Reading a novel series with a good storyline and characters is always a delight. If you enjoy reading crime and suspense thriller novels, then Jack Reacher’s book series will be a perfect collection with 60 million copied already sold around the world every year. The Times magazine has described Jack Reacher’s books as ”famously unputdownable” that keep readers interested and eager.
5 Best Jack Reacher Books
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1), 1997
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The one where it all started, Jack Reacher #1, The Killing Floor is the first book in the series and stands as one of the most recommended one to get you hooked on the books. The main character and protagonist of the series Jack Reacher is dubbed as the ‘coolest’ character of all time by none other than the legendary Stephen King. We are sure that after reading this book, you’ll know why!
The book follows the events preceding Jack’s decision to take a bus and go to Margrave, Georgia where a first murder happened in thirty years. Naturally, the local police suspect Reacher’s involvement in the events. Afterward, a violent and action-packed adventure establishes Jack as one of the best fictional characters ever.
The starting of this incredible book is quite special. Some readers consider the opening chapter of this book as one of the best starting in modern history. The opening page will hook you in and compel you to keep going through the chapters to know what happens next. The book is available in multiple formats both physically and digitally. You can choose from Kindle, audiobook, paperback editions, and hardcover so you can get your most preferable format and enjoy this incredible book.
One-Shot (Jack Reacher #9), 2005
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The 9th book in the Jack Reacher series and clearly the most popular choice of Lee Child’s fans. One-Shot is a gripping story about an ex-military sniper who has been accused of killing 5 people. The accused, however, declares that he is innocent and argues that the original shooter missed once whereas he would have made all 6 of those shots.
The enticing and adventurous story has also been adapted into a blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise from the Mission Impossible franchise. Filled to the brim with several twists and turns with dark commentary on how politics and power struggle affects the upper echelons of the military. You’ll stay on the edge of your seat and thoroughly enjoy this book.
Another thing you’ll like about this book is the character development everyone involved will get. Each character you’ll meet in the initial sequence will be very different from what they become by the end of the book. The character journey is one of the most important elements of a great book and One Shot by Lee Child gets full points on that.
Persuader (Jack Reacher #7), 2003
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Jack Reacher novels are often equipped with a killer first chapter that not only familiarizes the readers with the problem at hand but also builds an intriguing world that keeps the reader engaged. The Persuader’s opening is one of the best openings that immediately immerses the readers into the fictional world.
The story follows Jack Reacher’s daring and exciting attempt to rescue an endangered agent of the law who is in too deep with a ruthless and dangerous criminal organization. From LA Times book reviews to the New York Times, all reviewers having nothing but good things to say about Lee Child’s world-building skills and delivery techniques.
Jack Reacher is not infallible and that is what makes him a human character that the readers can accept and relate with. In this book especially, the character finds himself in the moral gray area because of how the current events and characters relate to his past. The complex nature of this story coupled with the fast-paced and surprising twists makes this a ‘must-read’ book for Jack Reacher fans.
Without Fail (Jack Reacher #6), 2002
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Jack Reacher is back and this time, his target is the Vice President of the United States. The thrilling tale starts when a secret services agent approaches Reacher and tasks him with targeting the VP to expose the flaws in their system. Seems simple? But it’s not because a covert assassin group is also preparing to take the life of the Vice President and Jack is the only one who can put a stop to their schemes.
Without Fail is another fast-paced and incredible book you can recommend to anyone who hasn’t read any Jack Reacher books. In any series such as this, it is natural to assume that the target audience of some books will be the followers of the series and you’ll have to read the previous books to understand some elements. This Jack Reacher book tries it’s best to ensure that new readers are kept interested in the story and get encouraged to try out the other books in the Jack Reacher series.
The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher #22), 2017
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Our final listing is truly a treat for longtime fans of the Jack Reacher series. Most readers have always seen Jack as a ‘cool’ and daring character who lived in the moment and was hell-bent on righting every wrong. In this book, you’ll see all that plus a softer and sensitive side of the character that is hard to find in many other installments.
The story takes Jack Reacher to the Midwest where Jack finds a West Point 2005 ring in a pawnshop located in Wisconsin. Feeling affinity to his fellow military graduate, Jack takes a closer look at the ring and deduces that the ring belongs to a female which leaves jack wondering about the reasons behind her letting go of such a valuable memento. Thus, begins a tale of unnerving revelations and thrilling twists. The Midnight Line tries to handle several social evils at once and does a good job of handling sensitive topics like addiction, organized crime, corruption, etc.
The author Lee Child definitely has his hand on the nerve when it comes to modern social issues. He leaves out his thought and comments through his character’s dialogues and succeeds in keeping the readers engaged through making the fictitious characters feel as real as possible. Most writers fail to do this with such fluidity and grace. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Lee Child and his character have been a regular feature of the New York Times bestseller lists.
Other Books By Jack Reacher to Consider
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Who is Jack Reacher?
Jack Reacher is a fictional male character popular for its mean lead in the thriller novel series by the famous British author Jim Grant more commonly famous by his pen name ‘Lee child’. The protagonist is a former military policeman who worked for the US military but left at the age of 36. This lone ranger with no home and job roams around the US particularly Los Angeles, New York City, and some towns in Midwest and south while encountering many difficult and suspicious situations.
