Killing Floor (Jack Reacher Series #1) [NOOK Book]


INTRODUCING REACHER: The First Jack Reacher Novel


Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an ...
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Killing Floor (Jack Reacher Series #1)

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INTRODUCING REACHER: The First Jack Reacher Novel


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.

See Jack Reacher now in his first major motion picture.

A former military cop hunts down his brother's killers in this searing tale of revenge and honor. The sleepy, forgotten town of Margrave, Georgia, hasn't seen a crime in decades, but within the span of three days it witnesses crimes that leave everyone stunned. BOMC Alternate. 368 pp. 35,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The unforgettable thriller that introduced Jack Reacher to readers pits the ex-MP against his brother's killer. Set in rural Georgia, this novel has won praise for the depth of its protagonist and its tsunami of breaking developments. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although the tale is built around a coincidence as big as the author's talent, beautifully detailed action scenes and fascinating arcana about currency and counterfeiting enliven this taut and tough-minded first novel by British TV writer Child. Out of sheer restlessness and rootlessness, 36-year-old ex-military policeman Jack Reacher persuades a Greyhound bus driver to make an unscheduled stop in Margrave, the small Georgia town where Reacher's brother, a U.S. Treasury official, just happens to have been murdered a few hours earlier. Reacher doesn't know about his brother's death or suspect his presence in the town. Indeed, when he's arrested in a local diner for being a conspicuously mysterious stranger, Reacher tells the detective who interviews him that he dropped off the bus to investigate the death of Blind Blake, a guitar player murdered in Margrave 60 years ago. Downsized out of the military, Reacher has cutting-edge investigative and killing skills that come in handy the moment he learns of his brother's murder. This combination of events is so unbelievably convenient that it almost overwhelms the book's solid writing. The reader expects the other shoe to drop-for Reacher to be revealed as an undercover agent, or some such; but it never does. Otherwise, Child writes with a hand as strong and steady as steel. Margrave is a wonderful creation, a seemingly picture- perfect community under the care of a mysterious foundation where the streets are always swept and the people who run the tiny local businesses get grants of $1000 a week to stay open. Two scenes of brutal violence in a nearby prison are rendered with exquisite precision, as is a stalking murder inside the baggage area of the Atlanta airport, and the vast counterfeiting conspiracy that Reacher's brother was probing is wholly credible. (Mar.)
Library Journal
The transient Jack Reacher finds himself in tiny Margrave, Georgia, and is almost immediately arrested, if briefly, as a murder suspect. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that one of the victims is his brother, a brilliant U.S. Treasury agent. Reacher himself is no slouch; a former military policeman, he can dispatch villains with an astonishing array of weapons, including various parts of his body. In the company of a straight-arrow detective and a beautiful lady cop, Reacher soon unearths a conspiracy stretching through the little town and beyond. Blood flows freely, terrible threats are made and carried out, and body parts accumulate. First novelist Child, a former television writer, stretches coincidence outrageously in this would-be noir outing, whose hero is creepily amoral, violent, and generally unpleasant. Only large pop fiction collections need consider.-Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Svcs., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Kirkus Reviews
Welcome to Margrave, Georgia—but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both.

There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend, who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long-dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother Joe, whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personally against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive. Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust—a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed—he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of- towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage, or at least direct it in more positive ways. Though the testosterone flows as freely as printer's ink, Reacher is an unobtrusively sharp detective in his quieter moments—not that there are many of them to judge by.

Despite the crude, tough-naif narration, debut novelist Child serves up a big, rangy plot, menace as palpable as a ticking bomb, and enough battered corpses to make an undertaker grin.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101147054
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/25/2006
  • Series: Jack Reacher Series , #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 663
  • File size: 736 KB

Meet the Author

Lee Child
Lee Child is a #1 bestselling author worldwide. His debut novel, Killing Floor, won two awards for best first mystery and was nominated for two more. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have been sold in ninety-five countries. The movie franchise stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Child, a native of England, is a former television director. He lives in New York City, where he is at work on his next Jack Reacher thriller. He can be contacted through his website.


Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee has three homes —an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

Good To Know

Lee Child is the author of sixteen Jack Reacher thrillers, including the New York Times bestsellers Persuader, The Enemy, One Shot, The Hard Way, and #1 bestsellers Bad Luck and Trouble and Nothing to Lose. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for Best Novel. Foreign rights in the Jack Reacher series have sold in forty territories. All titles have been optioned for major motion pictures.

