I started reading Killing Floor by Lee Child a couple of days ago at the suggestion of J.S. Peyton over at BiblioAddict. The synopsis at a glance: Jack Reacher, a hard-nosed, no-nonsense ex-Army MP, shows up in a small Georgian town and is promptly arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. It’s the first in Child’s Jack Reacher series.
This book is pure escapism. No working slowly through the text to grasp the meaning of each word, each sentence. This is finish-the-page-as-quickly-as-possible-so-you-can-get-to-the-next-to-see-what-happens reading. This is an action movie in book form. This is also the kind of book I see most people reading on the train ride to work every morning. Sometimes you need a book that doesn’t require you to think. Sometimes you need a character who isn’t afraid to chew bubblegum and kick butt, and who just happens to be all out of bubblegum.
What makes the novel work is that the author doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not, yes, I’m looking at you Dan Brown (no offense to those of you who enjoy his work). He knows what kind of a book he’s writing. He doesn’t try to make it look like some kind of well thought out piece of literature. His books have been criticized for having a main character who is uncaring, and events which are all too coincidental. That’s the point, these stories couldn’t happen, wouldn’t happen. They’re a chance to stop thinking and have some fun.