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Jack Reacher #1

Killing Floor

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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.

474 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published March 17, 1997

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About the author

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 presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. The first Jack Reacher movie, based on the novel One Shot and starring Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, was released in December 2012.

Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

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5 stars
113,905 (37%)
4 stars
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3 stars
54,939 (18%)
2 stars
11,545 (3%)
1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 13,082 reviews
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,821 followers
April 10, 2016
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 is betrayed at some point. -Check

Hero shacks up with hottest girl in town within two days of meeting her. - Check

Hot girl gets kidnapped by bad guys at some point. - Check.

Stuff blows up real good at the end. - Check.

I know this is a really popular series these days, but unless it gets a lot better in later books, I just don't get it. I've read far better action scenes from guys like John Sandford who actually write thrillers that have plots that hang together and don't trot out every action movie cliche in the process. Plus, there are massive gaps in logic. A murder victim turns out to be a federal agent who is working on a super-secret case that is so important that it literally threatens the United States. Yet, after he's killed and it's reported, nobody else from the government even shows up to check it out. WTF? I can gloss over unrealistic procedural stuff in the interest of a good story, but since this isn't a good story, the plot loopholes are too horrible to ignore.

Another problem is that Child couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to write just an action novel or a detective story, and he tried to split the difference. Not good.

Reacher is the worst fictional detective I've ever read. Giant clues are put in front of him that anyone who has ever read a book or seen an episode of television since 1962 would instantly recognize, but he misses them. Yet, when called for, he can make ludicrous leaps of intuition that would make Sherlock Holmes scratch his head at the sheer implausibility of them. This might have been a better book if Reacher was just a revenge driven killing machine mowing through the bad guys without the pretense of playing detective.

This would have been 1 star, but I gave it an extra star because the main piece of the criminal plot is actually kind of clever and not something I'd read before. Unfortunately, it's the only original thing in this book.*

* Update 4/10/16 - I recently read another crime novel that used an identical idea of . Since that book was published 36 years before this one it seems a lot less original then I initially thought so I took away that second star.

Profile Image for Chris McGrath.
356 reviews127 followers
April 25, 2013
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 regret it. They're not even worth that much.
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
December 20, 2011
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 fashion, Jack’s narration of the book’s events is muted and almost detached. This emotionally restrained tone is employed even when he’s describing scenes of grisly, gore filled carnage of which this book has plenty.

He keeps his feelings in check and doesn’t phase easily, even when scummy douchesacks intentionally strive to work themselves under his skin. That said, when the moment is right and Jack is required to muster his inner grim reaper against the human stains who have wronged him and his...man is it ever G-fucking-O time.

This guy can wetwork with the best of them.


Since leaving the army, Jack’s been doing the “Kung Fu” drifter/wanderer act across the U.S. of A. When he arrives at a blip on the map called Margrave, Georgia he finds himself immediately arrested for murder. Seems some gentleman had his head removed with a shotgun blast and Reacher finds himself as the prime suspect.

So after an eventful weekend in prison during which he redecorates the faces and figures of a handful of inmates, Jack is finally released from jail. At this point, the story takes a dramatic “you must suspend your disbelief” turn when the recent murder ends up having a very personal connection to Reacher. Furthermore, the murder seems to be only a tiny part of a massive conspiracy involving the entire town and the body count quickly begins to rise.

Game on.

From here, our giant bag of nut-crushing head-knockery becomes a one man Sherlock Schwarzenegger** and proceeds to hunt clues, piece together evidence and unleash a batch of industrial strength payback on a whole gaggle of bad guys.

**This is early Arnold and not the later model that comes with man boobs.

Game over.


As you can probably glean from the above, I think Jack Reacher is pretty much THE MAN. What I liked most was that as big and strong as he is, this is no simple, brawn-sporting lug with low voltage wiring upstairs. He’s intelligent, shrewd and has a gift for being able to sift through and digest information while thinking on his feet both tactically and strategically. He’s the complete package, A large, clever anti-hero that knows how to get the job done and who has enough humanity inside him to make you want him to come out on top.


Now that I have slobbered all over this review, I do have one major gripe and it is kind of a big’un. Put simply, the writing was painfully bad. The prose is stiffer than rigor mortis and the dialogue was accoutered with more “he saids” and “she saids” than a Hollywood gossip session.

