Crime novel reviewer.
British. Dark. Disturbed.
Margrave is a no-account little town in Georgia. Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles in the rain, just passing through. An arbitrary decision, a tribute to a guitar player who died there decades before.
But Margrave has just had its first homicide in thirty years. And Reacher is the only stranger in town. So the murder is pinned on him. As nasty secrets leak out and the body count mounts, only one thing is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall.
Killing Floor introduces Jack Reacher, the tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode. Trained to think fast and act faster, with an eye for the women, he is truly every thinking reader’s perfect action hero.
What can I say about Jack Reacher? Everyone knows his name. 'Women want to sleep with him, men want to be him'. And if you can purge Tom Cruise from your mind, pretty much everyone loves him - and with good reason.
I wanted to go right back to where it all started, and read through all the Reacher novels in publication order. When you first meet Jack is when you first start to love him. A tough, no-nonsense drifter with a ferocious set of values and a unique set of skills, he's great company. Killing Floor works so well because of Jack's uniqueness - you won't find another character anything like him in any other series - and in genre so densely packed that's pretty jaw-dropping in itself. With Reacher's background you get a nice mix of police-procedural with a heavy dose of off-the-grid action, which keeps things fresh and unpredictable - to a degree at least. We learn pretty early on that Jack's always going to come out on top, but we're in a genre where the 'good guys' always win, so, you know...that's kind of a given from the outset. The nice thing with Killing Floor, is that you might just find your definition of 'good guy' starting to shift slightly.....
There's romance here too, although it's back seat and fleeting in its own way. No tie-downs for our lonely hero.
Killing Floor is arguably not the best in the series, but it's a great opener packed with the promise of plenty more to come.
One for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced thriller packed with action scenes and enough twists to keep things interesting. Should come with a warning regarding how many more of Child's books you're going to need to buy to keep up.