Killing Floor - Lee Child

***** First one in a series of standalone books

I’ve decided to read this book because it’s the first in a series. I was hoping to find a great author and a great character, so that I could then enjoy the rest of the series.
I must say that this expectation was then disappointed. Lee Child is a good author and Jack Reacher is a fantastic character, but this novel ends in a definitive way. It doesn’t leave even a small detail open concerning the character, there is no apparent subplot to unravel in the future ones. In other words, there is no reason why, although I enjoyed it, I should feel in the least interested in reading the many others in this series. And in my opinion this is a big drawback, because, with all the books that exist on the market, I think that this story of Jack Reacher I will be more than enough for me for a long time, if not forever.
I can move on.
But in judging this novel, I decided to ignore this flaw, I decided to pretend that I approached it as if it were a standalone novel and not the beginning of a series of other books that have completely different location and plots (I’ve quickly read the descriptions at the end of the volume). I want to pretend to believe that the world of Jack Reacher ends at the end of the last chapter with that tiny, but fake, door open which concludes it. I will also ignore the chapter, all told or even summarised, in which the author is quick to close the matter and to clarify with the reader that the series will be made up of separate episodes that will have as their only common feature a character who wanders the United States and is happy with his wandering. I want to ignore that this is a static character, which doesn’t evolve during the story, never will, but strangely wherever he goes he finds himself in trouble, from which he is intended to get out, leaving behind a long trail of dead.
In short, I want to ignore all this that would cost at least one if not two stars and give it full marks, but only because I enjoyed it very much and I found some very interesting technical parts (on counterfeiting of money and on weapons).
Now that I clarified this concept, I just have to go back to the plot of “Killing Floor”, which is undoubtedly well-constructed, complex, and that forces you to get to the end in the shortest possible time. I’ve read the last third of the novel (which is by no means short) in two sessions: one before bed and immediately after waking up.
I had to finish it.
You are immediately thrown into this episode in the life of Reacher. While he is quietly having breakfast in a bar in a remote village in Georgia, where he has just arrived, police bursts in and arrests him, accusing him of a murder that took place the night before.
This is only the beginning of his troubles.
You’d be tempted to think that “Killing Floor” is primarily an action novel. It isn’t so. There really are many action scenes and they are beautiful. They even increase in number towards the end, as is obvious to expect. But in reality we are faced with a novel of investigation, research, dead (many deaths) killed in the most gory and disturbing ways, and traces. Reacher was a military police officer and in him we find the training of a soldier and the cunning and deductive skills worthy of the best Sherlock Holmes.
In a series of twists narrated with skill, Reacher sees his situation getting worse, but certainly he doesn’t get discouraged and doesn’t scruple. The result is a world in which every law is suspended, there is no more morality. You cannot wait for the intervention of justice, you must get justice by yourself and there is a feeling that it’s okay.
The author tells the story showing the details only when needed and allowing us to accompany the protagonist in putting together the pieces of the puzzle. With him we fear for the fate of the other characters. With your heart pounding you read page after page, fearing that the worst can happen, but speeding up the reading to learn the truth, no matter how terrible it may be.
And in no time you get to the explosive conclusion.
Too bad for the final chapter that makes the story fall again to the real world, finally breaking the spell and leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Killing Floor on Amazon.