Author: Lee Child, 1997.
Genre: Action. Thriller.
Other Details: Paperback. 525 pages.
Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia. An arbitrary decision he's about to regret. Reacher is the only stranger in town on the day they have had their first homicide in thirty years.The cops arrest Reacher and the police chief turns eyewitness to place him at the scene. As nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure. They picked the wrong guy to take the fall.
Actually Reacher's decision to have the bus driver drop him off at that point isn't quite arbitrary. He mentions both here and in the prequel, The Affair (Jack Reacher #16), that his brother Joe had mentioned Margrave to him in a note sent to him just before Reacher left the Army as being the place where the legendary guitar player Blind Blake had allegedly been murdered. Reacher is curious to check out the story when he saw the name of the town on a map. Still, he has no idea about the kind of trouble he is walking into or how personal the situation will get. I found the plot highly engaging as the town's secrets were revealed.
This was just what I really fancied this week: a novel of pure action in which the baddies get their butts royally kicked by its maverick hero. Having read #15 as part of a reading group I can see that the formula used there stretches back to the start of the series. It isn't my usual fare but sometimes it is just exactly what I want for entertainment.
Lee Child's page on 'The Killing Floor' - includes downloadable excerpt and audio sample