For much of the first half of the book it was almost terminally off putting and greatly distracted me from the story. I thought I had struck out with this book and was not looking forward to doing my review as so many of my friends liked this.

But, as time went on, as the body count increased, as the stakes got higher and as Reacher’s badass quotient approached epic status, I found myself far more forgiving of the simple, “connect the dots” prose and clunky dialogue and realized I had been sucked headlong into the narrative. From then until the wrap up, I was fully on board.

It was like a mini Christmas miracle.

I fell right into the central mystery that was fresh and unique and more than worth the price of admission for me (despite having a few far-fetched plot components). When you add to that my increasingly bromantic bonding to Reacher and his “Billy Jack against the evil townies one man army” show, I was in hardboiled action Gagaville lovin me some story.

And thus….

Overall, a great main character and an interesting central story made up for some less than stellar prose and I ended up firmly liking this tale. I will certainly check out the next tale in this series as I would imagine the writing is only going to get better and the rest should stay at least as good.

3.0 stars. Recommended.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
January 12, 2023
I don't know what I thought the Jack Reacher books would be like, but I wasn't expecting what I got.
This was written in 1997 and it shows. A lot of macho man stuff.
Like, an unreasonable amount of macho man stuff.
I mean, I've known a couple of guys who used to work as MPs back in the day, and they weren't ninja assassins. At alllll. But according to Reacher, if you're military police then you have to track down scary military guys with all kinds of special training, so you have to be trained yourself. I'm not so sure about that. I would think if there's some kind of badass killer loose in the military, they will send another badass military killer after them, not a cop. Even a military cop.
I could be wrong!


And yet...
At one point Reacher says he knows a lot of fighting tricks because he and his brother were always the new kids at school.
Wait. School yard fights? That's your ace in the hole?
Maybe in the next book, he teams up with a guy who used to play D&D and was in the chess club. I'll bet that dude got his ass kicked plenty in school, too. According to Killing Floor logic they could take on some rogue Navy Seals and win!


Alright, I'm being a tad silly. But you will need to suspend disbelief and pull on your action movie panties for this one because there was just way more than one man's fair share of overbaked machismo wafting off of Mr. Reacher.
He's a lone wolf. A drifter. A mighty warrior. He's like Lou Ferrigno's Hulk just wandering around from small town to small town, righting the wrongs.
Except Jack is a panty melter, so he's going to get laid a bunch while he does it.


I know this is an introductory book but it was quite a bit longer than I thought necessary for what actually happened plot-wise. So, buckle up. It's not some fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. There's a lot of meandering around while Reacher and his new friends try to uncover...a sinister counterfeit money ring in the small town of Margrave, Georgia.
Still. If you step carefully around the 90s plot holes, you might just have a good time.


This is a certain kind of book for a certain kind of reader. And in the same way that I know not everyone enjoys a good bodice ripper, not everyone will enjoy Killing Floor.
It has the same level of fantasy cheese that a trashy romance novel has, but in a Reacher novel, your audience is going to be mainly dudes.
I don't see anything wrong with it.
I hear there are about 700 books in this series, so there must be something that keeps fans coming back for more.
Recommended for fans of The Expendables.
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,965 reviews674 followers
May 7, 2022
My name is Jack Reacher. No middle name. No address.

I decided to re-read Killing Floor for "Reacher" show on Amazon. It's been a long time and I only remember bits and parts. Okay... I remember nothing except one very important supporting character and completely blank on the mystery. My first read was in print so I went with listening for my second time. I love Dick Hill's narration and I'm sad that he decided to retire.

Jack Reacher took a midnight bus from Tampa. Around eight in the morning, he got off on a county road and walked fourteen miles to Margrave a small picturesque Georgia town. His brother Joe has mentioned Blind Blake, a blues guitarist who was murdered there sixty years ago. Around noon while having eggs and coffee, Margrave PD stormed into the diner and arrested Reacher for a murder that occurred early that morning.

