Review: Killing Floor
Killing Floor by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Killing Floor" (Jack Reacher 1) by Lee Child has a couple meanings, one the prison level where our innocent hero faces a painful end. X-rated. A cop's smile leads to a bedroom invite. Foreign counterfeiters gruesomely obliterate leads, always one bloody grisly (and gristly) step ahead of our guy. Every loose end is tied off, including solution to decades-old needless murder that first intrigued Jack to stop in Margrave. Ten days to stop the villains, or die.
US Treasury chief Joe left close-in-childhood ex-Army brother Jack, clues, starting with a too-shiny Southern town, where a senile barber claims $1,000 week income from no customers. My first read, one of the traitors was such a shock, this time I recognized the double-dealer right away. I kept reading, maybe dreamt a warning, because Jack is a good guy. He knows it. We know it. Still surprises. I know the ending will be bittersweet, but I want that relief of beating the Sunday deadline, when the Coastguard cannot stop the smugglers. Even knowing part of the solution, recognizing clues sooner, I enjoy Child's writing.
How does Jack get around without income or owning a car in rural America? or take down superior forces? I'm never impatient with details or research, even technical money-printing, conveyed with action using all senses. Smell less, two points are exceptional for their rarity - meadow wildflower blossoms p492, used money stink p506. This series would be prime TV-film, possibly because Child wrote for British TV. He says he chose rural America setting for pioneer spirit possibilities.
Without belaboring guilty introspection, we share Jack's feelings. "I'd lost something I never knew I'd had." p381 "Waiting is a skill like anything else." p401 Even black humor - "a relentless downpour ... drier to stay in the pool". He admits not knowing how to do laundry p414.
We can count on Jack to do what is right. "Up on that plateau where you just did whatever needed doing. I knew that place. I lived there." p470.
Sequel "Die Trying" sounds like another fast hard read.
(Typo p533 Beretta gun "But he hadn't like it much" should be "liked". ISBN 9780515141429, so posted here, but differs. Jove 2008 Pb edition 536p. Cover red handprint on white, larger author name on top, bottom title, all caps.)
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