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Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  108,392 ratings  ·  5,535 reviews
All is not well in Margrave, Georgia.

The sleepy, forgotten town hasn't seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses events that leave everyone stunned. An unidentified man is found beaten and shot to death on a lonely country road. The police chief and his wife are butchered on a quiet Sunday morning. Then a bank executive disappears from his hom
Paperback, 528 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Bantam (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.
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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
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
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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
Jane Stewart
4 ½ 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 clo
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 24, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
A week or so ago, friends, you may remember that I had read a book purporting to be a Hard-Boiled Mystery, but clearly it was not. Because apparently the list I got this book off of sucked.

Not to be deterred, though, I tried another author! “Lee Child?” I said to myself. “I have heard of this man! Wasn’t Creepy Tom Cruise just in a movie of one of his books? I shall try this Killing Floor novel!”


This was much more what I thought a Hard-Boiled Mystery would be like.

First off, we had

a prot
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 ...more
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
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
"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,
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
Mary Beth
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
Tammy Walton Grant
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
Barb Middleton
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 doe
Dec 07, 2012 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
A lady of my acquaintance is addicted to watching crime shows on TV. You know the shows I am referring to...the crime labs with the lights turned down low, staffed by bikini models who strut around in power suits and stiletto heels, which same prove no hindrance in chasing down fit young men who are highly motivated to evade capture. The same shows in which police torture and trick suspects with no regard for the evidentiary value of the information obtained, and car chases and explosions are th ...more
An Odd1
The title "Killing Floor" may have a couple meanings, one the prison level where our innocent hero faces a painful end. X-rated. A cop's smile leads to a bedroom invite. Foreign counterfeiters gruesomely obliterate leads, always one bloody grisly (and gristly) step ahead of our guy. He's a killer, but like über-fun-fighter Arnold Schwarzenegger in film True Lies, only the bad guys, avoids collateral damage of bystanders. Every loose end is tied off, inclu ...more
Bob Mayer
One of the great openings for a suspense novel. Hooks you right in and makes the character interesting. While Reacher is larger than life and Child's descriptions of the Army don't match the Army I was in at times, this is a fast-paced, enjoyable read.

It appears Reacher graduated West Point around the time I did, served in Lebanon around the time my unit, 10th Special Forces, had an MTT there (strangely, didn't see any MPs there). Not to take anything away from the MPs, but, well. Ok. Actually,
Kealan Burke
Mindless and improbable popcorn fare. Entertaining to a degree, but forgettable.
I read Tripwire a while ago as my first Child novel and wasn't really into it...too much aimless page bloat and obnoxious character worship on the author's part. Look, it's good to like your own characters as they're kind of like your mental children but at a certain point it becomes eyeroll-inducing. The last time this kind thing was this apparent to me in a book was when I read The Grass Crown. McCullough's creepy love-lust after her recreation of Sulla is papable, but the difference is that h ...more
Cathy DuPont
I read Guy Bergstrom and from his blog, Red Pen of Doom, here's his self-described bio: Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). He has a very light, fun reading blog, not taking anything too seriously.

With that said, I also subscribe to the blog Criminal Element where I found his entry on Writing a Lee Child novel in 8 Foolproof Steps.. Couldn't find it on his own blog which I'm sure is there.

But this entry made me think of the

While I've been aware of Lee Child's best-selling Jack Reacher novels for a while, I hadn't really cracked the cover of one until I heard there was a movie based on the series headed our way. Being the guy who has to read the book first, I headed out to the local library and picked up the first novel, Killing Floor, assuming that the movie series would start with the first novel in the series.

That's what I get for assuming. Turns out that Reacher, like the Bond movies, has decided not to start w

KILLING FLOOR (Suspense-Unlic. Invest.-Georgia-Cont) – G+
Child, Lee – 1st in series
Putnam, 1997-Hardcover
Jack Reacher is on his own for the first time after spending his life on military bases. While having breakfast in a small Georgia town, he is arrested for murder. At first it's a misunderstand but when he realizes the victim was his brother, a U.S. Treasury Agent, Reacher is determined to find out why his brother was in this town and who killed him.
*** I had not read Child before. Once one g
I'd rather give this 2.5 stars. It was written pretty well, very engaging at times & the characters were fairly well fleshed out, but there were huge plot holes, especially at the end. Logic was tossed to the winds for effect & it hurt the book irreparably.

The book relies heavily on coincidence. That was terrible, but it got stretched. About halfway through, the book should have been winding up, but instead it got padded out with too much bad plot. I felt the author was struggling for th
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manfiction... or dicklit? 14 431 Dec 13, 2014 08:35PM  
Which book should I start with? 34 184 Nov 22, 2014 08:04PM  
Things that piss me off 107 887 Nov 22, 2014 06:26PM  
Mysteries & C...: July group read - Killing Floor 43 109 Oct 09, 2014 05:55AM  
A Good Thriller: Which is Your favourite Lee Childs Book ? 1 19 Jan 30, 2014 10:03AM  
Mystery/Thriller ...: Don't Know Jack: the hunt for Reacher series; on Kindle 12 53 Mar 06, 2012 09:59PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Edition Issue 5 164 Dec 11, 2011 12:24AM  
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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 20 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)
One Shot (Jack Reacher, #9) Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6) Tripwire  (Jack Reacher, #3) Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher, #15)

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“I'm not a vagrant. I'm a hobo. Big difference.” 51 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.” 29 likes
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