After a couple of hours into the book, I thought what's the harm if I watch the first episode? I was certain I had listened past the first hour of the show. H U G E mistake. I can't believe I ended up watching all eight episodes!😱 The show is mostly very true to the book and it's been renewed for the second season. Yes!!❤️

My original review is g-o-n-e.
Love this book. Might be my favorite Reacher book.
(I have learned to export my reviews)
Profile Image for Jeff .
912 reviews693 followers
October 10, 2014
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-numbing hackneyed plot devices, punctuated by the occasional instances of brutal violence, and you end up with literary inertia, which appears to be going somewhere, but it’s not. Just like Fred and Dino.

The book has an introduction by the author that had been added for the Tiny Tom movie release. The introduction details Lee Child’s life from quitting his day job to how he created Reacher. The introduction was the highlight of this reading experience. Child probably had a lot of ideas bouncing around in his head when he began writing this book. Sadly, he picked the wrong ones. A quote he repeats in the intro is, "Dickens wanted what the audience wanted". Sure, but Dickens was his own man, who didn't pander to his audience's fleeting whims.

I don’t want to totally dismiss the Reacher series out of hand. The Almighty Stephen King pimps it on the cover of this edition and I’ve read one other Reacher book and it was fairly entertaining. Even though I’ve (over)invested 50 cents in two other volumes, it’ll be awhile before I give my time to another book in this series.
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
550 reviews1,065 followers
July 9, 2015
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 Reacher. The book was conceived in the 90s, so perhaps it makes sense.

Well, tough shit. He started it, right? Attacking me was like pushing open a forbidden door. What waited on the other side was his problem. His risk. If he didn’t like it, he shouldn’t have pushed open the damn door.

So, Reacher. He is huge (yes, literally) and he doesn’t take any crap. As in none. Expect broken limbs, mashed-in faces, blown-up buildings, and very-dead scumbags, as he sets about solving mysteries. He doesn’t have an alcohol problem, or domestic issues, or any other of the plethora of baggage we have gotten used to in crime fiction. Some argue this makes for a one dimensional character, while others are content to sit back and enjoy the ride. Both these schools of thought have merit, so it’s really the plotting that makes or breaks a book like this.

I calculated angles and estimated distances. I came up with one definite conclusion. It was a hell of a problem.

I read this on my wife’s recommendation, and I enjoyed it. It’s possibly the literary equivalent of a Cinnamon Bun, not all that much nutrition but high on calories. Thing is: I enjoy a Cinnamon Bun every once in a while. I also happened to enjoy the fact that this particular protagonist doesn’t care two hoots about protocol and consequence. Realistic? Maybe not. Fun? Indeedy.

His skull exploded under the impact of the huge bullet. His legs crumpled and he started falling. I fired my last four shells into him before he hit the floor.

Also, bear in mind that Jack Reacher isn’t a detective. Not really. He is ex-Military Police so he has a few skills, mostly in breaking heads to get the information he needs. He also likes to travel…

I wanted the open road and a new place every day. I wanted miles to travel and absolutely no idea where I was going. I wanted to ramble. I had rambling on my mind.

As for the plotting: it wasn’t bad at all, in my humble opinion. I enjoyed the mystery, and the unraveling of it, and the big reveal(s), even though I have to admit that there is at least one brobdingnagian coincidence and a few things that didn’t tie up all thaaat nicely. May I suggest you read this as an action romp, rather than a sophisticated thriller?

The big question here is obviously “will I read the next one?” – hell yes I reckon I will.

3.5 exploding, um, objects out of 5
August 8, 2011
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 a movie (if Hollywood didn't manage to bungle most of the movies they make. )Yes, it has some cringe-worthy scenes, but I don't feel bad for the bad guys in this book at all. They were completely loathsome. While I don't consider myself a violent person, there is something deeply satisfying about reading a book with a kickbutt hero who deals with corrupt persons with no morals and no respect for human life, and deals with them hard like they deserve, but they certainly don't expect.

Things I like about Jack Reacher:
*He can handle himself
*He is a good person, but he don't play!
*He is both the mysterious, strong silent type and a smart aleck with unforgettable lines. What a great combination.
*He uses his brain and all the assets available. I liked how he assessed the various situations and was able to come up with a good solution, thinking on his feet.
*He has a sense of justice that I can get behind, and he doesn't let the rules get in his way of seeing justice done (much like Repairman Jack from the F. Paul Wilson books).
*He treats people with respect, except for lowlives who show that they aren't worthy of it.
*He can kick some serious butt and teach the thugs some lessons they won't ever forget!

