Killing Floor Killing Floor
"When it comes to action, Jack more than knows how to take care of himself. And when the going gets rough, he can— and does—show that he can be the roughest..."

Manchester Evening News

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 whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personal 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-naïf 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.

Winner of the 1998 Barry Award (awarded by Deadly Pleasures magazine) and Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

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Putnam hardcover March 1997
Jove mass-market paperback May 1998; new cover April 2006 0515141429
Berkley trade paperback Nov 2004 0425205061
Bantam hardcover June 1997
Bantam paperback April 1998 0553505408
Brilliance Audio April 2004 Unabridged 1593555571 / Abridged 1561009695/ CD 159355558X


All [Jack Reacher novels] are ripping yarns, but since this is the first, it seems the logical place to start.... Killing Floor wins awards for Best Corrupt Southern Town in a Summer Novel and Best Exploding Warehouse.
   —Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King), Entertainment Weekly

The opening of Lee Child's gripping thriller is classic. Stranger Jack Reacher walks into Margrave in Georgia and within five minutes the small-town cops try to pin a murder on him. They don't even let him finish his breakfast. What these hick law enforcement boys don't know is that Reacher is no ordinary John Doe. A lifetime spent in the army, much of it in action overseas and with the military's own police, has taught him plenty. So when it comes to action, Jack more than knows how to take care of himself. And when the going gets rough, he can—and does—show that he can be the roughest.
   —Manchester Evening News

Killing Floor is the best thriller I've read for years.
   —New Statesman

An American tough guy who is a stranger in small-town Georgia is arrested for murder... [a] stunningly dynamic book.
   —Daily Mail

Hollywood's movie moguls have been frantically bidding to buy the exclusive rights to a blockbuster penned by an unknown writer...[they] are battling to woo author Lee Child to buy the rights to Killing Floor to turn Lee's novel into a box office smash.
   —Lancashire Evening Post

Killing Floor is a well put-together first novel...set in America's Deep South, the book races along, spattering blood and body parts on the way, with the hero, a super-tough ex-military policeman, contributing his share of corpses as he unravels a conspiracy in which almost no one he encounters can be trusted.
   —Sunday Telegraph