / mystery. To be clear, the real success here is that writer Lee Child introduced us to his ultra-cool, badass drifter hero Jack Reacher. Described as 6’5, lean and strong, this former Army MP has left the service, taken his severance pay and is just walking the earth, kind of like Jules from Pulp Fiction. And like Jules and Jedi Knights the galaxy over, he finds adventure, beats the crap of bad guys, solves problems with Sherlock Holmes grandeur and generally has a big time doing it. Reacher happens upon a murder in rural Georgia, gets mixed up in a huge underworld criminal activity and must FIGHT and WIN! He also has to stay alive and Childs does a damn good job of describing scenes that keep the octane burning and the action coming. This is an entertaining page turner, a fun book to read. There’s also plenty of partially credible coincidence, some deus ex machina solutions and Hollywoodesque melodrama – but if you’re picking up a Reacher book, chances are you were not curious about Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff on the moors, or a sensitive character study about a single mom. It is what it is, and does the action hero thing quite well. Like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, no one from the academy was paying attention to the wit of the dialogue or the intelligence of the cinematography – you want to see the hero kick ass and that’s what you get. Damn straight and pass the bourbon. I’ve already started the next in the series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    I don't know why I never read Lee Child before. Jack Reacher is a character that just grabs you and doesn't let go. The story is almost irrelevant. He has recently been mustered out of the only life he ever knew, the military life He grew up and lived all over the world and when he grew up, he joined up. Now Jack has been mustered out and is on a mission to see the United States he defended and protected but never knew. He hops on a bus and when his fancy suits him, he asks the driver to stop an I don't know why I never read Lee Child before. Jack Reacher is a character that just grabs you and doesn't let go. The story is almost irrelevant. He has recently been mustered out of the only life he ever knew, the military life He grew up and lived all over the world and when he grew up, he joined up. Now Jack has been mustered out and is on a mission to see the United States he defended and protected but never knew. He hops on a bus and when his fancy suits him, he asks the driver to stop and let him off. He walks into a small town, Musgrave, that is immaculately clean on the surface, but very, very dirty underneath. He stops at a diner and is almost immediately arrested for murder. One of the victims turns out to be his brother, Joe. When they were growing up on military bases all over the world, Joe and Jack always had each other's backs. Now Jack has to find out who killed his brother and make them pay, big time. Virtually non stop action and Jack's the good guy. No matter what he does to the bad guys, they deserved it and you keep cheering him on. I just knew that no matter what the villains threw against him, he would come on top. He's the hero and he will save the day. Wow! What a rush! I will need another fix of Jack Reacher soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    4 stars. Rambo, Dirty Harry, with a hint of Sherlock Holmes – fun, exciting, suspense, escape. STORY BRIEF: This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, sixteen books so far. It’s told in first person by Jack. He was a homicide investigator in the military police for thirteen years, hunting trained killers gone bad. He had to be able to outthink them and fight them. He retired as a major six months ago at age 36. Now Jack just wants to wander, living off his severance pay, buying cheap clot 4 ½ stars. Rambo, Dirty Harry, with a hint of Sherlock Holmes – fun, exciting, suspense, escape. STORY BRIEF: This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, sixteen books so far. It’s told in first person by Jack. He was a homicide investigator in the military police for thirteen years, hunting trained killers gone bad. He had to be able to outthink them and fight them. He retired as a major six months ago at age 36. Now Jack just wants to wander, living off his severance pay, buying cheap clothes he can throw away rather than wash, no ID, no Driver’s License, no credit cards, using cash, being anonymous. He travels by bus and train. Jack gets off the bus and walks into the small town of Margrave, Georgia, out of curiosity about a singer who lived there sixty years ago. Someone was killed around the time Jack arrived. The local cops arrest Jack for questioning. In the next few days the police chief is killed and someone else disappears. Jack begins investigating. Multiple attempts are made to kill Jack. REVIEWER’S OPINION: Wow! This was good! When Jack hears the details about the first murder, his analysis was amazing. I was pulled in and didn’t want to stop reading for almost the entire book. I can’t wait to keep going with this series. The plotting is great. No one is being stupid or incompetent – well, maybe a little by some of the bad guys who are not as competent as Jack. Jack is put into circumstances where I think how is he going to survive? But he does neat things and survives and wins. I loved what he did when he was wrongly put into the section of a prison with the worst of convicted murderers. I like seeing revenge and justice for bad guys. So I liked seeing Jack hurt or kill them without worrying about their civil rights. Cops can’t do that. Roscoe is a female police officer. She and Jack fall for each other so there is a touch of romance and several sex scenes. The sex scenes are told not shown. There were some gruesome torture