Not only Jack Reacher investigates alone and but he also helps people by doing odd jobs. The Jack Reacher Books cover his exploit across the US and some other countries. Well, that’s all you need to know about Jack Reacher! Read the books to discover why people love this simple lone character so much.
Complete Book series
Written in 1st or 3rd person, the Jack Reacher novel series comprises of 24 books in total. Besides, the Jack Reacher series also has short stories and novellas. Each book features Jack Reacher, a 6.3 feet massively muscled man who travels to a new place with different situations and scenarios. These quality books are so well-written and gripping that let the reader enjoy adventurous and mystery stories with a new plot every time. Let’s take a brief look at the Jack Reacher Books in publication order.
1. Killing floor
Killing floor is the first Jack Reacher book with the publication of 1997. He arrives at Margrave, Georgia and within an hour, Jack Reacher is arrested while sitting at town diner in charge of murder. Reachers know that he’s innocent and must prove it.
2. Die trying
Published in 1998, Reacher gets kidnapped on Chicago Street at gunpoint with a young woman who he was trying to help. Stuck in the dark van and taken at a remote location, Reacher and woman ought to work together to save themselves.
He is in Key West Island in Florida working as a bouncer in a local nightclub so nobody sees him. He finds a dead body of New York detective who was hired to find Reacher. Then he heads back to New York to find some answers that involve his past.
4. The Visitor/Running Blind (2000)
2 female acquaintances of Reacher, both former army officers are murdered. Being a drifter, loner, and ex-military policeman, Reacher is arrested. Another woman is murdered the same way although Reacher is under observation, the mystery continues.
5. Eco burning (2001)
Reacher meets a driver lady in Texas during a ride. She’s a victim of an abusive marriage and later got arrested for her husband’s murder, Reacher will investigate the truth.
6. Without Fail (2002)
Reacher is in Atlantic City where secret service agent wants his help. (M. E.) Froelich asks Reacher to tell him various ways for vice-president’s assignation in order to tighten security detail for better protection.
7. Persuader (2003)
While walking alone, Reacher sees a man who murdered his colleagues 10 years ago. What is he going to do now?
8. The enemy (2004)
In 1990, a 2-star general is found dead in Carolina motel and Reacher is the in-charge officer to handle the situation. Things go wrong when a briefcase goes missing and the general’s wife is also found dead.
9. One Shot (2005)
Five people dead with 6 shots in heartland city! The cops solve the problem by arresting criminal calling it a slam-dunk case within hours. Trouble begins when the accused man calls him innocents and says get Reacher. The movie ‘Jack Reacher’ released in 2012 with Tom Cruise as the main lead is based on this novel.
10.The Hard Way (2006)
Reacher receives $1,000,000 from Private military company’s director to save kidnapped wife and stepchild but the rescue isn’t easy. It definitely involves the hard way!
11.Bad luck and Trouble (2007)
Reacher’s 8-member elite team of old army units is in danger since one of the members finds him to help with the murder of another elite member.
12.Nothing to lose (2008)
Reacher travels from Colorado to the town of despair in the neighborhood and soon finds out that they do not welcome the visitors. Now, Reacher must find the truth behind this town’s unwelcoming nature.
13.Gone Tomorrow (2009)
Reacher is traveling a subway late night and ends up with a suicide bomber passenger. He is questioning her place and time as the subway is quite empty, but later she shots herself. Reacher has to discover why she did this.
14.61 hours (2010)
Reacher lands in Bolton from a bus crash during a severe snowstorm where he sees a woman asking for justice. Reacher now hunts for the truth and justice in the next 61 hours.
15.Worth dying for (2010)
Reacher falls afoul of the Duncan clan that has kept Nebraska rural town into submission for years.
16.The Affair (2011)
Working for the army, Reacher has to investigate the case and find the killer of a soldier’s girlfriend by staying undercover in 1997.
17.A wanted Man (2012)
Reacher just asked a ride to get to Virginia but landed in a big conspiracy.
18.Never go back (2013)
Soon after Reacher arrives at the old unit’s headquarters, he and the commanding officer get arrested. They both get together in search of the truth.
Somebody took a long-distance gunshot at the President of French, so Reacher is appointed to find that person.
20.Make me (2015)
Reacher stops at Mother’s rest town in Agrarian where a woman asks for his help to find his missing colleague.
21.Night School (2016)
In 1996, Reacher as an army policeman is tasked with other associates to find sellers, buying and the thing sold on an overheard message relayed of Jihadist sleeper cell by CIA informant.
22.The Midnight Line (2017)
Reacher buys a graduation ring that he sees at a pawn shop and is determined to return it to the original owner.
23.Past Tense (2018)
Reacher makes a tour to Laconia where his father was born but finds out nobody named Reacher ever lived there. Now, Jack Reacher is keen to investigate his father’s past.
24.Blue Moon (2019)
Reacher steps out of the Greyhound bus to rescue an old age man and later finds himself stuck between the cruel turf war of rival Albanian and Ukrainian criminal gang in the whole city for power and control. How is Reacher going to handle this?
Lee Child releases a Jack Reacher book every year. Blue Moon (2019) was the last one. However, the year 2010 was an exception when he released 2 books in the same year. Since the books he publishes each year are not in chronological order, it’s better to start with The Enemy, after that Night School and The Affair. Or just read the one that attracts you more as each book is standalone. No issue if you want to read in the publication order, the choice is yours.