Sunday, September 2, 2012

Book Review: Killing Floor

All right – who’s been hiding these Jack Reacher books from me?  Seriously – no one is willing to admit it?  Fine then, we’ll do it your way.

Normally I’m a guy who appreciates three specific genres: Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction, but every once in a while I find an author and character in other genres I can’t help but want to follow; Lucas Davenport in the Sandford’s Prey series, or Spenser by Robert B. Parker, Heck if I’m being honest even those Gallagher siblings in Nora Robert’s Irish Trilogy, grabbed me as characters and demanded that I follow them through however many books they appear in.

And now I’ve got Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.  What’s funny is although my friend Ron brought it up as his book for book club, Reacher is mentioned in a throwaway line in one of my picks from a few years back Under the Dome, by Stephen King, as a reference for one of the characters in that book – which to be fair, Ron mentioned at the time.

So last month I dig into the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor, and I’ve got to say the character grabbed me from page one.  While sitting at a restaurant, Reacher sees a number of police pull up in cruisers, jump out of their cars and run straight for the diner.  Looking around he casually notes the other people present and immediately deduces that the police are there for him.  For me, this puts Reacher, who is about to get into a whole lot of trouble, in a bizarre position of control, a position he maintains throughout most the book.

I guess I would classify the book as “Men’s Adventure,” in that Reacher is almost always a man of action moving through each scene like a super-cool guy who is “The best at what he does, but what he does isn’t pretty” and the part of my brain that loves characters like these, from Spenser to Schwarzenegger’s Dutch in Predator, just eats this stuff up.  The book took me about three days to finish reading it on the bus and over lunch hours and I loved it.

Sitting on my desk in front of my right now is the second Reacher book Die Trying and assuming it’s as good as the first I’ve definitely found a new series that I’m going to have to start following.

So thanks Ron – very fun book and the beginnings of what look to be a very cool series.

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