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!
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)