Who would I pick to play Jack Reacher in a movie?

I immediately thought of Josh Lucas when Jack is first described. Why? Because Josh is hot, he's a good actor, he has the attitude and the presence to play Jack, and the coloring and physical description. Yup. Josh is my Jack. I will not budge on that.

Do you still need a reason to read this book?

If the answer is no, I suggest you go find a copy of this book and have a ball reading it. If you don't want to read Killing Floor by now, then I can tell you truly haven't been completely annoyed with how scumbags manage to take advantage of good people and get away with it. Or maybe you just don't like adrenaline rushes in a book, and action-packed suspense with some nifty twists and turns. If that's the case, I still like you.

Um, Danielle. You sound kind of gleeful about this violent book and I'm a little scared of you right now. Should I be? Are you a closet vigilante?

Not at all, even though I love Batman and Jack is definitely going on my favorite hero list. No, it's just very good wish fulfillment to read books with tough guys like Jack who can and will take care of the bad guys and have you going, "Dang!" What can I say? I grew up in the 80s, the Golden Age of action films. It's too late for me now....
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,915 followers
April 16, 2019
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 nothing more than the clothes on his back, paying cash, traveling by bus and staying off the grid.

On a whim, Reacher has a bus driver drop him off at the interchange for tiny Margrave, Georgia. Reacher has heard a story about an ancient Blues man who once spent time in the town and decides to check it out. He walks fourteen miles into town, orders a cup of coffee in a diner, and is promptly arrested for murder.

Reacher knows that he hasn't killed anyone, at least not in Margrave and not for some time, so he's obviously mystified. He soon discovers that there are a lot of weird things going on in this tiny, pristine town where the townfolk, or at least a good number of them, are harboring some strange secrets. Reacher couldn't care less. He just wants to get clear of the murder charges, get back on the bus, and resume his wandering life. But he quickly develops a personal stake in the murder case, which is decidedly bad news for the evildoers.

Before long, the bodies are piling up left and right, and Reacher is contributing more than his fair share to the carnage. This is a cleverly-plotted book, although it does depend on a coincidence that's almost too huge to swallow. Still, it's a fun read that sets the template for the future books in the series. This is essentially "Shane" brought forward into the Twentieth (and now the Twenty-first) century. Jack Reacher is the mysterious stranger with something approaching mystical powers, who rides into a troubled town, albeit on a Greyhound rather than a horse. He cleans up the town, disposes of the bad guys, dallies briefly with a beautiful, sexy woman that he will have to abandon in the end, and then, once his job is done, he rides off into the sunset.

What's not to like? The formula has worked very well through sixteen books now, and Jack Reacher has become an international favorite. Those who have somehow missed him would do well to start with Killing Floor.
Profile Image for Bill.
929 reviews301 followers
March 25, 2013
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 arrested on suspicion of murder, is released, and promptly starts banging the hottest chick in town who is also a cop.
Then, they discover a very convenient photograph that the dead guy's ex-wife has that shows the guy grinning at the camera, standing next to his delivery truck, with another key element guy conveniently visible in the background (Oh! A link!), AND with the warehouse where bodies were found at the beginning of the story (Oh! Another link!).
I can just imagine these brilliant counterfeiters stopping their covert operation to take a nice picture with all the key elements nicely lined up.
That broke me.

No, no, no. I want something good to read, and I'm finding more reasons to not read it with every page. I commend myself for enduring the monotonous narrative of less than eight-word sentences and I feel I have given this book more than enough of a chance to care about it. Bye Reacher, we're done.
Profile Image for Jade Saul.
Author 1 book53 followers
January 11, 2022
In Lee Child Killing floor, we get to meet his main character Jack Reacher who gets arrested for a murder that he didn't commit the action is nonstop. I really enjoyed it
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
March 20, 2018
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 it.

Reacher happens upon a murder in rural Georgia, gets mixed up in a huge underworld criminal activity and must FIGHT and WIN! He also has to stay alive and Childs does a damn good job of describing scenes that keep the octane burning and the action coming. This is an entertaining page turner, a fun book to read.

