Killing Floor by Lee Child

When I picked up Killing Floor by Lee Child to read, I did not realise that it was the first killing floorin the series of his Jack Reacher novels. My husband has all the Jack Reacher books and suggested this one to me, as he thought I would enjoy it. He was right. This first novel, Killing Floor, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee Child was born, James Grant, on 29, October 1954 in Coventry, England, but grew up in Birmingham. He even won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series had attended. He read law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theatre before working as a Lee child picpresentation director in British television.  When he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring.

The author decided to buy paper and pencils and sat down to write a book. He had always a voracious reader, the result was Killing Floor. It introduces Jack Reacher for the first time. He is a tough former military cop of no fixed abode who is trained to think fast and act faster so he is the perfect action hero for men and women alike.

The action takes place in Margrave is a no-account little town in Georgia, USA. Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles in the rain to reach it. It seems to be an arbitrary detour but Reacher in search of a dead guitar player. However, Margrave has just had its first homicide in thirty years and Reacher is the only stranger in town.

He is thrown into jail but the body count mounts, only one thing is for sure: they picked the wrong guy to take the fall. The book has a great hook: the predicament the main character found himself in. He is arrested for murder in the first chapter!

The story is written in the first person so I felt like I was seeing everything through Reacher’s eyes. His opinions and his views of his surroundings were different from those I usually read. I felt that I knew exactly who had committed the crime, including criminal nobody would ever suspect: never the less, the story was exciting and the book held my interest. and kept me guessing. The characters seemed real, the events outstanding and almost credible. I really liked this book, but that is not very surprising as I do particularly enjoy the crime, thriller genre. Several of Lee Child’s novels are reviewed on this site including: 61 Hours , The Affair,  ‎ Never Go Back and Worth Dying For 

Valerie Penny






  1. I also read Killing Floor a few years ago, not realizing it was the first in the Jack Reacher series. It sure didn’t “feel” like the set-up for a series – just a great action tale, told by an outstanding storyteller. Since Reacher is portrayed as a wandering loner, readers can pick up any book in the series and not feel lost. Some of the books take place during his earlier military career, and others feature characters from prior novels. Makes it feel like you’re running into old friends. Reacher reminds me a bit of Travis McGee at times. I’ve read 7 or 8 books in the series, and never been disappointed.


    • Valerie Penny

      I’m not familiar with Travis McGee, Dixon. Can you tell me more about those books? I agree completely with your views of the Reacher series.


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