scenes that might bother some readers, but they are described after the fact, not shown, which may help a little. LOGIC AND COINCIDENCE COMMENTS: Some reviewers complained that the author wasn’t technically accurate about weapons, procedures, and other things. I don’t care about that. This is fiction. I don’t require “fiction” to educate me. If it’s entertaining with good action, I’m happy to accept “technical fiction.” I do agree some things were too coincidental. Jack’s ability to guess someone’s alias and location was too far-fetched for me. Even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t have done that. But the rest was such a good ride I didn’t mind. Jack did not have a Driver’s License, but he spent a lot of time driving someone else’s car. The local cops didn’t mention it, apparently since he was helping them. He also took a flight to New York. I don’t know if the airlines required ID back in 1997, before 9/11, but I guess it doesn’t matter because this is fiction. Anyway, it unsettled me at first, but I became more comfortable with it in subsequent books. He drives and flies frequently without an ID in subsequent books. NARRATOR: The narrator Dick Hill was great. He has an amazing range. He did a deep black male voice so well that I thought it was another actor. And his female voices were fine. DATA: Unabridged audiobook reading time: 14 hrs and 48 mins. Swearing language: mild, as far as I can recall. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 7 told not shown. Setting: 1997 mostly Margrave, Georgia, with a few scenes in Atlanta, Alabama, Mississippi, and New York. Book copyright: 1997. Genre: mystery suspense thriller. Ending: Very feel good, a winning feeling, bad guys got it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    I disliked this novel, maybe because I'm missing a Y chromosome. First, the style of the prose and voice of the first person narrator, Jack Reacher, really irked me. The style reminded me of irritatingly faux Hemingway. Spare, choppy with lots of short declarative sentences and sentence fragments. Here's a sample paragraph from fairly early on that's typical: I stayed leaning up on the bars, motionless. Baker signaled Hubble to walk with him around the far side of the squad room. Toward the rosew I disliked this novel, maybe because I'm missing a Y chromosome. First, the style of the prose and voice of the first person narrator, Jack Reacher, really irked me. The style reminded me of irritatingly faux Hemingway. Spare, choppy with lots of short declarative sentences and sentence fragments. Here's a sample paragraph from fairly early on that's typical: I stayed leaning up on the bars, motionless. Baker signaled Hubble to walk with him around the far side of the squad room. Toward the rosewood office in back. As Hubble rounded the end of the reception desk, I saw his feet. Tan boat shoes. No socks. The two men walked out of sight into the office. The door closed. The desk sergeant left his post and went outside to part Baker's cruiser. It's pretty much all like that--unvarying and that style doesn't wear well. Imagery? Great description? Actual sentence: It was about as distinctive as the most distinctive thing you could ever think of. The other problem I had with the voice (and character) was that, as the blurb from Jeffrey Deaver put it, Jack Reacher is one of those "tough guy heroes." The kind that has not a trace of a sense of humor and all the affect of a Vulcan purged of all emotion at Gol. The kind of guy that has the first pretty woman in view have the hots for him and sleep with him within two days of meeting him (almost all of which he spent in jail) even though she's a police officer who met him when taking his prints, he's been living like a vagrant and he's a murder suspect. The kind who kills with his own hands without a ripple of remorse or queasiness. And the violent streak got worse as the novel went along--at first it was justifiable self defense, even if ruthless and brutal. (In an early encounter Reacher gouges out an eye.) But it eventually became Mike Hammer-like cold-blooded murders--only justifiable to fans of Death Wish. The part I did like was that Reacher is a former military policeman who has a Sherlock Holmes touch about him at times. Such as when he dazzles Detective Finley with deductions about his background. (Except, please, there's no such thing as "Harvard tones." There's a Boston accent among natives of the area, but that's different. Child supposedly has a British background, so maybe superimposing Oxford in his mind unto Harvard explains that piece of bizarreness.) It was also entertaining how even when he had been arrested for murder and was being questioned, Reacher was treating Finley more like a colleague investigating the murder with him than his interrogator. That had a kind of cool about it I appreciated in the beginning. But coincidences pile up (two brothers who haven't met in years cross paths by chance in a small Georgia town they had never before visited even though one is based in D.C. and the other is a drifter criss-crossing the country), plot holes yawn as wide as canyons (a treasury agent is investigating a case that threatens the United States economy; he's reported killed and it's ignored by the Feds), implausibilities stack (Reacher, a West Point graduate who reached the rank of major by 36 has been involuntarily demobilized out of the army because of budget cuts) and as mentioned above, Reacher begins to kill in a way that would make Rambo proud, giving me testosterone poisoning. So, unless someone tells me this series or author got way, way better, this will be my last Lee Child novel. Hell, to be honest, after this experience no matter what anyone tells me this will be my last Lee Child novel.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Supratim

