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Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

Killing Floor  - Lee Child Jack Reacher (not Bauer, although the similarities are striking) conveniently arrives in a small town in Georgia just in time to try and prevent some huge criminal act. It seems the whole town is against him when, as the newcomer to town, he is the automatic suspect in the murders that just happen to coincide with his arrival. Lots of coincidences already - and plenty more to come...

A good example of the kind of book this is. And I enjoyed it. In fact I raced through it, so not all that bad. But it does suffer from a few annoying character flaws, character flaws being the key word. Warning some spoilers ahead!

Firstly, Jack himself is a painfully two-dimensional character (even more so than Bauer). There is no real insight into him as a person, consequently there's not really much opportunity to feel sympathy with his predicament or cheer him on to success. Certainly no explanation as to why the lady cop completely throws herself at him - beyond him having 'nice eyes'. You want to get to the end of the book to see what happens, not so much because you want Jack to survive.

The coincidences pile up throughout the book. The timing and route of his arrival. His connection to the first body. Needing a haircut at just the right moment. And, finally, the bad guys all being in just the right places for his daring plan to succeed. If he'd guessed wrong, they would all be dead.

My third flaw is the good guys. The cops who are on Jack's side go from law enforcers to happily endorsing his wholesale slaughter of bad guys without even the slightest twinge of conscience. Why aren't they pushing to arrest and charge bad guys instead of just killing them. Obviously, Jack is going to kill them all anyway (it really is just like 24), but a little more conflict for the cops would have made a lot more sense.

Finally, Picard makes it back? WTF? That was just a jarring and seemingly unnecessary part to the story...