The book series follows the dangerous undertakings of Jack Reacher, a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps. Reacher drifts across the United States, investigating various crimes and righting wrongs.
Reacher is known for his formidable physical abilities, his sense of humor, his intelligence, and his no-nonsense attitude toward injustice. As usual, I’m talking about books, but I have also seen the Alan Ritchson portrayal of Reacher, and I must say, he was what I imagined Reacher would be like (physically, at least).
As of 2022, Child has published 27 Jack Reacher novels, which have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
So, here’s a post dedicated to Jack Reacher, with the top 3 picks, a list of all of the Jack Reacher books in order, and a review for each of the best Jack Reacher books.
our best Jack Reacher Books at a glance:
Who Wrote the Jack Reacher Book Series?
The Jack Reacher book series was and continues to be written by a British author called Lee Child. Lee Child is a pen name used by James Dover Grant CBE, a name that he says originated from a family joke.
James Dover Grant was born on October 29, 1954, in Coventry, England, and grew up in Handsworth Wood, a suburb of Birmingham in the West Midlands County, where his family relocated.
The Grant family moved there to give their four children (all boys) a better education. James attended Cherry Orchard Primary School and then went to King Edward’s School (KES), a day school for boys in Edgbaston.
After that, he went to Sheffield University, where he studied law, although he had no plans to practice law as a profession. While in university, Child was involved in theater, and he went right into commercial TV after graduating.
He worked as a presentation director for Granada Television, an ITV subsidiary in Manchester, England, before becoming a full-time writer. He was made redundant, and he decided to use his redundancy payment to fund his writing. In 1997, the first book, Killing Floor, was published the world was introduced to the character of Jack Reacher
Since then, Lee Child has written many more books featuring Jack Reacher, and he has made it his tradition to start writing a new Jack Reacher book on the anniversary of the day that he started writing his first novel (Killing Floor) after he lost his job.
The series has become very popular around the world. The books have been commercially successful and have been adapted into a successful 2012 blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise (based on One Shot) and an Amazon film series starring Alan Ritchson.
Jack Reacher Books in Order of Publication
Jack Reacher Books
- Killing Floor (1997)
- Die Trying (1998)
- Tripwire (1999)
- Running Blind / The Visitor (2000)
- Echo Burning (2001)
- Without Fail (2002)
- Persuader (2003)
- The Enemy (2004)
- One Shot (2005)
- The Hard Way (2006)
- Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)
- Nothing to Lose (2008)
- Gone Tomorrow (2009)
- 61 Hours (2010)
- Worth Dying For (2010)
- The Affair (2011)
- A Wanted Man (2012)
- Never Go Back (2013)
- Personal (2014)
- Make Me (2015)
- Night School (2016)
- The Midnight Line (2017)
- Past Tense (2018)
- Blue Moon (2019)
- The Sentinel (2020)
- Better Off Dead (2021)
- No Plan B (2022)
Jack Reacher Short Stories and Novellas
- Second Son (2011)
- Deep Down (2012)
- High Heat (2013)
- Not a Drill (2014)
- Good and Valuable Consideration: Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller (2014)
- Small Wars (2015)
- Too Much Time (2017)
- No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories (2017)
- The Christmas Scorpion (2018)
- Cleaning the Gold (2019)
Other Jack Reacher Books
Best 5 Jack Reacher Books
“Killing Floor” is a novel by Lee Child, a British author of crime and thriller novels. The novel was first published in 1997 and is the first book in the Jack Reacher series. The book follows the story of Jack Reacher, a former military policeman who finds himself drawn into a mystery involving a small town in rural Georgia and a series of murders that are connected to a former military base. The novel is known for its fast-paced and exciting plot and its strong and well-developed characters.
The novel follows the story of Jack Reacher, a former military policeman, as he becomes embroiled in a mystery involving a serial killer in a small town in Georgia. As Reacher investigates the case, he must confront dangerous foes and fight for survival. The novel was a critical and commercial success and launched Child’s successful writing career.
In Die Trying, Jack Reacher is drawn into a situation involving a kidnapped woman and a separatist group.
Jack Reacher finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is kidnapped and taken to a remote base in the Montana wilderness, where he is held captive along with the young woman. What Jack doesn’t initially know is that the young woman is an FBI agent named Holly Johnson, who is worth a lot to the rebels.
Meanwhile, the FBI and other government agencies that are trying to track Holly down mistakenly believe that Jack is one of Holly’s kidnappers.
Holly is the daughter of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the goddaughter of the U.S. President, so the rebels demand an outrageous ransom. When the President rejects the idea of military action on the rebel base, it is up to Holly, Jack Reacher, and McGrath (Agent-in-Charge, Chicago FBI Field Office) to fight against the captors.