    A friend had “very highly” recommended Jack Reacher novels to me a long time back. I had add a few Reacher novels to my TBR but never got around to reading one. A few weeks back, during the Goodreads Mystery & Thriller Week – I saw Killing Floor in the top 100 mystery & thriller novels list. It renewed my interest in the series and luckily I found the book in my library. I can sum up the novel in two words: ENTERTAINING POTBOILER!!! The book introduces us to Jack Reacher, formerly of th A friend had “very highly” recommended Jack Reacher novels to me a long time back. I had add a few Reacher novels to my TBR but never got around to reading one. A few weeks back, during the Goodreads Mystery & Thriller Week – I saw Killing Floor in the top 100 mystery & thriller novels list. It renewed my interest in the series and luckily I found the book in my library. I can sum up the novel in two words: ENTERTAINING POTBOILER!!! The book introduces us to Jack Reacher, formerly of the US Mlitary Police. He has now become a drifter and on a strange whim arrives at a small town in Georgia. A bad time to arrive – he is soon arrested as a murder suspect. So begins the adventure… First, a few words about our protagonist – he is the quintessential action hero. Big (or rather huge) & tough – not a man to mess with if you have any brains. But, there is more to him than just brawn. He is quite a detective too – some of his deductions are a bit too farfetched though. There is no rule which states that a huge man can’t have brains but the deductions should have been more logical. The author has tried to portray Reacher as the Rambo-meets-Sherlock Holmes type. Like James Bond he can easily attract women. Anyways, something dangerous is afoot in the little town and as the blurbs of thrillers love to say –“the bodies keep piling.” Reacher makes allies in the police force ( he also manages to hit it off with the only female in the force) and is involved in solving the mystery. The novel is pretty fast paced and full of action, suspense and excitement. Just imagine a novelization of any action movie. Plenty of fistfights and gunfights – there are hired thugs, dangerous prison gangs, psychotic murderers, FBI agents, a mysterious foundation which literally owns the town etc. to keep you turning the pages. I have to say that the solution to the mystery was pretty good. Now let’s go the flaws in the book. Trust! Trust is a very big thing. People don’t trust strangers that easily. But, in the book the police detective trusted Reacher so easily. He started discussing the case with a man – who was a murder suspect sometime back. Difficult to digest!! Roscoe – the lone lady cop also fell for a stranger just like that!!! At times, Roscoe was also shown as a bit too weak. The story was good. I wish the author had executed it better. He did succeed in creating an atmosphere of suspense though. This is just an action adventure thriller meant to provide some thrills and excitement. Do not expect anything more out of it. If you like your crime thrillers to be realistic then this book is definitely not for you. However, if you want to enjoy some escapist action then you can give it a try. I myself would like to try out a couple of more books in the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Some very minor spoilers in this... Okay, I don't get it. There is mass appeal for the Jack Reacher series, there's been a movie made, Lee Child is making a gazillian dollars off it. I also heard a pretty reputable BBC book review panel podcast where they were going absolutely bonkers over the series. Well, I'm at 320 pages and the thought of plowing through 204 more has about as much appeal as chewing toenails. First off, I'm sick of reading about this guy who, as a vagrant, wanders into town, gets Some very minor spoilers in this... Okay, I don't get it. There is mass appeal for the Jack Reacher series, there's been a movie made, Lee Child is making a gazillian dollars off it. I also heard a pretty reputable BBC book review panel podcast where they were going absolutely bonkers over the series. Well, I'm at 320 pages and the thought of plowing through 204 more has about as much appeal as chewing toenails. First off, I'm sick of reading about this guy who, as a vagrant, wanders into town, gets arrested on suspicion of murder, is released, and promptly starts banging the hottest chick in town who is also a cop. Then, they discover a very convenient photograph that the dead guy's ex-wife has that shows the guy grinning at the camera, standing next to his delivery truck, with another key element guy conveniently visible in the background (Oh! A link!), AND with the warehouse where bodies were found at the beginning of the story (Oh! Another link!). I can just imagine these brilliant counterfeiters stopping their covert operation to take a nice picture with all the key elements nicely lined up. That broke me. No, no, no. I want something good to read, and I'm finding more reasons to not read it with every page. I commend myself for enduring the monotonous narrative of less than eight-word sentences and I feel I have given this book more than enough of a chance to care about it. Bye Reacher, we're done.