Jack Reacher, an ex-military homicide detective, is a wanderer. A rambler. On a whim he has decided to check into the small Georgia town of Margrave looking for a bit of information on an old, long dead guitarist named Blind Blake. While taking his breakfast in the local diner, a small army of policeman show up to take him into custody for murder. He knows he didn’t do it, the reader knows he didn’t do it, and soon enough, the local detective knows he didn’t do it. But who did? And why are so many local bigwigs being murdered? Jack, with a little help from the town police force, is on the case and he’s got a huge gun to help him deal out some good old fashioned justice.
If you aren’t already thinking about picking this up at your favorite library or bookstore, it probably isn’t for you. Killing Floor, by Lee Child, is what seems to be popularly referred to as a summer read. One of those books you read on vacation, under a hot sun, to escape your dreary working life. And the main character is the type of person you’d want as a friend if you were in trouble, big, big trouble.
Like most quick reads it has its faults. A reliance on quirky phrases that show up much too often, more often than anyone would ever use them, if they’d use them at all. For example, “Locked and cocked”, meaning a gun is cocked and loaded but with the safety switched on. And some typical action movie gimmicks used mostly in the 80s and 90s to surprise the reader (I’m purposely being vague).
Overall it’s a decent read. The author knows what he’s doing and doesn’t pretend to be what he’s not. He knows this is a bit of escapism, that the novel is not going to be heatedly debated by literary critics. But tt remains interesting throughout, a worthy beginning to what is becoming a long running series. So if Jack Reacher is your kind of no-nonsense, tough guy, and you need a break from some heavy literature, I recommend you check it out.