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Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  126,956 ratings  ·  6,031 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 524 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Jove (first published January 1st 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.
(less)
Michael Postlethwait I would strongly advise reading the books in order. Like mentioned before; there are too many references to previous characters and events in the…moreI would strongly advise reading the books in order. Like mentioned before; there are too many references to previous characters and events in the later books in the series.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 24, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars
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
...more
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 ...more
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
...more
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 ...more
Erin
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 (http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/motion-ca...) 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
...more
Monica!
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!”

Friends.

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

First off, we had

a prot
...more
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
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
...more
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
...more
Stu
"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,
...more
Trudy
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
...more
Bill Ward
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.
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
...more
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
...more
Rizwan
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
Tammy Walton Grant
Jan 22, 2013 Tammy Walton Grant rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
Kealan Burke
Mindless and improbable popcorn fare. Entertaining to a degree, but forgettable.
Eric
Dec 07, 2012 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
description
CONFRONTATION: Spenser for Hire
description
RESOLUTION: Commando
description
If the writing was better, this could have been a four star book, and if there were a few less co
...more
Jim
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
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,
...more
Mary JL
Mar 14, 2013 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery/action-adventure fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of the series
Shelves: mystery-horror
This is the first book in the Jack Reacher series. I have already read several--I read them as I find them in the used bookstores---and on the whole find it an interesting and well written series.

Jack Reacher is an ex-military policeman. He is now a drifter, moving from place to place to see the USA--he's mostly lived overseas on military bases all his life.

He's finishing breakfast in a small town diner when four cops swarm in and arrest him for murder. And off we go!

Reacher finds himself trying
...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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL-DKV..., only the bad guys, avoids collateral damage of bystanders. Every loose end is tied off, inclu ...more
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
...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Killing Floor by Lee Child 5 32 May 06, 2015 01:52AM  
My it’s as long as there about 1 25 Apr 16, 2015 10:26PM  
manfiction... or dicklit? 14 441 Dec 13, 2014 08:35PM  
Which book should I start with? 34 193 Nov 22, 2014 08:04PM  
Things that piss me off 107 901 Nov 22, 2014 06:26PM  
Mysteries & Crime...: July group read - Killing Floor 43 110 Oct 09, 2014 05:55AM  
Mystery/Thriller ...: Don't Know Jack: the hunt for Reacher series; on Kindle 12 53 Mar 06, 2012 09:59PM  
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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.” 54 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.” 35 likes
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