There’s also plenty of partially credible coincidence, some deus ex machina solutions and Hollywoodesque melodrama – but if you’re picking up a Reacher book, chances are you were not curious about Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff on the moors, or a sensitive character study about a single mom. It is what it is, and does the action hero thing quite well. Like Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, no one from the academy was paying attention to the wit of the dialogue or the intelligence of the cinematography – you want to see the hero kick ass and that’s what you get. Damn straight and pass the bourbon.

I’ve already started the next in the series.

Profile Image for Jane Stewart.
2,462 reviews847 followers
November 29, 2011
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 clothes he can throw away rather than wash, no ID, no Driver’s License, no credit cards, using cash, being anonymous. He travels by bus and train.

Jack gets off the bus and walks into the small town of Margrave, Georgia, out of curiosity about a singer who lived there sixty years ago. Someone was killed around the time Jack arrived. The local cops arrest Jack for questioning. In the next few days the police chief is killed and someone else disappears. Jack begins investigating. Multiple attempts are made to kill Jack.

Wow! This was good! When Jack hears the details about the first murder, his analysis was amazing. I was pulled in and didn’t want to stop reading for almost the entire book. I can’t wait to keep going with this series. The plotting is great. No one is being stupid or incompetent – well, maybe a little by some of the bad guys who are not as competent as Jack. Jack is put into circumstances where I think how is he going to survive? But he does neat things and survives and wins. I loved what he did when he was wrongly put into the section of a prison with the worst of convicted murderers. I like seeing revenge and justice for bad guys. So I liked seeing Jack hurt or kill them without worrying about their civil rights. Cops can’t do that.

Roscoe is a female police officer. She and Jack fall for each other so there is a touch of romance and several sex scenes. The sex scenes are told not shown.

There were some gruesome torture scenes that might bother some readers, but they are described after the fact, not shown, which may help a little.

Some reviewers complained that the author wasn’t technically accurate about weapons, procedures, and other things. I don’t care about that. This is fiction. I don’t require “fiction” to educate me. If it’s entertaining with good action, I’m happy to accept “technical fiction.” I do agree some things were too coincidental. Jack’s ability to guess someone’s alias and location was too far-fetched for me. Even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t have done that. But the rest was such a good ride I didn’t mind.

Jack did not have a Driver’s License, but he spent a lot of time driving someone else’s car. The local cops didn’t mention it, apparently since he was helping them. He also took a flight to New York. I don’t know if the airlines required ID back in 1997, before 9/11, but I guess it doesn’t matter because this is fiction. Anyway, it unsettled me at first, but I became more comfortable with it in subsequent books. He drives and flies frequently without an ID in subsequent books.

The narrator Dick Hill was great. He has an amazing range. He did a deep black male voice so well that I thought it was another actor. And his female voices were fine.

Unabridged audiobook reading time: 14 hrs and 48 mins. Swearing language: mild, as far as I can recall. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 7 told not shown. Setting: 1997 mostly Margrave, Georgia, with a few scenes in Atlanta, Alabama, Mississippi, and New York. Book copyright: 1997. Genre: mystery suspense thriller. Ending: Very feel good, a winning feeling, bad guys got it.
Profile Image for Lisa (Harmonybites).
1,834 reviews331 followers
September 25, 2011
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 rosewood office in back. As Hubble rounded the end of the reception desk, I saw his feet. Tan boat shoes. No socks. The two men walked out of sight into the office. The door closed. The desk sergeant left his post and went outside to part Baker's cruiser.

It's pretty much all like that--unvarying and that style doesn't wear well. Imagery? Great description? Actual sentence: It was about as distinctive as the most distinctive thing you could ever think of. The other problem I had with the voice (and character) was that, as the blurb from Jeffrey Deaver put it, Jack Reacher is one of those "tough guy heroes." The kind that has not a trace of a sense of humor and all the affect of a Vulcan purged of all emotion at Gol. The kind of guy that has the first pretty woman in view have the hots for him and sleep with him within two days of meeting him (almost all of which he spent in jail) even though she's a police officer who met him when taking his prints, he's been living like a vagrant and he's a murder suspect. The kind who kills with his own hands without a ripple of remorse or queasiness. And the violent streak got worse as the novel went along--at first it was justifiable self defense, even if ruthless and brutal. (In an early encounter Reacher gouges out an eye.) But it eventually became Mike Hammer-like cold-blooded murders--only justifiable to fans of Death Wish.

