Thursday, February 3, 2022

[Review] - Reacher: Killing Floor by Lee Child

For the very first time (that I can think of), I read a novel before the adaptation got released. Yep, that's right. I read Reacher: Killing Floor by Lee Child from beginning to end over a few days. G.P. Putnam's Sons first published it in 1997 under the title Killing Floor. The publisher retitled the book to Reacher: Killing Floor to tie in with the new streaming series Reacher which debuts tomorrow on Amazon Prime.  

I became a Jack Reacher fan after watching 2012's Jack Reacher and its sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, both starring Tom Cruise. I never realized that Cruise was miscast until I started reading Killing Floor. In the novel, Jack Reacher is 36 years old, 6'5", and weighs 250 pounds. Does that describe Tom Cruise? Nope! LOL! 

Jack Reacher is a former ex-military policeman. He now lives off the grid and doesn't carry a cell phone. He doesn't own a vehicle. And he doesn't have a middle name. Ever since Reacher left the military, he's been traveling around the country on foot with only the clothes on his back. 

In Killing Floor, Jack Reacher visits Margrave, Georgia, via a Greyhound bus. His brother, Joe, mentioned that the blues musician Blind Blake died in this town. So, why not stop by there? Right? 

Shortly after stepping into a diner, the local authorities storm in with their guns out. The sheriff claims he saw Reacher the night before at a murder scene. They take Reacher into custody, where he informs Detective Finlay of his identity and where he has been in the last 24 hours. Despite his innocence, Reacher is tossed into the state prison for the weekend, along with Paul Hubbie, a retired banker whose phone number was on the murder victim. 

On Monday morning, the authorities believed Reacher wasn't involved in the murder. He sticks around to assist Detective Finlay and Officer Roscoe with their investigation. Then things get personal when the identity of the murder victim is revealed, which takes Reacher on a revenge quest.  

Final Thoughts

I've heard mixed opinions about the Jack Reacher series. Many love the by-the-book action hero tales. Then other others complain that stories are hard to read because of their prose, lack of commas, and too many periods. I'll let you in on a secret - Jack Reacher isn't written for literary scholars. Instead, Jack Reacher is written for fans of action flicks, the ones where the good guy does everything right, gets the girl, and defeats the villains. 

Overall, I enjoyed the first outing of Jack Reacher. Through my eyes, I didn't notice the so-called problems other readers have had with Killing Floor. Sure, the pose is straight-to-the-point, but that's kind of what I want in a tough-as-nails action hero story.  

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