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Major themes in Jack Reacher (killing floor)

Love and Marriage vs Freedom and Anonymity
2) Honesty vs Survival
3) Army Family Life vs Regular Family LIfe


Love and Marriage vs Freedom and Anonymity

Jack Reacher is pleasantly surprised by the depth of his feelings for Roscoe. Though less than a week passes from when they first meet, and their introduction doesn't place Jack in a very favorable light, she falls for him too. Together they begin to investigate the murders and their irregularities. The further involved they become, the more Jack finds that overcoming fear and adversity has more purpose with Roscoe in his life. When they are separated, even briefly, he can't stop thinking about her, and looking forward to the next time he sees her. Smitten, he surprises even himself when he realizes he's thinking about staying with her in Margrave. He finds himself telling her all about the things that happen while he is not with her, but that kind of honesty inevitably has a downside. With surprise, he concludes that Roscoe is unhappy with the way that he handled things. Believing he is overly aggressive, or used more force than the task required, she questions his motives and Jack goes from feeling like the hero rescuing the damsel in distress to a man who can't control his aggression and acts with vengeance taking the law into his own hands.Though not actually accused by Roscoe, there it is. It's the first elephant in the room. Jack is no longer thinking about staying in Margrave. Now he sees with clarity that if he does, the collection of agencies involved in sorting out the mess remaining will keep himfrom living a normal life for some time. Having just regained his freedom from the army, Jack can't see staying, being interrogated and investigated long enough for each agency to finish with him. However, he is reasonably sure that he would be able to completely clear himself. Anonymity is Jack's higher road, and he leaves all thoughts of marriage behind.


Honesty vs. Survival

Someone once said that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Thetown of Margrave could be considered a perfect example of that phrase. Before Kliner and his family came to town, Margrave was doing a slow death spiral into obscurity. Thetown had been a lively affair and everyone stopped there on their way to Atlanta at one time though. Margrave had once been right on the main road to Florida, the old barber had told Jack. It was the only route through Georgia north to south until the new highway came through. During those days, people from all over stopped in Margrave, and the town flourished. For some reason, when the government built the highway, theyput it fourteen miles from Margrave, and the passing traffic stopped. The town on its own wasn't big enough to support itself so slowly businesses began to fail. People lost their livelihoods and as jobs were lost, the town slowly died. Then along came Kliner.For five years, Kliner and his family had been living in the Margrave area. They presented themselves as wealthy by way of a peculiar new type of cotton processing they had devised. The process involved Chlorine, and fish began to die because of whatthey were dumping. Deaths were noticed as far away as New Orleans and the EPA became involved, so Kliner avoided the whole issue by moving the entire plant to Venezuela where the laws were more relaxed. Then he showed up needing warehouse space for consumer goods. He hires truck drivers, paying them well, and goods are hauled in and out. He begins supplementing the upkeep of the town. Roads were paved, buildings painted or rebuilt if necessary, and doing whatever necessary to keep the town running. Flags flew everywhere, awnings hung over wide sidewalks and all of itwas courtesy of the Kliner foundation. So much money is hard to ignore, and when the Kliner Foundation offered the businessmen of Margrave a thousand dollars a week to remain open and profitable, only one business in the town stopped to even think about it. The barbers knew the money had come to easy and that something was wrong so hadn't spent any of it. They'd put it in a closet and made do with what little business came in. Had the entire town thought about it, perhaps there would not have been the deaths of so many people, but the businessmen couldn't see past the perceived life preserver offered by the foundation. There is no way that in a five-year period, the town could not have known, and by closing their eyes to the presence of evil, they endorsed itand merely prolonged the inevitable because Margrave can't be saved by a generous benefactor. Fourteen miles is fourteen miles



StylePoint of ViewTold in the first person from Jack Reacher's perspective, Killing Floor is a straightforward read. Jack is a military child who had a military career as an adult. As such, when peace brings the end of his position in the army, he begins to travel the landhe spent most of his adult life protecting. Preferring total anonymity, Jack travels by Greyhound, paying cash as he goes and leaving little if no footprint behind. His path is aimless and his arrival in Margrave is an unplanned stop made because of a story his brother Joe told him about a guitar player named Blind Blake. Jack finds the answer to the mystery of Blind Blake's death, and in the process unravels two other mysteries as well.He is an honest man and when accused of murder stays calm knowing they must have the wrong man. When his alibi clears him, he is released from jail only to find that the murder victim is his brother Joe. Stunned, he begins digging into what his brother was doing in the little town of Margrave. Because they were a military family, and never stayed long in any given place, they came to rely on each other more. Though they maynot have communicated often, the loss of his brother is deeply felt by Jack, and the author does a good job of expressing this in how Jack responds. Learning that Joe was an agent with the Treasury department at the time of his death, Jack assumes counterfeiting is involved and he is right. Before the story is finished, Jack will get a crash course in US economics, an overview of currency, how it is printed and counterfeiting. In the midst of his grief, he will unexpectedly fall in love with one of the few honest officers in the Margrave Police Department, he'll help save four people who were kidnapped and break up a multi million dollar counterfeiting operation, killing several of the criminals in the process, including those that killed his brother Joe. Jack doesn't stick around though. Needing to be anonymous, he knows that if he stays in Margrave he will lose his privacy and he finds that love can't bridge that gap. He slips out as quietly as he slipped in, leaving a town behind open with fresh wounds, but free of corruption.SettingKilling Floor is set mostly in the town of Margrave and its surrounding areas, but also has ties to Venezuela, Atlanta, Macon, California and other US destinations. Margrave is actually a collection center for one-dollar bills. Gathered from all corners of the UnitedStates, one-dollar bills are trucked into Margrave and unloaded. They are then reloadedand sent overseas to the Kliner Industries cotton factory in Venezuela where they are bleached and reprinted as one hundred dollar bills and then distributed and/or sent back. The book is primarily centered in Margrave, although there are several instances where Jack leaves briefly to investigate his brother's death.

Kliner Industries, headed by the Kliner family, is behind the huge counterfeiting operation that includes a banker, a chief of police and several officers, an FBI agent andbusinessmen. The Kliner family made their original fortune in cotton processing in Mississippi. Having invented a new chlorine process, the Kliner's were making a huge fortune, but the EPA became involved when fish started dying. The problems ended when Kliner moved the entire cotton plant to Venezuela instead where the rules were more lax. Then Kliner Industries buys land from the township of Margrave, which has been struggling since the building of the freeway just fourteen miles away. Close enough to see, it isn't close enough to encourage freeway traffic. One of their four warehouses Kliner owns is the storage place for one-dollar bills and the location that thehostages Roscoe and Hubble family were held. Forced to shovel money into boxes at gunpoint while Kliner and Teale watch, they are finally rescued by Jack and Finlay. The final outcome involves police and government agencies of several varieties; destroys a fire hall and a police station; burns four Kliner warehouses to the ground and in the process much of the money inside; and kills most of the counterfeiters, including those that killed Joe Reacher.