The part I did like was that Reacher is a former military policeman who has a Sherlock Holmes touch about him at times. Such as when he dazzles Detective Finley with deductions about his background. (Except, please, there's no such thing as "Harvard tones." There's a Boston accent among natives of the area, but that's different. Child supposedly has a British background, so maybe superimposing Oxford in his mind unto Harvard explains that piece of bizarreness.) It was also entertaining how even when he had been arrested for murder and was being questioned, Reacher was treating Finley more like a colleague investigating the murder with him than his interrogator. That had a kind of cool about it I appreciated in the beginning.

But coincidences pile up (two brothers who haven't met in years cross paths by chance in a small Georgia town they had never before visited even though one is based in D.C. and the other is a drifter criss-crossing the country), plot holes yawn as wide as canyons (a treasury agent is investigating a case that threatens the United States economy; he's reported killed and it's ignored by the Feds), implausibilities stack (Reacher, a West Point graduate who reached the rank of major by 36 has been involuntarily demobilized out of the army because of budget cuts) and as mentioned above, Reacher begins to kill in a way that would make Rambo proud, giving me testosterone poisoning. So, unless someone tells me this series or author got way, way better, this will be my last Lee Child novel. Hell, to be honest, after this experience no matter what anyone tells me this will be my last Lee Child novel.
Profile Image for James Tivendale.
311 reviews1,329 followers
July 24, 2019
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 Cross.
Profile Image for HaMiT.
166 reviews29 followers
May 14, 2021
وقتی یه مجموعه‌ی طولانی با تم "من مرد تنهای شبم" مینویسی، اولین کاری که باید بکنی اینه که مطمئن باشی خواننده از شخصیتی که خلق کردی خوشش بیاد و لی چایلد اینجا موفق عمل کرده. ریچر یه شخصیت همه فن حریف و گولاخه
جدا از معما حل کردن و بزن بکش‌هاش، ارتباط ریچر با بقیه‌ی شخصیت‌ها خیلی خوب و قوی بود و کلاً به اندازه‌ی کافی ازش خوشم اومد که وقتی حوصله‌ام سر رفته باشه، بخوام بازم از این مجموعه کتاب بخونم و سرگرم شم
شرح قتل‌ها و جنایت‌ها رو هم خوب مریض و فاکداپ خلق کرده بود
Profile Image for Suz.
1,097 reviews565 followers
March 30, 2022
Woo hoo Reacher is in the house! About time this 'supposed' prolific reader hit Lee Child. My public library rocks because they are all on audio. I have zipped through the first two and already on to number three.

I texted my dad who is new to owing a mobile phone, but my dad is ex military, he was a signalman who is prolific in Morse code, so, even though he is in his mid seventies and may not be overly tech texted me:

"Jack (nmi) no middle initial Reacher. If you like the goodies winning and the baddies losing this is for you".

How cool is that.

So true! Succinct wording, no mucking around, Jack says what he needs to say, states the obvious, no more, no less. He knows what he's talking about and is super clever. It appears he's super good looking too, and capable of all manner of things.

I will smash this series I think, I'd best leave a gap in between here and there, but right now I'm happy to keep going. Mr Child, keep em' coming.. but I must say one thing. Tom Cruise. WTF!

I'm wondering how many girls he can win if these stories have been written for 24 years. So long! I don't think I've encountered anything like this before.

One thing that also must be said; narration is top notch. Love it!

Addendum 30/03/2022 - this is a great article! https://www.newstatesman.com/film-tv/...
Profile Image for Peter.
2,623 reviews470 followers
July 7, 2019
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, Jack, who sometimes seems to be directly out from a western. The action is fast paced, sometimes brutal with many an unexpected twist. I really loved the plot and the investigations on counterfeit. Everything is brilliantly explained and you can learn a lot on deduction and plotting in here. To me, it's no surprise that this was the starting point to a whole series. This is a real good book and gripping read. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Julie .
4,027 reviews58.9k followers
June 26, 2012
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 get a scratch. He also didn't seem bothered enough by so much death. Reacher is really "hardboiled ". But he's not all brawn. He's pretty smart too. I do think I will need to read a couple more of these to really form an opinion about Reacher. As tor the writing, I really only have one complaint. The author had everyone "shrugging ". I lost count of how many times he used that term. It started to become noticeable, even to me. I will read the next one though. Hopefully they get better as we go along.
Profile Image for Supratim.
233 reviews443 followers
June 3, 2017
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 Mlitary Police. He has now become a drifter and on a strange whim arrives at a small town in Georgia. A bad time to arrive – he is soon arrested as a murder suspect. So begins the adventure…