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Right from the beginning, I was hooked! How can you possibly put a book down when the main character is arrested for murder in the first chapter? LOL, I don't know anyone who could. I liked this! Written in the first person, I felt like I was seeing everything through Jack's eyes. His opinions and his takes on his surroundings and the predicament he found himself in was different from what I've read before. It was weird how I knew exactly who the bad guys were, including one no one would ever su Right from the beginning, I was hooked! How can you possibly put a book down when the main character is arrested for murder in the first chapter? LOL, I don't know anyone who could. I liked this! Written in the first person, I felt like I was seeing everything through Jack's eyes. His opinions and his takes on his surroundings and the predicament he found himself in was different from what I've read before. It was weird how I knew exactly who the bad guys were, including one no one would ever suspect (oh yeah, I knew). That's what I liked about this book. There was a feel to it. It may have kept you guessing, but the feel was there just the same. The characters seemed real, the events outstanding and believable, and even though he doesn't stay in Margrave, I doubt he'll ever forget it. I have this terrible feeling I'm grabbing the rest of another series, LOL! Bad, bad Gina!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I kept hearing about this series, but never started it because I had the impression it was men's fiction, like Rambo or something. But, I noticed a lot of women were reading it, so I decided to try it. It was a book everyone would enjoy, not just men. The plot was interesting, involving counterfeiting. I didn't trust anyone! There's many twist, a lot of action, a little romance. There were some things though that were over the top. Reacher was invincible. One guy against four and he doesn't even I kept hearing about this series, but never started it because I had the impression it was men's fiction, like Rambo or something. But, I noticed a lot of women were reading it, so I decided to try it. It was a book everyone would enjoy, not just men. The plot was interesting, involving counterfeiting. I didn't trust anyone! There's many twist, a lot of action, a little romance. There were some things though that were over the top. Reacher was invincible. One guy against four and he doesn't even get a scratch. He also didn't seem bothered enough by so much death. Reacher is really "hardboiled ". But he's not all brawn. He's pretty smart too. I do think I will need to read a couple more of these to really form an opinion about Reacher. As tor the writing, I really only have one complaint. The author had everyone "shrugging ". I lost count of how many times he used that term. It started to become noticeable, even to me. I will read the next one though. Hopefully they get better as we go along.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adrian

    So my friend who was having a clear out, said "when i see you, Ive got a few books I reckon you will enjoy", "ok" I said. So when we meet up he gives me 3, yes 3 of those bag for life supermarket carrier bags full of virtually brand new books, It seems about 30 (are there that many) were Jack Reacher, and some more of a similar ilk, plus assorted other books his wife had read. Now he says to me, "you'll enjoy these as we both did" meaning him and his wife, which did surprise me as she usually li So my friend who was having a clear out, said "when i see you, Ive got a few books I reckon you will enjoy", "ok" I said. So when we meet up he gives me 3, yes 3 of those bag for life supermarket carrier bags full of virtually brand new books, It seems about 30 (are there that many) were Jack Reacher, and some more of a similar ilk, plus assorted other books his wife had read. Now he says to me, "you'll enjoy these as we both did" meaning him and his wife, which did surprise me as she usually likes less, action-y type books. So I've just looked at a few reviews of this book, and a) I was surprised to see it at over 4.0 and b) surprised at the number of women who liked it. So it obviously isn't the macho action-y type novel I thought it might be. We shall see. Anyway for anyone who has ever read my profile, will know I am suffering from a surfeit of books (is that possible you ask?), well yes, as I built a library for them all, and they don't fit. So I am under orders (sic) to keep the number of books down, one in, one out (agh). The 3 carrier bags full did not help he he. Ok i shall have to read this soon -------------------------------------------------------------- So I have now finished the book, and it was quite good, I enjoyed it . Yes it was action-y and quite macho but it was well written and better than most books of this type. Given that I have a huge pile of Jack Reacher novels I shall certainly be reading more, just need to fit them in around other books.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    Third time is not the charm. I tried reading the ebook twice and put it down both times because I didn't like the writing. Figured I'd try the audiobook, because some styles work better in audio. That was not the case here. Jack Reacher, starring Our Lord and Savior Tom Cruise, is the only Cruise movie in which I can stomach Cruise. With the sequel coming, I wanted to give this another go. My bad. Guess I'll be sticking with the films. In summation: Child might be a fellow pantser, but it doesn't Third time is not the charm. I tried reading the ebook twice and put it down both times because I didn't like the writing. Figured I'd try the audiobook, because some styles work better in audio. That was not the case here. Jack Reacher, starring Our Lord and Savior Tom Cruise, is the only Cruise movie in which I can stomach Cruise. With the sequel coming, I wanted to give this another go. My bad. Guess I'll be sticking with the films. In summation: Child might be a fellow pantser, but it doesn't show in his writing. This thing reads like the worst kind of formulaic thriller. DNF. Final Judgment: Suffers from a rare case of The Movie Was Better.