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Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  173,080 Ratings  ·  7,605 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 407 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by Jove (first published March 17th 1997)
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Brent Winters I listened to the first 1.5 hrs on audible (first person novel) and I guess I'm the contrarian. I found Child's to be a master at getting into his…moreI listened to the first 1.5 hrs on audible (first person novel) and I guess I'm the contrarian. I found Child's to be a master at getting into his character's head and setting the mood/environment. However, that stayed pretty much the same after almost two hours Jack eats breakfast, gets falsely arrested, has maybe two conversations (he's the strong silent type), rides a bus (without incident) and goes to jail for the weekend until they get more evidence. No fights, no gunfire, and we are only told about the murder second hand. The plot needed to advance faster for me, but that's my taste as others like the book. I assume it gets better but it lost me.

Community Reviews

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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
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
Chris McGrath
Sep 02, 2011 Chris McGrath rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, thriller
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
 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
Jan 29, 2013 Jeff rated it did not like it
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
Jane Stewart
4 stars. Rambo, Dirty Harry, with a hint of Sherlock Holmes – fun, exciting, suspense, escape.

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
Dirk Grobbelaar
Mar 15, 2013 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 23, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No One
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
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
Mar 18, 2013 Bill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
Mar 15, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Edward Lorn
Jun 30, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2016 Alp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 31, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 16, 2011 Jonetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
I decided to read this book/series because a) I liked the movie and b) Alp's review. I'm happy I read this, but it didn't live up to my expectations. I think I thought it'd be more dynamic and Jack Reacher would be more Tom Cruise-ish?

The book starts off with Jack being arrested for a crime he definitely didn't commit as he hasn't been in town but an hour. From there it's a lot of slow. Even when he's put in prison over the weekend because the tiny town he was arrested in doesn't have holding c
Oct 25, 2012 Rizwan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After collecting each and every Jack Reacher books tirelessly over the years one by one from the mountainous book piles of used bookstores, and after always hearing this or that about the all powerful Jack Reacher, yesterday I finally finished reading this first book from Lee Child. Was it worth while? Was it as good as I was expecting after all the hype? Well, I did read the 520+ pages of this one in just over 3 days, inspite of my insane workload and tight schedules, so you can say, yes...most ...more
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mar 06, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-suspense
This is really a 3.5, but I enjoy Jack Reacher so much, I'm bumping it up.

Jack Reacher! Jack Reacher is so incredibly awesome! I've heard a ton about Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, but it wasn't until a critic on Hit Fix ( was going on and on about how horrible it would be if Tom Cruise played him that I really thought I should pick up the first one. And it was a lot of fun. Told in 1st person (which I guess changes from book to book), Jack is a 13-year
Barb Middleton
Sep 02, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult
I used to peel through adult hard-boiled detective stories like oranges before entering the children's lit world. Now my hard-boiled detectives come in the form of geckos and cuteness such as Chet Gecko and Nate the Great. Ruby Redfort reminded me of what I was missing so when my friend, Angela, plopped this book with  tough-guy Jack Reacher on my desk and said in her down-under accent, "Yah gonna love Jack," I was ready for some fast-paced escapism. Giddy-up Ange. Jack is a hoot.

Jack Reacher do
Mary Beth
Jul 29, 2014 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to start the Jack Reacher series for some time now. I gave into the pressure and brought my first book in the Series, Killing Floor.

Margrave is a small town in Georgia. Jack Teacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles in the rain, just passing through, a tribute to a guitar player who died there decades before. But Margrave has just had its first homicide in thirty years, and Jack Reacher is the only stranger in town. So the murder is pinned on him. They picked the wrong
May 20, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book in the series and it got me totally hooked. Jack reacher 6ft 2ins built like a brick shit house and as bad as they come. A drifter by choosing and hates big men sitting on top thinking they can't be taken down. well this time they make it personal and reacher is out for blood. 5 out of 5 a must read
Bill Ward
Jul 26, 2015 Bill Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not surprised to find I really enjoyed my first Jack Reacher book! It lived up to the hype and is a great fast moving action story. Reacher is an interesting character and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
"Money money makes the world go round..." - some song by LL Cool J

I shouldn't like this book, I really shouldn't. Jack Reacher is such a cliché character; American, save-the-day glorified yawn. BUT he is actually really likeable, in a sort of don't-wash-can't-wash sort of way. Personally I think Lee Child's shows a really deft hand at making what seems like a simple story complex and takes a generic character and makes them interesting. He didn't take the standard wise-cracking lead character,
Nov 28, 2012 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of action heroes
First of all, I read this because, as is my standard, I like to read the book before I see the movie. Well, I was fooled, the movie is actually based on One Shot, the ninth book in the Jack Reacher series. Oh well, at least I am familiar with the character now.

