Jack Reacher Books

Jack Reacher is the featured character in the “Jack Reacher” series of novels written by Lee Child. The first novel featuring Jack Reacher was released in 1997 called Killing Floor, and the series of books are within the mystery and thriller genre.

Jack Reacher was in the military as a military cop and was promoted all the way to major. The book series begins immediately following his military career – the 6ft 5in Reacher saw where the military was headed, didn’t like how the future of the military looked and quit.

The first novel in the series, Killing Floor, begins the story of Reacher following his quitting the military and begins at a breakneck speed. Reacher has decided to just travel the United States and hops on a Greyhound bus. He gets off in the state of Georgia, in the town of Margrave simply because Blind Blake, a blues musician died there apparently and he wants to check that out.

His first stop is a diner – where he promptly gets arrested while eating a late breakfast. What follows is just an amazing story that truly demonstrates the skills of Lee Child, and won him the award for the Anthony and Barry best First Novels in 1998.

Order of Jack Reacher Series

# Read Title Published
1 Killing Floor 1997
2 Die Trying 1998
3 Tripwire 1999
4 Running Blind 2000
5 Echo Burning 2001
6 Without Fail 2002
7 Persuader 2003
8 The Enemy 2004
9 One Shot 2005
10 The Hard Way 2006
11 Bad Luck and Trouble 2007
12 Nothing to Lose 2008
13 Gone Tomorrow 2009
14 61 Hours 2010
15 Worth Dying For 2010
16 The Affair 2011
17 A Wanted Man 2012
18 Never Go Back 2013
19 Personal 2014
20 Make Me 2015
21 Night School 2016
22 The Midnight Line 2017
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If you’re looking to read the Jack Reacher books in chronological order, start with The Enemy. Following that, it would be Night School and then the Affair. You can then read everything else in the order it was publicized. The short story Second Son takes place when Jack Reacher is 13 years old in 1974, and the short story High Heat takes place in 1977 when Reacher is almost 17.

Order of Jack Reacher Short Stories

# Read Title Published
1 Second Son 2011
2 Deep Down 2012
3 High Heat 2013
4 Not a Drill 2014
5 Small Wars 2015
6 No Middle Name 2017
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The Jack Reacher series of novels has won multiple awards. The first novel in the series Killing Floor won the Anthony Award and Barry award as the Best First Novel. Many of the books, like Without Fail and Persuader were Ian Fleming Steel Dagger nominees, and 61 hours won the biggest UK crime fiction of the year award, the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year.


Two novels featuring Jack Reacher have been adapted to the big screen. The book “One Shot” was released in theatres in 2012 under the name “Jack Reacher” and starred Tom Cruise. The book Never Go Back was made into a movie also starring Tom Cruise in 2016. Fun sidenote – Jack Reacher has been referenced in multiple Stephen King novels including Under the Dome, which was released as a TV show although Reacher was never actually referenced in the show.


Obviously as a multiple award winner, Killing Floor is generally regarded as one of the best novels in the Jack Reacher series.

Worth Dying For was the 15th book in the Jack Reacher series and that was one of the highest regarded. Lee Child tried something new there by essentially making a two parter – and this was the follow up to the novel 61 hours. In 61 hours Jack Reacher shows up in the farmlands of Nebraska and right into trouble with a clan called the Duncans who want him gone, and gone fast. Unfortunately for the Duncans, Reacher discovered an old case about a child who has went missing – and he decides he’s not ready to leave town quite yet.

Another incredible novel in the Jack Reacher series is Gone Tomorrow which has one of the most exciting beginnings of any Reacher book. Reacher is on a subway train in New York City at 2am with 5 different passengers. One of those passengers are giving away all the tell tale signs of a suicide bomber.


Many Jack Reacher fans are also fans of the “Mitch Rapp” series of novels written by Vince Flynn. These books are more light political thrillers and Mitch Rapp is a Jack Bauer like character who works for a black ops group within the CIA normally alone, and breaks all the rules. Jack Reacher fans also enjoy the “Gray Man” series written by Mark Greaney. The Gray Man is a similar lone wolf type character who used to work for a covert ops group within the military until his own team throw him out to dry and declare him a wanted man.