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    This is the book that introduced Lee Child's popular character, Jack Reacher in 1997. Reacher is a former military cop who's been made redundant by the end of the cold war. After spending his entire life in the military (Reacher grew up in a military family), he's now completely on his own, footloose and fancy-free. After spending much of his life abroad, he's wandering about the country, getting to know the U.S. up close and personal. As will continue to be the case, Reacher travels light, with This is the book that introduced Lee Child's popular character, Jack Reacher in 1997. Reacher is a former military cop who's been made redundant by the end of the cold war. After spending his entire life in the military (Reacher grew up in a military family), he's now completely on his own, footloose and fancy-free. After spending much of his life abroad, he's wandering about the country, getting to know the U.S. up close and personal. As will continue to be the case, Reacher travels light, with nothing more than the clothes on his back, paying cash, traveling by bus and staying off the grid. On a whim, Reacher has a bus driver drop him off at the interchange for tiny Margrave, Georgia. Reacher has heard a story about an ancient Blues man who once spent time in the town and decides to check it out. He walks fourteen miles into town, orders a cup of coffee in a diner, and is promptly arrested for murder. Reacher knows that he hasn't killed anyone, at least not in Margrave and not for some time, so he's obviously mystified. He soon discovers that there are a lot of weird things going on in this tiny, pristine town where the townfolk, or at least a good number of them, are harboring some strange secrets. Reacher couldn't care less. He just wants to get clear of the murder charges, get back on the bus, and resume his wandering life. But he quickly develops a personal stake in the murder case, which is decidedly bad news for the evildoers. Before long, the bodies are piling up left and right, and Reacher is contributing more than his fair share to the carnage. This is a cleverly-plotted book, although it does depend on a coincidence that's almost too huge to swallow. Still, it's a fun read that sets the template for the future books in the series. This is essentially "Shane" brought forward into the Twentieth (and now the Twenty-first) century. Jack Reacher is the mysterious stranger with something approaching mystical powers, who rides into a troubled town, albeit on a Greyhound rather than a horse. He cleans up the town, disposes of the bad guys, dallies briefly with a beautiful, sexy woman that he will have to abandon in the end, and then, once his job is done, he rides off into the sunset. What's not to like? The formula has worked very well through sixteen books now, and Jack Reacher has become an international favorite. Those who have somehow missed him would do well to start with Killing Floor.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alp

    No wonder Lee Child is a bestselling author. Killing Floor is a good mystery-suspense book with lots of action and many twists and turns. The thing I liked most about this book was that there were plenty of fight scenes, which made my heart jump and my adrenaline pump. But there were some unrealistic things in the story that made me feel like I was having a very big question mark on my forehead all the time while reading this. Too many coincidences that didn’t make sense to me, but I already put No wonder Lee Child is a bestselling author. Killing Floor is a good mystery-suspense book with lots of action and many twists and turns. The thing I liked most about this book was that there were plenty of fight scenes, which made my heart jump and my adrenaline pump. But there were some unrealistic things in the story that made me feel like I was having a very big question mark on my forehead all the time while reading this. Too many coincidences that didn’t make sense to me, but I already put them aside because I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, every page of it! Moreover, Jack Reacher is an amazing character. He’s tough, he’s smart, and most of all, he’s hard to kill! “I wish we had been here,” I said. “We could have gotten a few answers.” She looked at me like I was crazy. Shook her head. “What would you have done?” she said. “Killed four men?” “Only three,” I said. “The fourth would have given us the answers.” Aha!!! “It’s going to take more than four little country boys to get me,” I said. “Who are they kidding? I’ve shit better opponents than that. They come in here again, they’ll go out in a bucket. And I’ll tell you what, Roscoe, someone even thinks about hurting you, they die before they finish thinking.” Damn his confidence! But I love that! I was curious how could he be so calm when facing difficult and deadly situations? Hmm… By the way, if you’re looking for a good and action-packed mystery-suspense story with great characters, try this one. It will not disappoint you!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    It all began with an arrest. Arriving in town anonymously, Jack Reacher is arrested at the local diner for a murder he could not have committed. Fingered for some reason by the Chief of Police, Reacher is detained, which is where all the fun begins. Before proving his alibi, Reacher faces a harrowing night in jail and soon learns that the quaint down of Margrave holds a darker side. As corrupt as it is a speck on the map, Margrave is full of secrets that the townspeople are more than happy to ke It all began with an arrest. Arriving in town anonymously, Jack Reacher is arrested at the local diner for a murder he could not have committed. Fingered for some reason by the Chief of Police, Reacher is detained, which is where all the fun begins. Before proving his alibi, Reacher faces a harrowing night in jail and soon learns that the quaint down of Margrave holds a darker side. As corrupt as it is a speck on the