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    1. Hometown:
      Birmingham, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Coventry, England
    1. Education:
      Sheffield University
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

The Fan Letter by Lee Child

They say the past is another country, and in my case it really was: provincial England at the end of the fifties and the start of the sixties, the last gasp of the post-war era, before it surrendered to the tectonic shift sparked by the Beatles. My family was neither rich nor poor, not that either condition had much meaning in a society with not much to buy and not much to lack. We accumulated toys at the rate of two a year: one on our birthdays, and one at Christmas. We had a big table radio (which we called "the wireless") in the dining room, and in the living room we had a black and white fishbowl television, full of glowing tubes, but there were only two channels, and they went off the air at ten in the evening, after playing the National Anthem, for which some families stood up, and sometimes we saw a double bill at the pictures on a Saturday morning, but apart from that we had no entertainment.

So we read books. As it happens I just saw some old research from that era which broke down reading habits by class (as so much was categorized in England at that time) and which showed that fully fifty percent of the middle class regarded reading as their main leisure activity. The figure for skilled workers was twenty-five percent, and even among laborers ten percent turned to books as a primary choice.

Not that we bought them. We used the library. Ours was housed in a leftover WW2 Nissen hut (the British version of a Quonset hut) which sat on a bombed-out lot behind a church. It had a low door and a unique warm, musty, dusty smell, which I think came partly from the worn floorboards and partly from the books themselves, of which there were not very many. I finished with the children's picture books by the time I was four, and had read all the chapter books by the time I was eight, and had read all the grown-up books by the time I was ten.

Not that I was unique - or even very bookish. I was one of the rough kids. We fought and stole and broke windows and walked miles to soccer games, where we fought some more. We were covered in scabs and scars. We had knives in our pockets - but we had books in our pockets too. Even the kids who couldn't read tried very hard to, because we all sensed there was more to life than the gray, pinched, post-war horizons seemed to offer. Traveling farther than we could walk in half a day was out of the question - but we could travel in our heads ... to Australia, Africa, America ... by sea, by air, on horseback, in helicopters, in submarines. Meeting people unlike ourselves was very rare ... but we could meet them on the page. For most of us, reading - and imagining, and dreaming - was as useful as breathing.

My parents were decent, dutiful people, and when my mother realized I had read everything the Nissen hut had to offer - most of it twice - she got me a library card for a bigger place the other side of the canal. I would head over there on a Friday afternoon after school and load up with the maximum allowed - six titles - which would make life bearable and get me through the week. Just. Which sounds ungrateful - my parents were doing their best, no question, but lively, energetic kids needed more than that time and place could offer. Once a year we went and spent a week in a trailer near the sea - no better or worse a vacation than anyone else got, for sure, but usually accompanied by lashing rain and biting cold and absolutely nothing to do.

The only thing that got me through one such week was Von Ryan's Express by David Westheimer. I loved that book. It was a WW2 prisoner-of-war story full of tension and suspense and twists and turns, but its biggest "reveal" was moral rather than physical - what at first looked like collaboration with the enemy turned out to be resistance and escape. I read it over and over that week and never forgot it.

Then almost forty years later, when my own writing career was picking up a head of steam, I got a fan letter signed by a David Westheimer. The handwriting was shaky, as if the guy was old. I wondered, could it be? I wrote back and asked, are you the David Westheimer? Turned out yes, it was. We started a correspondence that lasted until he died. I met him in person at a book signing I did in California, near his home, which gave me a chance to tell him how he had kept me sane in a rain-lashed trailer all those years ago. He said he had had the same kind of experience forty years before that. Now I look forward to writing a fan letter to a new author years from now ... and maybe hearing my books had once meant something special to him or her. Because that's what books do - they dig deeper, they mean more, they stick around forever.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1269 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1274 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Terrific

    The first of this series that I read was Nothing To Lose,,,and ABSOLUTELY fell-flat out- in love! And I knew right then that I would read the whole series. Since then, I've read about 6 of them and Killing Floor was First Rate. All of them are Top Notch,,,hands down. My only fear is that I'll read them all and there will be no more; will be a sad day indeed.

