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Killing Floor by Lee Child: The Beginning of Jack Reacher

Killing Floor by Lee Child: The Beginning of Jack Reacher

by Meghna Chatterjee

I had to decide how to use that pressure. I had to decide whether it was going to crush me or turn me into a diamond.”

Killing Floor by Lee Child’ is a 1997 book that saw the creation of one of the most famous fictional characters in a crime series, none other than Jack Reacher (JK). Starting from here, Jack Reacher has starred in 26 more novels as of October 2021 and several short stories under Lee Child’s thriller writings.

I’d lost something I never knew I’d had.

Killing Floor by Lee Child

Welcoming the dumplings into Margrave, Georgia, the place where the misgivings begin, Jack Reacher, an ex-military policeman, finds himself drifting as a passerby. However, less than an hour later he finds himself arrested for murder. And, in the next moment, he understands that he has no way of convincing others that he is innocent.

And, voila! The action and thriller story unfolds its twist and turns.

Waiting is a skill like anything else.”

Jack Reacher is a 36-year-old man who has been six months into civilian life after being honorably discharged from his military service. After growing up in all parts of the world, attending West Point, and then serving most of his time in the military, Reacher feels no attachment to life.

He is quite happy aimlessly roaming around to explore the world. However, Margrave, a small town in Georgia, greets him in the most unwelcomed demeanor. Before he even has a chance to sit down for breakfast at a local diner, he is immediately arrested by cops of the town on account of committing murder.

While Reacher still had not wrapped his head around the murder and how the local cops framed him with apparent eye-witnesses, he gets two surprises in a row: the murdered man was not the sole victim, and he was none other than Reacher’s brother whom he had not met for seven years.

Thus, Reacher plunges himself into the investigation.

People who wear glasses, without them they always look unfocused, vulnerable. Out in the open. A layer removed.

Despite Child’s first attempt, the rough and crude plot was compelling to read. The action-packed menacing ambiance is quite captivating as Jack Reacher re-traces his brother’s footsteps in search of answers and to prove himself innocent.

After being taken into the police station, Jack is thrown to sniff the prison’s air and meets the chief of detectives (Finlay) and a female officer (Roscoe) who believes that Reacher is innocent. Reacher persuades the chief to call a number found on the dead man’s boot that leads them to Paul Hubble (a banker who turns Reacher’s cellmate in the state prison of Warburton after he confesses to his crime).

With an impending attack and Hubble’s sudden disappearance, Reacher soon discovers that his life is in danger.

Reacher soon teams up with Finlay and starts his search for the culprit, especially when he gets to know his brother is one of the murdered. With both the chief and Roscoe aiding Reacher plus a few more strings pulled from behind the scenes, Reacher hunts down the large-scale criminal operation surrounding Margrave.

Soon, around 9 out of 10 suspects are identified who could be involved in the big racket of forgeries. However, the suspense drawn keeps us on the edge of our seats till the end because until the last page is turned, the mystery keeps itself hanging on and about in the air.

What's the best place to hide a car? In an airport long-term lot. Like where's the best place to hide a grain of sand? On the beach.

Interestingly, ‘Killing Floor’ metaphorically means slaughter grounds. Now, (a small hint) why would the novel be called ‘Killing Floor’?

Book Review Killing Floor by Lee Child

Comments on Killing Floor by Lee Child:

The plot is indeed gripping from its character development to thriller storyline. Jack Reacher is shown to be a strong-headed, analytical and logical man who can calmly assess even the most stressful of situations.

This enables him to find openings and pull-off the best moves that showcase his fighting prowess. Plus, his photographic memory allows him to clearly see the picture he is painting. It allows him to meticulously take account of his surroundings before making a move.

The novel cleverly weaves the tales of murders with Margrave as the centre of everything. Lee Child has developed a plot that goes beyond what can be expected from the start.

Browse more books by Lee Child here.

The well-planned illegal racket, power-packed action sequences and an engrossing storyline keeps the dumplings afloat throughout the read. Most importantly, Child’s method of presenting is quite crude and it does suit the clipped narrative of the story seen through Reacher’s eyes.

Jack Reacher is undoubtedly one of the most believable and savage fictional characters ever developed. Thus, it is a must-read for all the thriller fanatics out there!

Also read: 10 Fictional Places We Readers Would Love To Visit

~ A quick quiz for dumplings - Do you know the real name of Jack Reacher’s creator Lee Child? Comment below your answers!

- Meghna Chatterjee

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