map, Margrave is full of secrets that the townspeople are more than happy to keep under wraps. Working with the local authorities, Reacher discovers the corruption holds a personal connection that only fuels his desire to find out those involved. With a blooming relationship and a desire to be somewhat sedentary, Reacher uses his military background to blow the lid of Margrave's secrets, but at what cost? A stellar opening to the Reacher series that paves the way for what should be a great series. With little background knowledge of the famed Reacher, I was curious to see how this man would present himself in full-length novels. Scraps of background knowledge related to Reacher, namely from Child short story 'Second Son' and Diane Capri's HUNT FOR REACHER series, I was curious to see how it all would come together. This opening novel in the series was very well-written and powerfully captured in the first person. Child does an excellent job of laying some of the groundwork for what is sure to be a complex and evolving character. One additional comment that I cannot let pass; Child adopts a wonderful 'Americanisation' feel to his novel, even as a Brit. From its nuanced narrative style to use of language, slang, and idioms, Child left me wondering if he tapped into his alter-ego to pen this novel. Also, with Dick Hill at the narration helm, I was left to wonder if I was reading a Stephen White novel at times, with wonderfully detailed reflective narration. Kudos, Mr. Child for such a great opening book. I am hooked and will certainly continue reading and enjoying.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    This story has the frenetic pace of a six-year old boy that consumed two pounds of Halloween candy, gone into hyperglycemic shock, been revived in the middle of the operating room with paddles, and given a shot of adrenaline and a Snickers bar. Jack Reacher, the ultimate man’s man, leads the charge. He carries nothing but the clothes on his back, a wad of cash, and a toothbrush jammed in his pocket. After use, he tosses his clothes in the trash, and visits the local thrift store. While they may This story has the frenetic pace of a six-year old boy that consumed two pounds of Halloween candy, gone into hyperglycemic shock, been revived in the middle of the operating room with paddles, and given a shot of adrenaline and a Snickers bar. Jack Reacher, the ultimate man’s man, leads the charge. He carries nothing but the clothes on his back, a wad of cash, and a toothbrush jammed in his pocket. After use, he tosses his clothes in the trash, and visits the local thrift store. While they may lack depth, the sentences have a punch that hits harder than Mike Tyson in his prime. The dialogue, while certainly not fancy or flowery, does a more than adequate job of delivering the uppercut. While it may seem farfetched to some, the plot works well with the character, and the small town atmosphere of the south. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Jack Reacher is one stone cold piece of mastery. It’s MANfiction at its finest, and it reaches the ultimate crescendo with more brilliance than a five figure Fourth of July fireworks display.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I'm not that into pure blockbuster genre books, but this is actually quite well done. The opening chapter is a master class in building tension using detail and perspective--when the police storm into a small-town diner, our main character, Jack Reacher, deduces that they must be coming for him, but he's cool and collected as he catalogs their mistakes and all the moments he might have taken advantage of them. In less graceful hands this might have devolved into pointless violence, but Lee Child I'm not that into pure blockbuster genre books, but this is actually quite well done. The opening chapter is a master class in building tension using detail and perspective--when the police storm into a small-town diner, our main character, Jack Reacher, deduces that they must be coming for him, but he's cool and collected as he catalogs their mistakes and all the moments he might have taken advantage of them. In less graceful hands this might have devolved into pointless violence, but Lee Child is as controlled as Reacher, letting the tension slowly build at the same time as our mysterious main character comes into focus. For me, this is the best of the Reacher series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I read this as a paperback & it didn't wow me. I hadn't planned on reading any more in this series, but several of my friends really like the series, so I thought I'd give it another shot. Maybe I'd like it better as an audio book or now. I didn't. Probably liked it less. Child's writing is repetitive. Often he seemed to be trying to make the point that much more exciting, but it just bored me. He writes like his readers are idiots & can't keep a point in mind for a few paragraphs. He als I read this as a paperback & it didn't wow me. I hadn't planned on reading any more in this series, but several of my friends really like the series, so I thought I'd give it another shot. Maybe I'd like it better as an audio book or now. I didn't. Probably liked it less. Child's writing is repetitive. Often he seemed to be trying to make the point that much more exciting, but it just bored me. He writes like his readers are idiots & can't keep a point in mind for a few paragraphs. He also spends a lot of time describing the obvious & minutiae, but skips inconvenient details like Reacher's hygiene. Reacher is too much in charge too often, & the constant build of him over other characters just got old. (view spoiler)[When he figured out how the counterfeiting was being done & told Finnley is one example. It's also an example of treating his readers like idiots. There were