    62 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lee Child's Reacher series

    This is my 1st Jack Reacher book and it won't be my last. I am starting with the first one and have already picked up the next two books in the series. This book was a roller coaster ride from the beginning. Reacher gets off a bus and stumbles into a small town looking for information on a musician that lived there years ago. Next thing you know he is in a diner eating when the local police storm in and arrest Reacher for murder. Child develops good characters, a great story, and plenty of twist. A mystery thriller that was hard to put down. Reacher is bad "a" in this story and I can't wait t0o read about his next encounter with trouble.

    38 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    The Beginning - A Good Place to Start! oilcitygirl

    Having read every Reacher novel and finally beginning to get a handle on the guy after the latest, which delves into his child-of-a-military-man upbringing, and in which Reacher is ironically placed in the position of leadership in his own family, I decided to go back to the beginning and read them again, sequentially. It is going to be fun watching Reacher grow, along with Childs' skills, and now I can appreciate the poor guy's idiocyncracies in the later stories by knowing his earlier life in the order it took place. I get a kick out of Childs' obvious affection for his character, Reacher. It is almost as if he is raising a son, the way he explains (and makes excuses for) Reacher's unusual behavior and uncommon lifestyle. Although I am not usually a fan of the macho or "superhero" persona, Childs has me returning time after time and looking for the next book. He has made me care about his paper character like a (dare I say it) mother! This first book of the series is a "must" read for anyone intending to follow the series, in order to get a good basis for Reacher's somewhat odd lifestyle. I appreciate Childs' imaginative and descriptive style throughout the series. The fun begins here with this book - don't miss it.

    25 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    This is full of fast-paced action, suspense and creative plot twists. Reacher, the hero, has great depth of character that makes his character believable and easy to care about. He stumbles onto a mystery that is multi-layered and complex. There is a lot of brutality, violence that makes the plot intriguing and the book non-put-downable! Compelling!

    22 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    A Boring Read

    I was sucked into this book for the first two or three chapters. And then very quickly the characters started getting really stale, the plot dragged, and dialogue was amateurish. I'm shocked that this book got a Best First Myster Book Award and was praised highly by so many critics. The most this book does for me is give me the courage that my first novel written will be as good as this or hopefully better. I won't be reading anymore of this series. Jack Reacher just isn't a believable character. Why? Because Lee Child doesn't develop him well enough. I built no connection with Reacher nor any of the other characters.

    14 out of 51 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2009

    Grabbed me from the beginning

    The Jack Reacher series was recommended to me and after reading the first installment, I will be reading more. Killing Floor captured my attention in the first chapter and kept it throughout. Jack Reacher is a strong, interesting character and I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    A very passable first effort

    For a first effort, Child establishes himself as an author with potential. His talents are developed and honed in his latter books of the series an you can see Child evolve into a fine mystery writer. He is meticulous in his research and detail that is both interesting and often neglected by some authors.
    Having thoroughly enjoyed mystery series with strong characters a la Patterson's Alex Cross and others, Child has hit the jackpot with Jack Reacher: a tought as nails, ex-military MP now drifter with black & white principles in a grey world, who's honor is matched only by his lethal capabilities. Reacher's character is both lovable and intimidating in his unpretentious approach to life...and death.
    I have read several in Child's series in no particular order and have found that a start-to-finish sequence isn't necessary though reading "Killing Floor" might be the best place to start from a character establishment point of view. Be warned that both this and his succeeding books will be extremely difficult to put down on the nightstand, particularly in later books where plots shift more frequently as the web is spun.
    A good read with a dynamic character and writer who both can be stellarly entertaining for any number of future books.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    It's a killer!

    Jack Reacher isn't your typical hero so don't look for that in this story. He's a bit scary but the guy you want by your side when things get rough. He finds himself charged with murder almost minutes after coming into the town of Margrave, Georgia. It is one tense situation after another for Jack as he navigates through each, trying to figure out who he can trust and how to shake off this town. It doesn't take long to be drawn into this intricate web of lies and mystery. The writer uses a first person narrative to tell the story, which allows you to track Jack's reasoning and strategies in real time. The writing style took some getting used to and made it a slower read for about the first half of the book. Once I adapted to the style, it became synonymous with Jack. The pace of the story was swift even when the writing style slowed me down. While there were some predictable moments, there were some things that happened I never saw coming with a pretty exciting finish. I still have some unanswered questions about Jack and am intrigued enough to continue reading this series. Great first book in the series.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    First novel?

