Saturday, January 15, 2011

Killing Floor

Killing Floor by Lee Child
A Jack Reacher novel, Book #1

Welcome to Margrave, Georgia--but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both. There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend, who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long-dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother Joe, whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personally against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive. Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust--a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed--he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of- towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage, or at least direct it in more positive ways. Kirkus Reviews, copied from
--Killing Floor by Lee Child, Copyright ©1997 by Lee Child, published by Jove Books, reprinted April 2006

My Review
Gee, I don’t know what more I can add to the above! But let’s see what I can do.

Jack Reacher is a man disconnected from society. After thirteen years in the Army—and an entire childhood as an always-traveling Army brat—he’s been “riffed” from the only life he’d ever known. Now he’s finding peace in drifting through the country, stopping whenever the whim strikes and picking back up again whenever he feels like. On his way from Tampa northward, he makes an impulsive stop at Margrave, Georgia. It’s an impulse he regrets when, halfway through breakfast at a diner, he’s arrested for murder.

Jack makes it clear that once his alibi is verified and the charges are dropped, he’s leaving Margrave. Gone. History. You won’t see him except for the dust trail he’ll leave behind. He’ll walk to Atlanta if he has to, whatever it takes to get away from this weird little Southern town. Until he finds out the man he’s accused of murdering is his brother Joe. Now Jack’s staying, and with the help of Margrave’s Harvard-educated-formerly-of-Boston detective and the attractive cop who happily lets him into her bed, he’s going to find out exactly what Joe was doing in Margrave and why it got him killed.

Hmpf…I think I like Kirkus’s review better than mine…

This is Lee Child’s first “Jack Reacher” novel, originally published in 1997. It is an intricately woven story, with threads and tendrils dangling here and there and only someone with the skill and training of a master weaver (or an Army trained killer and investigator) can tie them all together. Jack Reacher is that man, and if you like well-thought-out well-planned thrillers, you’ll enjoy this book.

I give this story FOUR STARS.

My plan this year is to listen to all of the books in the Jack Reacher series except One Shot which I read last year. Reacher is a great character and I hope to enjoy him more and more as the year progresses.

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