half a dozen obvious clues pointing to this revelation. (hide spoiler)] I guess the women were impressed by his manly smell because he wandered around in the heat for days without a change of clothes or a shower & they still seemed to like him. There were a lot of other examples & they steadily eroded my appreciation of his character. Child did the same thing with the shotguns making them into some sort of magical killing machines. (view spoiler)[A ten gauge shotgun is fearsome, but their killing cone is a direct ratio between their choke & load. Ask any decent goose or duck hunter, but I certainly wouldn't have feared for the women unless the guy was going to shoot directly at them. (hide spoiler)] Several plot holes were just too glaring, especially at the end. (view spoiler)[ The amount of money paying off the town businesses, the supposed secrecy, & all was just too much. It's such a big secret that only business owners know after 5 years, but Reacher finds out after talking to a guy twice? He also said there must be $100K in the old guy's closet when a bit of math would put it at $250K or so. We need to believe Reacher has the estimates down in other places. The mountain of money was silly. The bills weren't transported in by dump truck. They'd have been in boxes, should have been stored in boxes & then transferred into other boxes. To save time & effort, I would have ordered boxes just a hair bigger & not bothered unboxing the money at all since it was just being transferred. What was the sudden rush to transport the money & why was the Coast Guard thing such a big shock? They were supposedly stockpiling money for just such an event, but leave it loose in a mountain that anyone who enters the building can see. So they figured it would be a few months away & have killed everyone off, but still haven't gotten it boxed up when their self-imposed deadline for shipping is one day away. They couldn't figure out any other way to transport it after the Coast Guard clamped down? After an entire year? Everyone is so shocked they were so brilliant in the scheme, but they couldn't plant money inside equipment or something? Please. Reacher's surprise at the circus at the end was way overdone. I expected Child to & believe the story would have been much better served by killing Roscoe off at the end. (hide spoiler)] There were some good points in the book. Some of the scenes were well done & the story was a good one overall. I liked the way the odd, main coincidence was worked in. I have the 2d audio book in this series. I think I'll try to listen to it. I've heard the series gets better. It has to.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    This book was not bad. I read review after review that was negative so I hesitated. The main character, Jack Reacher, clearly has a fan base and enough popular support to spawn a couple of movies with A list actor Tom Cruise so I thought what the heck. Overall, it felt like a 80s action movie. I understand why that would irritate some people, especially if you are used to having a steady literary diet of skillful and original plots, deft use of words and cleverly devised characters. This definite This book was not bad. I read review after review that was negative so I hesitated. The main character, Jack Reacher, clearly has a fan base and enough popular support to spawn a couple of movies with A list actor Tom Cruise so I thought what the heck. Overall, it felt like a 80s action movie. I understand why that would irritate some people, especially if you are used to having a steady literary diet of skillful and original plots, deft use of words and cleverly devised characters. This definitely had a plot that felt like I had seen it before and stock stereotype characters that have been done and redone. That being said, it was interesting reading that did not make me think too hard or keep track of intricate plotlines that vanish before my eyes if I skim a paragraph. I could slide through it and enjoy the overall simplistic mystery type action plot and I like it. After all, this is the pre-Criminal Minds era. I didn’t love it, but I did like it. It serves as a nice foil for some of the heavier and deep thinking reading I am prone to get myself into. I will read the next in the series for the same reasons. 4 out of 5 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Meet Jack Reacher, a loner with no ties. He drifts from place to place whilst inevitably finding trouble. He arrives in a small town in Georgia and within the hour he’s arrested for murder. Reacher is a fascinating character. Having recently been released from the military, he’s roaming without a purpose. It’s a great action packed mystery that instantly hooked me straight away. If people are interested in this series, it’s the best place to start. The first book perfectly encapsulates what the whol Meet Jack Reacher, a loner with no ties. He drifts from place to place whilst inevitably finding trouble. He arrives in a small town in Georgia and within the hour he’s arrested for murder. Reacher is a fascinating character. Having recently been released from the military, he’s roaming without a purpose. It’s a great action packed mystery that instantly hooked me straight away. If people are interested in this series, it’s the best place to start. The first book perfectly encapsulates what the whole series is about!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Doug Bradshaw

