CWM

Jack Reacher Reaches and Shrugs A LOT

In Books on December 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Now I know that many of you might not know this but “Jack Reacher” starring Tom Cruise and recently reviewed, was based on the book One Shot written by Lee Child and the 9th book in the Jack Reacher series. Finding this out, I decided to give the first Jack Reacher book, Killing Floor, a shot and boy was I disappointed with this story.

Killing Floor introduces Jack Reacher as he arrives in Margrave Georgia in order to check out a town frequented by Blind Blake a blues guitarist from back in the day. While eating breakfast, Reacher is arrested for a murder that he did not commit but eventually becomes involved with, utilizing his homicide investigation techniques that he learned while serving in the military as an MP. Joining forces with Finlay, a Boston detectives whose divorce and bad choices led him to Margrave, and Roscoe, a buxom local police officer who Reacher feels an intimate connection with, to uncover a conspiracy involving counterfeiting, nailing people to walls, and air conditioning boxes. Reacher uncovers the plot using his experience, intelligence, dirty clothing, and his fists.

Let me begin by saying that Reacher shrugs his way through everything. Literally, he shrugs in response to just about everything within this book. Not only is it annoying to read, but I had a to of difficulty reading about a character and relating to a character who shrugged to nearly every bit of news he received.    Finlay shrugs a lot too and I just don’t get it. Child seems to think that cops investigate homicides by hard work and shrugging when asked a question.

Some of the lines in this book are atrocious, my personal favorite being, “Shotguns and children don’t mix.” Really? That’s something that needed to be stated. The best part about that line, is that it is repeated, as if Child didn’t think the reader understood it.

Also, this book contains A LOT of stretches. I have no problem stretching reality a bit, but this book takes the cake. I’ll explain more about this a bit later in the spoiler section.

So before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me just say, don’t read this book. It isn’t that well written and the main character, I found at least, is hardly relatable.

Alright now onto the nitty gritty spoiler filled review.

As I stated before, this book contained quite a few unrealistic instances, one blaring one being how Reacher located Paul Hubble. When I read this section in which he detailed this precise calculation of how to locate this guy, after only spending a day with him, I was dumbfounded. Not only was Reacher surprisingly accurate with where Paul Hubble was but he was also able to determine what name Hubble would be using. This part was a huge stretch and seemed completely unrealistic, especially when Reacher chalked it up to experience.

Picard’s death, or lack thereof, was a bit much for me as well. I understand that this guy was huge, 300 pounds and 6’8″ or something like that, but he got shot by a Desert Eagle, a gun that Jack Reacher describes as being able to blow a gaping hole in somebody, then is shot 6 more times, and then is finally shot another time in the head before he stops moving. I understand if Child wanted Picard to come back to have some awesome climatic fight scene, which didn’t happen, but that could have happened with Kliner, the man who killed Reacher’s brother and took his girlfriend hostage. Not only would that have been a lot more fun to read, but I would have been rooting for Reacher more.

All in all, I didn’t really enjoy the book, as if you couldn’t tell that already. It was fast paced, not necessarily a bad thing in other cases but in this case it was, the character was unrelatable, the storyline contained a lot of coincidences, and it just wasn’t compelling, I had to work to finish this book. I’m going to give the second book a try, because apparently this series is amazing, but this book was not worth it.

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  1. A bit of late advice here; if you haven’t already discovered, the second book is all the bad parts of this book… with a load more bad stuff heaped on top.

    Honestly, I tried the second book for the same reason as you – that people seemingly love the series, so I thought maybe the first book was a slow start and it would get better. Well, you should expect a whole lot more shrugging, nodding and even worse ridiculously unbelievable plots.

    I abandoned the series promptly after the second book and moved on to the Harry Hole series, which I would highly recommend (except maybe for the first book The Bat).

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