Lee Child is the man behind Jack Reacher, a six-foot-five-inch drifter and ex-military policeman who has been featured in more than a dozen best-selling thrillers. Child, who stands the same height as the hero of his series, was born in Coventry, England, and raised in the nearby working-class city of Birmingham. He began his career as a producer with Granada, the television company responsible for such shows as THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN and BRIDESHEAD REVISITED. In 1995, when he was 40, he was laid off due to a corporate restructuring. He used his unexpected free time to write the first Reacher novel, KILLING FLOOR, which was published in 1997. The book, which won an Anthony Award for best debut of the year, proved exceptionally popular, and Child now has millions of avid fans. Child once said of his protagonist, "I look at the character as an update of a very old figure, who comes out of 1,000 years of literary tradition: the loner, the mysterious stranger, the knight errant who shows up, solves a problem and then leaves. He came out of Scandinavian sagas and English tales of knights and survived into the American West and pop lit." Explaining why Reacher's adventures take place in the U.S., Child, who is married to an American woman, has said, "The idea of writing against a huge landscape, a vast continent where anything could happen, greatly appealed to me."