Book Review: Killing Floor by Lee Child

Killing Floor is the first book in the incredibly well-sold Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. It begins the journey of Reacher as an ex-military policeman who coasts around the world helping people who ask for his aid along the way.

Killing Floor by Lee Child book review
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Killing Floor was one of the first action books I read when I got back into reading four years ago. According to my Goodreads, I finished it in February of 2018 and rated it four stars. Having had time to think about it, I’d say this is a fair score based on it being a great start to one of the best-selling action series out there.

Plot – 4/5

Killing Floor introduces us to Jack Reacher who is a drifter. He’s passing through Georgia when he’s suddenly arrested for murder. Reacher hasn’t killed anybody but wants to find out why it was him who was pulled over. And so begins Reacher’s investigation into this small town and the dark going-ons amongst the local residents.

This story surprised me with how deep it sometimes went. The first half of the book does feel a bit slow – there are a lot of eerie scenes and moments where you’re trying to guess what’s going to happen and then all of a sudden the action happens and the last 200 pages or so are filled with action and the book becomes really quite unputdownable (is that a word?)

Characters – 3.5/5

The characters within this book are fairly forgettable. I think one of my qualms with the Reacher series is that Reacher himself lacks any real personality or massive back story. He simply doesn’t grab you like some of the other famous action heroes such as Mitch Rapp, Courtland Gentry, Scot Harvath and James Reece. However, Child does just enough with the supporting characters to not bring down the score of the book as a whole.

The villains within the book are sufficiently evil, some of the companion characters are likeable enough and Child does give them enough difference within their dialogue and personal choices to make them feel believable. There’s no one in here you’ll fall in love with and no one you’ll particularly remember, but Jack Reacher’s badassery will definitely not let you forget him quickly.

Killing Floor summary – 4/5

Killing Floor is a great first entry into what has gone on to be one of the best-selling action thriller series ever with over twenty novels out there now. This first book is a great entry and one that I think all action fans will like. Don’t expect a great character-based book but do expect a really gripping storyline with some fantastic action scenes and a particularly epic last third to the book.

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Killing Floor review

One thought on “Book Review: Killing Floor by Lee Child

  • Joan

    I just finished reading this one…Not my usual genre, but it was used as an example in a writing class I’m taking on plot. I agree on the character analysis…might even go as low as 2/5 for the female characters. The dialogue was 1/5 for me…seriously. I found the prose a little amateur too, but I think 🤔 this was early in Child’s career. As far as the plot, I’d go 3.5/5. I do like a slower start (I don’t need a dragon 🐉 on page one). And the climax. Come on! He shoots them all and burns the place to the ground…meh.

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