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Killing Floor
Cover of Killing Floor
Killing Floor
Jack Reacher Series, Book 1
by Lee Child
THE FIRST JACK REACHER NOVEL

The bestselling novel featuring the "wonderfully epic hero" (People) who inspired the hit films Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
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.
THE FIRST JACK REACHER NOVEL

The bestselling novel featuring the "wonderfully epic hero" (People) who inspired the hit films Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
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.
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    KILLING FLOOR

    Lee Child

    Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

    Copyright © 1997 by Lee Child.

    All rights reserved.

    PUBLISHING HISTORY

    eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-14705-4

    The Library of Congress has catalogued the G. P. Putnam's Sons

    KILLING FLOOR

    Introduction

    Chapter 1

    Chapter 2

    Chapter 3

    Chapter 4

    Chapter 5

    Chapter 6

    Chapter 7

    Chapter 8

    Chapter 9

    Chapter 10

    Chapter 11

    Chapter 12

    Chapter 13

    Chapter 14

    Chapter 15

    Chapter 16

    Chapter 17

    Chapter 18

    Chapter 19

    Chapter 20

    Chapter 21

    Chapter 22

    Chapter 23

    Chapter 24

    Chapter 25

    Chapter 26

    Chapter 27

    Chapter 28

    Chapter 29

    Chapter 30

    Chapter 31

    Chapter 32

    Chapter 33

    Chapter 34

    Special excerpt from Die Trying

    Jack Reacher made his first appearance in print on March 17, 1997—St. Patrick's Day—when Putnam published Killing Floor in the United States, which was Reacher's—and my—debut. But I can trace his, and the book's, genesis backward at least to New Year's Eve 1988. Back then I worked for a commercial television station in Manchester, England. I was eleven years into a career as a presentation director, which was a little like an air traffic controller for the network airwaves. In February 1988, the UK commercial network had started twenty-four-hour broadcasting. For a year before that, management had been talking about how to man the new expanded commitment. None of us really wanted to work nights. Management didn't really want to hire extra people. End of story. Stalemate. Impasse. What broke it was the offer of a huge raise. We took it, and by New Year's Eve we were ten fat and happy months into the new contract. I went to a party, but didn't feel much like celebrating. Not that I wasn't content in the short term—I sleep better by day than night, and I like being up and about when the world is quiet and lonely, and for sure I was having a ball with the new salary. But I knew in my bones that management resented the raise, and I knew that the new contract was in fact the beginning of the end. Sooner or later, we would all be fired in revenge. I felt it was only a matter of time. Nobody agreed with me, except one woman. At the party, in a quiet moment, she asked me, "What are you going to do when this is all over?"

    I said, "I'm going to write books."

    Why that answer? And why then?

    I had always been an insatiable reader. All genres, all the time, but very unstructured. I naturally gravitated toward crime, adventure, and thrillers, but for a long time in the UK we lacked genre stores and fan magazines, and of course the Internet hadn't started yet, so there was no effective network capable of leading a reader from one thing to the next. As a result, I had come across some very obscure stuff, while being completely ignorant of...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 3, 1997
    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.

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Jack Reacher Series, Book 1
Lee Child
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