    The Reacher books are one of my buddy's favorite books and so I decided to give the first book in the series a try. Haha. A bit corny to me. Reacher is a powerful drifter and gets pulled into a serious criminal enterprise as he drifts through a small town outside of Atlanta. The story reminds me a little bit of the macho deeds of Mitch Rapp, Jason Bourne, but with a vigilante slant like Death Threat where the bad guys are so bad, we give our hero the license to kill. He doesn't just kill, either The Reacher books are one of my buddy's favorite books and so I decided to give the first book in the series a try. Haha. A bit corny to me. Reacher is a powerful drifter and gets pulled into a serious criminal enterprise as he drifts through a small town outside of Atlanta. The story reminds me a little bit of the macho deeds of Mitch Rapp, Jason Bourne, but with a vigilante slant like Death Threat where the bad guys are so bad, we give our hero the license to kill. He doesn't just kill, either. He crushes the bad guys with his knives, mammoth guns and thumbs to the eyeball. I think I may enjoy these stories in the movie with Tom Cruise (not a good choice to play Jack Reacher) more than reading the book. I love the satisfaction of revenge in these stories, but honestly, it was so much so, that it was over the top for me.....still somewhat satisfying, though. LOL

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ana Tijanić

    I'd heard good things about the series, so I decided to give it a shot. It's not bad. It has an interesting plot (a real page-turner), I read it in a single sitting. But... it is poorly written with short, choppy, repetitive sentences that go nowhere. Characters are not consistent, nor realistic. Jack Reacher ( "a man who always wins") is represented as a weird person that can barely string enough words together in his head to form a sentence, let alone hold a conversation with another character I'd heard good things about the series, so I decided to give it a shot. It's not bad. It has an interesting plot (a real page-turner), I read it in a single sitting. But... it is poorly written with short, choppy, repetitive sentences that go nowhere. Characters are not consistent, nor realistic. Jack Reacher ( "a man who always wins") is represented as a weird person that can barely string enough words together in his head to form a sentence, let alone hold a conversation with another characters. The story was extremely drawn out, probably about 200 pages longer than needed and the twists are really predictable. All in all, it's a great idea, but very poorly executed. I hope the next books will be better. 2.5/5

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    The Beginnings Lee Child set out to write a thriller with a hero who wasn't a weakling or didn't get beat to crap six ways from Tuesday before pulling some clever crap and winning the day. He wanted his guy to be an outsider, adrift, apart. Thus, he created Jack Reacher, a six foot five professionally trained soldier who, after leaving the military, commenced drifting across America with no particular place in mind, just following his whims. Of course, he's a guy who can't stay out of trouble, p The Beginnings Lee Child set out to write a thriller with a hero who wasn't a weakling or didn't get beat to crap six ways from Tuesday before pulling some clever crap and winning the day. He wanted his guy to be an outsider, adrift, apart. Thus, he created Jack Reacher, a six foot five professionally trained soldier who, after leaving the military, commenced drifting across America with no particular place in mind, just following his whims. Of course, he's a guy who can't stay out of trouble, particularly in small, close-knit towns where he stands out like a sore thumb. This is the first book in a twenty-book plus series and fleshed out the character, his nomadic whimsical lifestyle, his take no prisoners warrior mentality, and his general attempt to do the decent thing. Written in a sparse matter-of-fact manner, it works as solid entertainment, hard to put down, and a lot of fun.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria V. Snyder

    This is Lee Child's first Jack Reacher book and it reads like a first novel. The plot and pacing were great, but not a ton of emotional depth, which it should have, considering it's first person POV. I'm going to assume he gets better as he's a bestselling author with a ton of books out. I might give him another try.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Jack Reacher isn't your typical hero so don't look for that in this story. He's a bit scary but the guy you want by your side when things get rough. He finds himself charged with murder almost minutes after coming into the town of Margrave, Georgia. It is one tense situation after another for Jack as he navigates through each, trying to figure out who he can trust and how to shake off this town. It doesn't take long to be drawn into this intricate web of lies and mystery. The writer uses a first Jack Reacher isn't your typical hero so don't look for that in this story. He's a bit scary but the guy you want by your side when things get rough. He finds himself charged with murder almost minutes after coming into the town of Margrave, Georgia. It is one tense situation after another for Jack as he navigates through each, trying to figure out who he can trust and how to shake off this town. It doesn't take long to be drawn into this intricate web of lies and mystery. The writer uses a first person narrative to tell the story, which allows you to track Jack's reasoning and strategies in real time. The writing style took some getting used to and made it a slower read for about the first half of the book. Once I adapted to the style, it became synonymous with Jack. The pace of the story was swift even when the writing style slowed me down. While there were some predictable moments, there were some things that happened I never saw coming with a pretty exciting finish. I still have some unanswered questions about Jack and am intrigued enough to continue reading this series. Great first book in the series.

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