Killing Floor – Lee Child

Les Miserables is taking a while to read so I have slipped this one in as a light relief. It’s the first in the Jack Reacher series by the British author Jim Grant. I hadn’t heard of either the series or the author before this book.

It is set in the US and is in the first person throughout, Jack Reacher being the hero. The plot is a little far-fetched concerning a counterfeit dollar operation which Reacher gets involved with by chance. He is pretty much indestructible  whoever takes him on is certain to lose and be dead within a short while. Numbers are no object, in this book he takes on 5 very heavily armed men and kills them all with just a knife and a blackjack. Impressive. He has superb mental capacities too, capable of reading complex banking articles easily and assimilating the information in a trice. Impressive or what.

I think all of the baddies who were killed in this book were killed by Reacher. He works alongside the non-corrupt police he finds but they have no objection to the murderous mayhem he causes. It seems that anything, including murder, is acceptable in the fight against crime. Even murder by a civilian who happens to be passing. An odd place America.

Apparently there is a film associated with the character, not sure which book it’s based on. I can imagine it would be very popular amongst a certain subset of society, almost compulsory viewing for NRA supporters in the US. For me, while the pace of the book was good too often a miracle happened and Reacher got out of a difficult situation either by his, what seemed superhuman, abilities or just by complete luck or a mistake on the part of the other side. Very implausible. He overcame his enemies far too easily, I think he could have blown on them and they’d have fallen. The psychopath who been part of Reacher’s brother’s killing was drowned in just half a page, such a build up and then pow! all over. A long build up, then a premature climax when we expected more. A description which applies to the whole book.

It was a rest from the heavy writing of Hugo, but I wouldn’t buy another, and I am not sure I’d read another even if free.

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