Killing Floor is the first in the Jack Reacher novels. Reacher has wandered into a small, southern town and is minding his own business eating breakfast when he’s arrested for murder. The Chief of Police, Chief Morrison, is a stereotypical southern cop – fat and obnoxious. The Chief of Detectives, Detective Finlay, appears to be an ok police officer – of course he’s a new guy from the northeast. There are a couple of other police officers in this town, including a very attractive female officer, named Roscoe.
As it happens, Reacher has an alibi; however, it isn’t verified until he and another guy, Hubble, involved in the murder are sent to the big, bad prison for a couple of days. While in prison, Hubble confides in Reacher. Thanks to Roscoe, Reacher’s alibi is confirmed and he and Hubble get out of the big house on Sunday. While talking with Finlay, Reacher realizes that the guy that was murdered was his brother! Reacher’s brother worked for the Treasury Department, but they didn’t keep in close contact so Reacher didn’t know what he was up to. However, the fact that it’s his brother pulls Reacher into the investigation.
Reacher, Finlay and Roscoe team up to try to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile Hubble disappears and is assumed murdered. Finlay has a contact in the FBI that he brings in to take care of Hubble’s family. With Hubble gone, they have no one to ask about what’s going on; so they do it the old fashioned way – they investigate. The deeper they dig, the more they realize there’s something very funny going on in this town. And the more dangerous it becomes.
Of course, as stated before, I love Reacher! He’s exactly the kind of guy you want on your side when you’re in deep. He’s capable, thoughtful and honorable. You can count on him. This book is no different. I’d say the only real difference is that in this book he has a torrid romance with Roscoe; usually, Reacher stays at arms length from the women he meets during his adventures. The book moves along and the plot thickens appropriately. All along we know who some of the bad guys are, but as we learn more, there are a few surprises, twists and turns.
BOOK QUALITY – Please see the “How We Score” section of the website for the specific criteria.
PERSONAL TASTE – These ratings do not reflect on the quality of the book, but do allow you to rule out certain books, if you object to excessive profanity, violence or sex.