Jack Reacher Books

The Jack Reacher series is a series of novels written by the British author Lee Child. The are centred around the character of Jack Reacher, a former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, who retired at the age of 36 to lead a more nomadic existence travelling the United States of America. On his travels, Reacher takes on odd-jobs to make ends meet and will often end up drawn into investigating suspicious goings-on in the area that he finds himself in. 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.

Order of Jack Reacher Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Killing Floor 1997 Description / Buy
2 Die Trying 1998 Description / Buy
3 Tripwire 1999 Description / Buy
4 Running Blind / The Visitor 2000 Description / Buy
5 Echo Burning 2001 Description / Buy
6 Without Fail 2002 Description / Buy
7 Persuader 2003 Description / Buy
8 The Enemy 2004 Description / Buy
9 One Shot 2005 Description / Buy
10 The Hard Way 2006 Description / Buy
11 Bad Luck and Trouble 2007 Description / Buy
12 Nothing to Lose 2008 Description / Buy
13 Gone Tomorrow 2009 Description / Buy
14 61 Hours 2010 Description / Buy
15 Worth Dying For 2010 Description / Buy
16 The Affair 2011 Description / Buy
17 A Wanted Man 2012 Description / Buy
18 Never Go Back 2013 Description / Buy
19 Personal 2014 Description / Buy
20 Make Me 2015 Description / Buy
21 Night School 2016 Description / Buy
22 The Midnight Line 2017 Description / Buy
23 Past Tense 2018 Description / Buy
24 Blue Moon 2019 Description / Buy
25 The Sentinel 2020 Description / Buy
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If you’re looking to read the 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 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 Details
1 Second Son 2011 Description / Buy
2 Deep Down 2012 Description / Buy
3 High Heat 2013 Description / Buy
4 Not a Drill 2014 Description / Buy
5 Small Wars 2015 Description / Buy
6 The Christmas Scorpion (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy
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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. Killing Floor was published in 1997.

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.

Lee Child followed up Killing Floor with the second book in the Jack Reacher series, Die Trying, which was published in 1998. In Die Trying, we meet our hero again, and this time he finds himself in the major city of Chicago. In fact, Reacher has had to find a job, as he has found himself short on cash. As is always the case with Reacher, he finds himself in the middle of trouble when he ends up being kidnapped just for witnessing the kidnapping of FBI agent Holly Johnson. Reacher and Agent Johnson find themselves up against a rogue band of fighters calling themselves the Montana Militia, and they must work together to try and stop this militia in its tracks. However, things become more complicated when the truth about Agent Johnson’s background come out. This isn’t just a simple kidnapping, – this militia has more than just secession from the Union on their mind.

The film Jack Reacher was based on the novel One Shot, which is the ninth books in the Jack Reacher series. The title of the novel is based around the motto that snipers have in the military, ‘One shot, one kill”. The book starts off in Indiana, with a shooter taking aim into a crowded plaza, killing five people in what appears to be an indiscriminate attack. The man the authorities pin at attack on initially asks for the help of Jack Reacher to clear his name, and that is when our hero makes the trip to Indiana to get to the bottom of it all.

The sequel to the film Jack Reacher is based on the 18th book in the Jack Reacher series, Never Go Back.


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 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 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.

Jack Reacher F.A.Q.

Q: Who writes the Jack Reacher series?

A: British author Jim Grant writes the Jack Reacher series under the pen name of Lee Child.

Q: What is the first book to feature Jack Reacher?

A: Killing Floor is the first to feature the character of Jack Reacher.

Q: How tall is Jack Reacher?

A: Jack Reacher, at least in the series of books, is 6ft 5in tall. As an aside, he has no religious beliefs at all and doesn’t appear to believe in aliens.

What Is The Next Book in The Jack Reacher Series?

The next book in the The Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child is The Sentinel and will be released on October, 27th 2020.