First, a few words about our protagonist – he is the quintessential action hero. Big (or rather huge) & tough – not a man to mess with if you have any brains. But, there is more to him than just brawn. He is quite a detective too – some of his deductions are a bit too farfetched though. There is no rule which states that a huge man can’t have brains but the deductions should have been more logical. The author has tried to portray Reacher as the Rambo-meets-Sherlock Holmes type. Like James Bond he can easily attract women.

Anyways, something dangerous is afoot in the little town and as the blurbs of thrillers love to say –“the bodies keep piling.” Reacher makes allies in the police force ( he also manages to hit it off with the only female in the force) and is involved in solving the mystery.

The novel is pretty fast paced and full of action, suspense and excitement. Just imagine a novelization of any action movie. Plenty of fistfights and gunfights – there are hired thugs, dangerous prison gangs, psychotic murderers, FBI agents, a mysterious foundation which literally owns the town etc. to keep you turning the pages.

I have to say that the solution to the mystery was pretty good.

Now let’s go the flaws in the book.

Trust! Trust is a very big thing. People don’t trust strangers that easily. But, in the book the police detective trusted Reacher so easily. He started discussing the case with a man – who was a murder suspect sometime back. Difficult to digest!! Roscoe – the lone lady cop also fell for a stranger just like that!!! At times, Roscoe was also shown as a bit too weak.

The story was good. I wish the author had executed it better. He did succeed in creating an atmosphere of suspense though.

This is just an action adventure thriller meant to provide some thrills and excitement. Do not expect anything more out of it. If you like your crime thrillers to be realistic then this book is definitely not for you. However, if you want to enjoy some escapist action then you can give it a try. I myself would like to try out a couple of more books in the series.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
April 23, 2019
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1), Lee Child
Killing Floor is the debut novel by Lee Child, first published in 1997 by Putnam. It is the first book to feature the character Jack Reacher, and written in the first person. The novel has three prequels: The Enemy (set 8 years before Killing Floor), Night School (set 1 year before Killing Floor), The Affair (set 6 months before Killing Floor).
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه آوریل سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: قتلگاه - کتاب 01 - از سری جک ریچر؛ نویسنده: لی چایلد؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ ویراستار: گودرز پایکوب؛ تهران، تندیس، 1393؛ در 534 ص؛ شابک: 9786001820816؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیس - سده 20 م
قتلگاه، نخستین رمان از مجموعه داستان­‌هایی با محوریت شخصیت «جک ریچر» است، که «لی چایلد»، نویسند‌ه‌ ی بریتانیایی، آن را در سال 1997 به رشته‌ ی نگارش درآوردند. «جک ریچر» یک پلیس پیشین ارتش است، که اکنون زندگی بی­‌هدفی را می­‌گذراند، و در سرتاسر آمریکا آواره، و سرگردان است. او یک ساعت پس از ورود به شهر کوچک، و گمنام «مارگریو» در «جورجیا»، به جرم قتل بازداشت می‌­شود. تنها چیزی که او می­‌داند این است که کسی را نکشته است. حداقل نه در این شهر، و نه اخیراً. ولی او هیچ شانسی برای قانع کردن کسی ندارد...؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Gina.
434 reviews118 followers
March 15, 2008
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 suspect (oh yeah, I knew). That's what I liked about this book. There was a feel to it. It may have kept you guessing, but the feel was there just the same. The characters seemed real, the events outstanding and believable, and even though he doesn't stay in Margrave, I doubt he'll ever forget it. I have this terrible feeling I'm grabbing the rest of another series, LOL! Bad, bad Gina!
Profile Image for Adrian.
562 reviews197 followers
August 14, 2017
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 likes less, action-y type books. So I've just looked at a few reviews of this book, and a) I was surprised to see it at over 4.0 and b) surprised at the number of women who liked it. So it obviously isn't the macho action-y type novel I thought it might be. We shall see.
Anyway for anyone who has ever read my profile, will know I am suffering from a surfeit of books (is that possible you ask?), well yes, as I built a library for them all, and they don't fit. So I am under orders (sic) to keep the number of books down, one in, one out (agh). The 3 carrier bags full did not help he he.

