Lee Child’s “The Killing Floor” is too good to be a first novel!

I discovered Lee Child and the Jack Reacher novels a couple of years ago when Tom Cruise was selected to star as Jack Reacher. I am a big Tom Cruise fan, so I read the novel the movie was to be based on. That’s when I discovered Lee Child. I quickly read all the Reacher novels.

Now that I’m a mystery novelist myself, I’ve set out to re-read my favorites as textbooks on how to be a better writer.

I first read The Killing Floor a couple of years ago. It is hard to believe that this is Lee Child’s first novel. I have read lots of first novels, and this is one of the best. The plot is tight and fast-moving. The characters are developed with skill and vision. The settings are described as though the reader is right there.

The edition I read included a foreword by Lee Child giving some of the background on how he developed the Reacher character. I found the foreword very helpful and entertaining. I loved the book and enjoyed it even more the second time through. Well done, Lee Child!

Dave Barry at SleuthfestI was one of over 300 members of Mystery Writers of America to attend Sleuthfest 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel in Deerfield Beach, Florida from Thursday, February 26 to Sunday, March 1.

I attended sessions on the craft of writing, plotting, scene setting, and characterization, as well as marketing and promoting the author’s work. Best-selling author and former professor of writing, James W. Hall, led a humorous and informative session on Analyzing What Makes a Bestseller.

Our final speaker was best-selling humor writer Dave Barry, who told attendees lots of funny stories and related a few tidbits from his new book Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster)