Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Killing Floor

Killing Floor
Author: Lee Child
Jove, 2006 (reprint)
532 pages

I’m not sure why it took me so long to read Lee Child. After all, his novels featuring Jack Reacher are very popular. There’s even a movie out this week. I didn’t know about the movie until after I started reading Killing Floor, the first Jack Reacher book (originally published in 1997) and winner of multiple awards. It's pure coincidence that I read this book at the same time the movie came out.

Reacher is an American who has lived mostly overseas as both a military dependent and member of the military. That life is now over and he’s feeling free for the first time in his life as he explores his home country. He has few possessions, no home, no car, not even a driver’s license, and he pays for everything in cash. In other words, he’s both interesting and mysterious.

On a public bus headed north from Florida, Reacher decides to stop in a small Georgia town after recalling a memory that blues musician Blind Blake had lived there many decades before. He’s just minding his own business, having breakfast at the local diner, when suddenly the cops burst in and arrest him for murder. A gruesome murder has taken place just outside of town, and someone swears they saw Reacher in the area. Who better to blame than a drifter, right? What follows is a riveting and believable story that kept me on edge until the very last page. It was the kind of book that I didn’t want to be interrupted while reading!

Reacher isn’t just an ordinary detective type. He takes names and kicks some serious ass – all justified, of course. (Side note: somehow as I was reading Killing Floor, I was thinking of the character Huck in the ABC-TV series Scandal.) I loved the side story about Blind Blake, and how it was woven into the main. Bottom line: I definitely want to read more of this series.