As I was reading Lee Child's current best seller with Jack Reacher, something kept nagging me then I remembered reading the author's first novel, "Killing Floor," and was surprised by the many plot similarities between the two books. It almost seems like he is recycling the plot.
In both novels, Reacher is helping an overwhelmed police department in a small town. In "Killing Floor," the action is in Margrove, Georgia. In "61 Hours," the story is centered in Bolton, South Dakota.
Both stories have only two members of the police department helping Reacher. In "Killing Floor," his helpers are Capt. Finley and Officer Roscoe, in "61 Hours," he is being helped by the police Chief, Holland and Andrew Peterson, the second in command.
In both novels, Reacher calls the Washington area for help. In the first novel, it is Reacher's brother's division of the treasury. In "61 Hours," he calls in a favor and a lot of background help from the commanding officer of an elite military group in Rock Creek, Va., a group that Reacher once commanded.
Both stories have a deadline. "Killing Floor" has something happening on the next Sunday and Reacher has to stop it before then. "61 Hours" it is sixty one hours before an event will happen that Reacher must prevent.
The towns in which the stories are told both benefit from wealth that made the town seem prosperous but also added an obligation that required the town to be less cautious about wrong doing.
In "Killing Floor," Reacher is saving the family of Paul Hubble. In "61 Hours," there is a witness who saw a drug deal going down involving an important member of the drug group.
I enjoyed both novels and admire all the attributes of Jack Reacher, his bravery, strength, compassion and loyalty, however, I feel that "Killing Floor," was far superior because of its uniqueness. In addition, Lee Child is still one of the best story tellers and thriller writers that we have.