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Old 09-21-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
AnemicOak
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Here's my review.




The action hero myth is alive and well, sort of...

Killing Floor is the first book in, former TV writer, Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. I'd heard good things about this series and picked up a trade paperback copy of Killing Floor a few years ago, but never seemed to get around to reading it.

Jack Reacher is your typical action hero. He's a big, strong ex-military guy who's smarter and tougher than pretty much anyone around and he gets the girl. He doesn't have a lot of depth (none of the characters do), but sometimes that's OK. It's got blood and guts and double digit body counts. Part Die Hard, part Rambo, part Sherlock Holmes (without the plausibility Holmes brings). At times Reacher has a caricature feel to him, but that's kind of the point in a way.

The book begins with our hero, the only out of towner in sight, having breakfast at the local diner. He sees Police cruisers pull up fast and cops loaded for bear jump out. He knows they're there for him, if they'd been there a local things would have been much more low key. The cops tell him "You are under arrest for murder", and so begins our story.

What follows is a twisting, turning, adventure with murder and mayhem aplenty. Even though Reacher, a victim of military downsizing who's been drifting around the country since his discharge, wasn't even in the state at the time he's suspect number one in the brutal murder of a John Doe. Add to that the authorities have the most solid of witnesses, the Chief of Police. After his alibi pans out Reacher is released, but not before some gruesome action in the local prison, and free to go. However it turns out that the John Doe just happens to be Reacher's brother Joe, a top treasury investigator. Strangely enough no one from Treasury comes to investigate a murder of one of their own so it's up to Reacher, a former MP, and his sidekicks a straight shooting local detective and a hottie lady cop, who quickly takes Reacher into her bed. As the investigation continues Reacher and company unearth a conspiracy which encompasses not only the small town of Margrave, Georgia but stretches around the US and all the way to Venezuela. There are blood and bullets aplenty as our hero works to determine who's involved and bring them to justice, and not the legal kind of justice.

The action scenes were plenty and enjoyable. There are copious plot twists, unfortunately very few of them are at all believable. There are so many coincidences and that along with the main characters nearly clairvoyant ability to reach deductions, like tracking down a missing witness/conspirator, made it pretty hard to maintain a suspension of disbelief.

That being said, Killing Floor is a fairly fast paced ride that provides a decent action movie type diversion.
Overall I like it. C/C+
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