Ok i shall have to read this soon


So I have now finished the book, and it was quite good, I enjoyed it . Yes it was action-y and quite macho but it was well written and better than most books of this type. Given that I have a huge pile of Jack Reacher novels I shall certainly be reading more, just need to fit them in around other books.
Profile Image for JD.
692 reviews292 followers
January 4, 2023
I really liked the Jack Reacher films that starred Tom Cruise and am getting ready to watch the Reacher series, as the character is very fascinating and decided to read the first book in the series, and was not disappointed by it. The book was first published in 1997 and could be a bit dated for younger readers, but I was a teenager in those years and could understand all the talk about the technologies of those years. The character of Jack Reacher is also well introduced and developed during the book, with a deepness in him that some authors miss out on. The supporting characters are also great and I liked the first-person view of Reacher and how he saw these people and summed them up. The author also does a great job in connecting all the dots during the story, where you have to keep focused throughout the book and he keeps surprising you with what happens. Great read and will read more Reacher books in the future.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,111 reviews371 followers
October 4, 2018
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 looking back. Never predictable, I enjoyed the plot with all its twists and turns, as well as the full cast of complex characters who were a mix of good and bad and everything in-between.

The writing itself was kind of off putting at first, simply because it took me a while to get used to Child’s specific style, which very much focused on short and deliberate sentences, using very straight forward and simplistic language.

This initial story did a damn good job of introducing Reacher as a formidable hero. Smart and cunning, he was impressively kickass, yet he appeared on a very human level, showing very realistic and grounded qualities to his character that are so often missing in many seemingly infallible fictional action heroes of this kind.

Beyond all the badassery, Reacher was also a good man, proving honest, intelligent, and amusingly witty at every turn. I simply liked the guy and I have no trouble imagining myself delving further with this series when the time is right.
Profile Image for Paula K .
420 reviews424 followers
August 2, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,725 reviews12.8k followers
June 4, 2014
It all began with an arrest. Arriving in town anonymously, Jack Reacher is arrested at the local diner for a murder he could not have committed. Fingered for some reason by the Chief of Police, Reacher is detained, which is where all the fun begins. Before proving his alibi, Reacher faces a harrowing night in jail and soon learns that the quaint down of Margrave holds a darker side. As corrupt as it is a speck on the map, Margrave is full of secrets that the townspeople are more than happy to keep under wraps. Working with the local authorities, Reacher discovers the corruption holds a personal connection that only fuels his desire to find out those involved. With a blooming relationship and a desire to be somewhat sedentary, Reacher uses his military background to blow the lid of Margrave's secrets, but at what cost? A stellar opening to the Reacher series that paves the way for what should be a great series.

With little background knowledge of the famed Reacher, I was curious to see how this man would present himself in full-length novels. Scraps of background knowledge related to Reacher, namely from Child short story 'Second Son' and Diane Capri's HUNT FOR REACHER series, I was curious to see how it all would come together. This opening novel in the series was very well-written and powerfully captured in the first person. Child does an excellent job of laying some of the groundwork for what is sure to be a complex and evolving character. One additional comment that I cannot let pass; Child adopts a wonderful 'Americanisation' feel to his novel, even as a Brit. From its nuanced narrative style to use of language, slang, and idioms, Child left me wondering if he tapped into his alter-ego to pen this novel. Also, with Dick Hill at the narration helm, I was left to wonder if I was reading a Stephen White novel at times, with wonderfully detailed reflective narration.

Kudos, Mr. Child for such a great opening book. I am hooked and will certainly continue reading and enjoying.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,341 followers
May 14, 2017
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 is as controlled as Reacher, letting the tension slowly build at the same time as our mysterious main character comes into focus. For me, this is the best of the Reacher series.
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