The best way for me to describe this is by using the three act structure.

SETUP: First Blood
CONFRONTATION: Spenser for Hire
If the writing was better, this could have been a four star book, and if there were a few less co
সালমান হক
অনেক দিন ধরেই লি চাইলড এর জযাক রিচার সিরিজটা আমার টু রিড লিসট এ পড়ে ছিল। আর বই গুলার উপর খালি ধুলো জমছিল আমার শোকেসে। পড়া হচছিল না, কারণ পরথম বইটা আমার কাছে নেই। কিনতু সেদিন কি মনে করে ডাউনলোড ই করে ফেললাম। এরপর, দুই বসায় শেষ :) । ভালো লেগেছে? বেশ ভালো। নাহলে তো দুই রাতে পড়ে ফেলতে পারতাম না। অবশয ফাইনাল পরিকষার। আগে আমার কেন জানি সব বই ই ভালো লাগে।
যাই হোক এটা নাকি লি চাইলড এর পরথম বই ছিল। তবে সতযি কথা বলতে পরথম বলেই ছককা পিটিয়েছিলেন বলেই মনে হচছে। সেদিন দেখলাম সিরিজ এর ২১ নমবর বই বের হচছে। তা
Jan 24, 2017 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, mystery
4.5 stars

I read a Jack Reacher novel about two years ago and enjoyed it. I always meant to come back and check out the series.

When looking for a reputable thriller series to sink my teeth into this year I remembered that experience. I'm glad I did. This was a great book.

Jack Reacher is ex-military. Been out for six months. He drifts into a town in Georgia and gets arrested eating breakfast. Being he hasn't done anything besides down some eggs, he figures he'll just clear things up and be on his
Mike (the Paladin)
I tried reading some of the Jack Reacher books some years ago and don't have any clear idea of them except that I wasn't blown away and didn't follow up the series.

I still feel the same way really. I got interested in the story here right away. It's well set up and the lead in get's your mind involved. There are some odd things even there. It seems to me that jack with his background and experience (which is made a big deal of and plays heavily into the story) at the very beginning could have d
Sep 14, 2008 Trudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read these books out of order, which isn't how I like to read a series... but not a huge deal. However, THIS book - the first in the series - I think was my favorite so far. THAT is saying alot because I LOVE these books. I am going to have to rethink my "no book gets a 5 star rating rule."

I don't know how anyone that reads this "type" of book can't love this series. If you aren't into the genre, then OK, I will give it to you... But Child does a great job in an opening novel of hooking y
Tammy Walton Grant
Jan 02, 2013 Tammy Walton Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tammy by: Catherine, Dave
This was quite good -- a series I can reach for when I can't find anything that's screaming "read me!"

Killing Floor is a fast-paced, hard-boiled read. Lee Child's style took of bit of getting used to - the prose is tense and sparse. Once you get going, though, the story moves quickly, with a whole lot of action described in a way that seems at once flat and incredibly descriptive.

Mr. Child has a talent for effortless description, and the book spooled out before me like a movie. (My Jack Reacher
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Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a pr ...more
More about Lee Child...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Reacher (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
  • Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3)
  • Running Blind (Jack Reacher, #4)
  • Echo Burning (Jack Reacher, #5)
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
  • Persuader (Jack Reacher, #7)
  • The Enemy (Jack Reacher, #8)
  • One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9)
  • The Hard Way (Jack Reacher, #10)
  • Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher, #11)

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“I'm not a vagrant. I'm a hobo. Big difference.” 66 likes
“Evaluate. Long experience had taught me to evaluate and assess. When the unexpected gets dumped on you, don’t waste time. Don’t figure out how or why it happened. Don’t recriminate. Don’t figure out whose fault it is. Don’t work out how to avoid the same mistake next time. All of that you do later. If you survive.” 46 likes
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