Book Review: Killing Floor by Lee Child



“Evaluate. Long experience had taught me to evaluate and assess. When the unexpected gets dumped on you, don’t waste time. Don’t figure out how or why it happened. Don’t recriminate. Don’t figure out whose fault it is. Don’t work out how to avoid the same mistake next time. All of that you do later. If you survive.”

This is the first book in the 20 book -and counting- series. As I am currently studying the genre of crime in my English class I thought I would read some more modern crime novel and so Killing Floor by Lee Child seemed like a perfect choice! Despite reading this book with an analytical eye I thoroughly enjoyed it; I found the plot enthralling and there was a good number of common crime elements whilst still remaining unique and exciting.

* * *

The plot follows Jack Reacher, an ex-a homicide investigator from the military police, after he is arrested for murder as he passes through the small pristine town of Margrave. As he works to prove his innocence and help discover the real murder her uncovers an extensive criminal conspiracy and has to figure out how to stop it. The book is fairly long and therefore allows it to really go into depths with the story. The crime itself causes new crimes resulting in more crimes which really are covering up one incredibly large crime! Everything flows, making it very realistic and multi-dimensional. In spite of this the story is really easy to follow, it never gets too overwhelming. Also there are a lot of twists so you’re really kept on your toes when reading.

* * *

Lee Child is a truly amazing writer; he really gets into the head of his characters and building up the world around them. You quickly come to feel for them. Even though almost every character has a questionable moral compass. I love how Jack is a real hardcore guy, I liked the scenes where we followed him in ambushes as I’ve never really read anything like that before. However he also shows more Sherlock-like qualities, the most prominent being his ability to ‘deduce’ quite accurately although unlike Sherlock Reacher openly states that he’s often guessing and sometimes seems less confident with these deductions. It’s really interesting to see a character who is both a detective and criminal-vigilante. Another character I really enjoyed was Roscoe. She was a police officer in Margrave who fell for Jack and assisted him and Officer Finlay in discovering the truth behind the murder. I liked how was a presentation of moral dimension; she cared, she worried, she feared, she loved. I thought this was a really interesting way to show this common crime element. Watching how others reacted to her also created a really great dynamic and helped the reader see different aspects to the other tougher characters. And of course she was feisty and independent at the same time, which is always nice to see!

* * *

There’s something about this book which makes it work for any age – excluding maybe under 13/14’s – and gender. Lee Child is an incredible writer; he makes a fantastic balance between the different moods. It never gets overwhelmingly gruesome, mysterious, funny or sad. They all equal each other out so reading it is so much fun and feels so natural. However this book didn’t get five stars from me because there was just something…lacking. I can’t figure out exactly what it is; perhaps it was the fact that fairly early on in the novel you’re lead to the correct culprit and so it doesn’t have that shock-factor, or that being set in America I couldn’t personally connect as much. I’ll probably figure it out after so more reflection!

* * *

I’d definitely recommend this book to people wanting to get into the crime genre and want something a bit more gritty.


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