    An amazing book for a first novel.
    Full of action, much of it semi-believable for the genre. Some things don't compute, like the remarkable deductive ability of the hero. A good read, though. I'll continue with Child.
    Incidentally, Amazon has the ebook $2 cheaper than B/N and Apple .

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    will get you "hooked" on Jack Reacher stories

    if you like escapist fiction, this is a good read for lovers of mystery and crime stories- offbeat, funny and sometimes downright cynical, it put me in mind of old-style noir books regarding private eyes with a manic, fresh twist-- Jack Reacher, the main character, is wise and uncomplicated at the same time-- his exploits after this book will greatly appeal to all who grow to care about him and wonder if his extraordinary talents will ever be fully realized as there are hints of depths to come-- yeah for Lee Child: he makes us like Jack, seek to at least minimally understand him, hope for his continued success against the "bad guys" and that he will continue to survive in the face of so many wishing him dead as he inconveniences their criminal enterprise

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Excellent first book! Great character, lots of action so what e

    Excellent first book! Great character, lots of action so what else can anyone ask for? Highly recommend.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    E Unim Pluribus

    Joe Reacher is arrested the minute he hits this small town for murder, later to find out that the murdered man is a stunning supprise. He then begins the non stop action. The towns folk begin dying in gruesome ways at a record pace. Joe is a former, highly trained Military Police investigator, and is drawn into the web to find out who and why. It gets messy. This is my first Reacher read, and I am hooked. Very much like James Paterson who I can't get enough of. The twists and turns keep you hopping. It is a fast read you will not want to put it down.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012


    This is a very interesting piece of literature. I'am currently reading it, and approaching the end of it. So far it has proven to be good, fun and exciting. The type of Mistery involved is different than what you would expect. It really has you wondering and thinking so many different things at once, then boom!!! It hits you with something you were not expecting at all. Great Book overall. 5 Star

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    Gooo D Good book

    Good book, but ive read better

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Lee Child

    Great read same type of book he always writes. But worth the time to read, I love tne Reacher series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    If you like Vince Flynn....

    You will like this novel by Lee Childs. The hero is a likeable guy, who comes across as a guy you want to see succeed, and you know in the back of your mind that he will prevail. Good read, good mystery.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2009


    As the first book in the Jack Reacher series, it has me hooked! The main character has a strength and confidence and the suspenseful plot just draws you in.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012


    I love jack reacher novels but I'm bummed the samples are so short and generic. I won't buy most of them because they were published awhile ago and I can't find enough info o know if I've already read it. A bett review or sample please!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    As someone that has read a lot of fiction in this genre, I can't

    As someone that has read a lot of fiction in this genre, I can't see how this book is reviewed so highly. There are so many plot holes and unfinished ideas, the characterization is flat and the book survives on coincidence after coincidence. Somehow we are to believe Jack Reacher can kill his way through Atlanta and nobody evens notices?? Or the fact that he can threaten a prison warden right outside the prison with impunity? Lee Childs even has a scene where Jack has 3 minutes to break someone out of the police station and so he crashes a car into it despite the fact that nobody was inside the station guarding the prisoner....worse the "3 minutes" pass and nobody comes, nobody in the town comes to see why their police station has a bentley crashed into it. If this wasn't so beyond belief to make you put down the book the protagonists come back to the unguarded station a couple of hours later just for the heck of it (which still has not attracted any attention from the townspeople) and set it on fire "as a diversion" except we know that the villains are nowhere near the station. Terrible writing, terrible cliches and just an unbelievable plot - it starts out mediocre and ends as drivel.

    In short: The characters are not believable, neither is the plot. If you want a popcorn thriller book that actually has some realistic features I'd recommend Tom Clancy books or better yet "The Girl that Played With Fire" and "The Girl that Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson - the book has a similarly incredible protagonist but is written in a way that is believable and actually engaging. -

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Super read ! Fast-paced ! Exciting!! Makes you think !!!

    Exciting action, great character interaction. Pulls the reader in, and makes you think right along with Reacher and want to victory dance right along with him at the end !!! Readers of Baldaccl's Maxwell and King books and Dan Brown's DaVinvi Code and Angels and Demons will love this

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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