Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On The Killing Floor

Having just finished Lee Child's Killing Floor, I thought I'd throw up a few reactions to it. Not a review, just some things I noticed.

Jack Reacher is a smart guy. He's so smart that everyone around him--even those who have twenty years experience in police work--defer to his opinion. He's great at problem solving, but as the novel wears on, the logic he uses is increasingly suspect.

Jack Reacher is an amazing driver. In the one novel, he skirted, accelerated, nosed, lurched, swung, blasted, slowed, spun the wheel, turned, pulled up, threaded, wafted, parked, reversed, rolled, jinked, wallowed and drove whatever car he could lay his hands on.

The first hundred pages had me smiling at the quality of the writing, the depth of the character, and the excitement of the action.

The last hundred pages had me smiling at the abundance of coincidence, the sheer proportion of the events, and the John Woo-like slo-mo sequences.

Even though I suddenly have a hankering for some Barry Eisler, will I read more Jack Reacher novels?



John R. said...

Lee's pretty well known for the way he approaches plotting. He throws as much as he can think of in the first half of a book - twists, complications, anything that crosses his mind. And when he comes to the second half, he starts figuring out how to make the thing resolve in some way. So that pattern you describe is fairly normal.

Very, very good, the Reacher books. Enormous fun.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I've only read Running Blind, and I was disappointed. Maybe it's just the one book but Jack Reacher came across as flat and two dimensional. The coincidences just a little too coincidental.

Childs' attempt at giving Jack some depth and background felt stilted and contrived. But hey, you win some, you lose some. I'll have to check out Killing Floor.