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Killing Floor

(Jack Reacher #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  270,453 ratings  ·  11,273 reviews
Killing Floor is the first book in the internationally popular series about Jack Reacher, hero of the new blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise. It presents Reacher for the first time, as the tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode: a righter of wrongs, the perfect action hero.

Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia.
Kindle Edition, 523 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Transworld Digital (first published March 17th 1997)
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Jeff I've read 18 of 20 in order (I missed one book, and am about to start reading "Make Me"). I don't think you have to read them in order (other than 17,…moreI've read 18 of 20 in order (I missed one book, and am about to start reading "Make Me"). I don't think you have to read them in order (other than 17,18,19 since they are part of a 3 story arc) , but I highly recommend starting with Killing Floor. The first 3 paragraphs are still one of the coolest things I've ever read from this type of genre. Awesome start to a book. Almost every book could be read independently, though Child does reference past stories from time to time, he does a good job of giving you the pertinent information that you need.(less)

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  270,453 ratings  ·  11,273 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
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Chris McGrath
Sep 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, abandoned
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
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
Jan 29, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 (Wants to Read More)
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
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 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
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
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
James Tivendale
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Killing Floor is an excellent first entry into the brutal world of Jack Reacher. Violent, addictive, complex, unpredictable, and personal. Reacher has deduction skills Sherlock Holmes would respect and is such an expert in the art of war that it makes him a perfect modern-day superhero in the terrible modern-day world he finds himself returning to after leaving the services. For thrillers such as this, I haven't read any characters better suited to the genre than those of Jack Reacher or Alex Cr ...more
Mar 18, 2013 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 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 23, 2011 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 15, 2008 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
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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 Mli
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 ...more
Jan 07, 2016 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
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely compelling and pageturning thriller on a mysterious murder case. Jack Reacher, ex-miltitary policeman, stays in the little town of Margraves to gather some information on a blind Blues musician. He is drawn into a murder case that gets bigger and bigger. What triggers his decision to become active in this case? What is at stake? And what is behind that mysterious Kilner foundation? Great characters (Finlay, Roscoe, but also the bad guys), precise description and a fine main character, ...more
Love The Jack Reacher series. Went back and re-read the first of the series, and enjoyed it tremendously. Good research and detail from Lee Child. He knows the working of the military. Lots of fun action.

Pretty good start but then it went downhill.
The guy was too everything - too perfect, too clever, too tough, too hot, too cool, too badass, too nonchalant. It grated on my nerves.
Not to mention the story was farfetched and over-the-top.
4 Stars

As far as crime-thrillers are concerned, this one was pretty damn good.

As a fan of the Jack Reacher films starring Tom Cruise, I’ve had my eager eye on this book series for years. Thankfully, my library app recently went all out and made available all the ebooks and audiobooks in this long-running series. I went borrow crazy and now here we are - a new reading addiction has been born.

The book began kind of slowly, but once the unfolding mystery got its hooks into me, there was no lookin
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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
May 31, 2011 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
Edward Lorn
Jun 30, 2016 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
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 gets your mind involved. There are some odd things even there. It seems to me that jack with his background and experience (which a big deal is made of and plays heavily into the story) at the very beginning could have do
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
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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

Other books in the series

Jack Reacher (1 - 10 of 26 books)
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  • 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)

Articles featuring this book

If you ask us, it's always the perfect time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked the...
174 likes · 102 comments
“I'm not a vagrant. I'm a hobo. Big difference.” 83 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.” 57 likes
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