Jared’s Totally Unsolicited And Completely Subjective Review Of: Killing Floor, by Lee Child. I know this isn’t anywhere close to a new release, but it’s what I was reading when I entered the world of Bookstagram, so here we are.
First book review, too, so please be kind.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ .5/5 (I have no idea how to make a half star symbol, so if you know, please enlighten me!)
Make of that rating what you will. As mentioned in my opening salvo, nobody asked for this review, and no one is compelled to make much of this one writer’s opinion. Hey, there are some people out there who love watermelon Jolly Ranchers. I am not one of them. But I do love actual watermelon. So there really is no accounting for anything, let alone good taste. Literal and literary. Ok I digress.
Also, as a writer myself, I think it takes extraordinary courage and incredible effort to put one’s words out there in the first place, so it almost feels sacrilegious to say anything other than “I am so freakin’ proud of you for giving pieces of your imagination and soul to the universe”. But nonetheless, you read a book, and people say “What did you think?” So here’s what I think.
Background: I knew nothing of Lee Child or the Jack Reacher books until a couple weeks ago. All I knew was the movies with Tommy Cruise, the first of which I saw, and for reasons that elude me now didn’t enjoy. I had no idea it was a whole book series until I was reading Under the Dome by my main man, Stephen King, and Jack Reacher (the actual character, not the book series) is mentioned – as if existing in the same world. So I did some Googling, and turns out SK is a fan of the series, and this was the equivalent of a literary shout out. And I thought “Well if Jack is good enough for Steve, then who am I to argue?”
Except I will. Following the synopsis.
“Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.” So there you go. Reasonably enticing, no?
Without giving away any spoilers, I think if the book had been entirely about that – a wrongful imprisonment type deal – I may have stayed engaged longer. It started strong, despite stylistic elements I didn’t overly love (a lot of the book reads exactly the way that description does, in clipped sentences and with commas seemingly extinct from syntax). Not to mention it took me about 50 pages to stop hearing Tom Cruise’s voice in my head during any of Reacher’s narration (it’s written in the first person, which I don’t necessarily love in general – I don’t know if the rest of the prolific series is the same).
Anyway, it turned out the above description was only a smaller part of the story, and the plot, while still interesting, (apparently I’m making up for Child’s lack of commas in this here post), contained a little too much deus ex machina and stretches for my liking.
Mostly, my beef (and here’s where it gets really subjective, because who knows if it was just the general mood I was in, or other external factors having nothing to do with the book and story itself) arose from the feeling that about 2/3rds of the way through I didn’t want to pick it up any longer for my evening reading time. But by then I felt committed and thought I ought to see it through. If for no other reason than to amuse you, Dear Reader, with this review.
Again, 3.5/5. My take above likely makes it sound worse, but it was a serviceable novel. Unless I can be convinced otherwise by a fan out there, however, I don’t foresee continuing to invest in the series, no matter what my good pal Stevie King says.