Die Trying is a thrilling novel that showcases Lee Child’s signature blend of action, fast-paced plot, suspense, and complex characters.
First published on April 4, 2005, One Shot is the ninth book in the Jack Reacher book series. When a retired Army sniper, James Barr, is arrested for shooting five people, Jack Reacher is called in to vouch for him.
The mass shooting happened in a parking garage, where a sniper killed five “random” people. However, the sniper leaves a lot of evidence, which the police use to track him down. Fingerprints on a quarter that was found on the scene match a shell case used in the shooting, and they all point to one man: Barr.
Even after they arrest him, Barr insists that police have the wrong guy, and that’s when he requests Jack Reacher.
Initially, Reacher, who is a drifter, only agrees to come to the small Indiana city to look at this case to make sure that James pays for his crimes. But as the story goes on, Jack uncovers a conspiracy; he discovers that the case is deeper and involves military politics.
The novel showcases Reacher’s use of his military training and investigative skills to uncover the truth and stop the real perpetrators. It also has a suspenseful plot, which is something that readers expect from a Jack Reacher book.
In the fifth installment of the Jack Reacher series, Reacher is in the thick of things, again, but this time, trouble doesn’t find him, he finds it.
Well, the former United States Army major arrives in a small town in Nebraska and is instantly involved in a case of domestic violence.
Being as morally upright as Jack is, he punches the abuser, and before long he realizes that he’s gotten involved with a group of people that control that small Nebraska town without opposition.
The husband that Jack just punched belongs to the powerful Duncan clan. These guys are rich and powerful and everyone in this part of Nebraska is scared of them
Reacher starts investigating a case involving a girl who went missing more than two decades ago.
His investigation leads him deeper into the clan’s criminal activities, and he discovers that they are running a smuggling ring.
Being the 14th book in the Jack Reacher series, “61 Hours” is in the middle of the series. If you read the series from the beginning, you are probably going to be familiar with Jack by the time you start reading this book, and you are likely going to be a fan.
In “61 Hours,” Reacher finds himself in the small town of Bolton, South Dakota, where he is stranded due to a snowstorm. While there, he becomes involved in a local crisis involving a retired librarian, Janet Salter, who is set to testify in a major drug case. When Salter is targeted by the methamphetamine dealers, Reacher must use all of his skills and connections in the military police to keep Janet safe and bring the perpetrators to justice.
One thing that I like about Lee Child is his ability to perfectly portray small towns, and he didn’t disappoint in that regard in this story. He also delivered on Reacher’s signature blend of action, mystery, and wit, making the book a fan favorite and a top read in the thriller and suspense genres.
Jack Reacher FAQs
How many Jack Reacher books are there?
There are currently 27 novels in the Jack Reacher series, with the most recent one being “No Plan B,” published on October 25, 2022.
Is Jack Reacher a series or a standalone novel?
The Jack Reacher novels are part of a series, with each book featuring a new story and set of characters. However, each novel can be read as a standalone, as they do not necessarily build on each other.
Who plays Jack Reacher in the movies?
Actor Tom Cruise played Jack Reacher in the 2012 film adaptation of the novel “One Shot” and its sequel, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” released in 2016. Alan Ritchson plays Reacher in the TV series.
Are the Jack Reacher books suitable for all ages?
The Jack Reacher novels are typically classified as crime thrillers and may contain themes and elements that are not suitable for all ages. They may include violence, strong language, and adult themes, so it is best to check the content before giving them to younger readers.
Is Jack Reacher a good guy or a bad guy?
Jack Reacher is generally portrayed as a good guy who helps those in need and fights against injustice. Although he has a tough exterior and is not afraid to use force when necessary, he ultimately acts with good intentions and strives to do what is right.
Does Jack Reacher have any family or relationships?
In the novels, Jack Reacher is portrayed as a loner who has no family or close relationships. But Jack has/had a family: his mother, Josephine Moutier Reacher; his father, Stan Reacher (a United States Marine Captain); and Joe, his brother (who was killed hours before Killing Floor).
Final Words on Jack Reacher Books
Jack Reacher is the lead character in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. He is a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps who became a “drifter” after retiring and now travels the United States and solves crimes and mysteries.
He is known for his exceptional intelligence and physical abilities, as well as his habit of getting involved in dangerous situations and coming out on top. The fact that several books in the Jack Reacher series have had huge success as film adaptations tells you how popular the character is among readers and producers alike.
I believe that Jack Reacher books like Gone Tomorrow, The Affair, and Tripwire more than deserve a place in the Jack Reacher top ten, but they could just as well be on someone’s top 5 list.