Jack Reacher Books In Order
Reading The Jack Reacher Novels In Order - Is It Worth It?
Should we read the Jack Reacher books in order?This is the very question almost all fans of Lee Child's novels asks themselves. And this is what I was wondering as well when I started with this cool series. Afterall Lee Child himself says that the order is not so important - you can read them starting with any book you pick at random. But...
Personally I find that reading the Lee Child books in order gives you timeline and references to previous stories that it's good to not miss if you want to have the whole picture.
For example the novel The Enemy (the prequel) will truly mean something to you once you know already Jack Reacher through the previous novels. You will understand him better by then and you'll really feel the book in a different way, even though chronologically the order is different. At least that's how I felt when I read the book and I think I was right.
Jack Reacher has become very popular ever since the first novel was written by Lee Child (Killing Floor). This book hooked me on the series and now every year I'm waiting for a new one to be published.
Lastly one question: which is your favorite Jack Reacher novel? Mine is Gone Tomorrow (see pic below). I loved it!
All The Jack Reacher Books - The Lee Child Books In Order Of Publication
There are many books written by Lee Child with Jack Reacher's character, and while they pretty much stand alone on their own, reading the series in order is beneficial because there is a story line to follow and you also get to learn more about Jack and how his character develops.
- Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) - Lee Child's first every novel, the one that made him famous for the new thriller series featuring Jack Reacher. Published in 1997.
- Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2) - it is the second Jack Reacher series, it's the one that really hooked me up on this tormented hero. Book was published in 1998.
- Tripwire (Jack Reacher #3) - Tripwire is book number 3, published 1999
- Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4) - Published in 2000, is book #4. In the UK the book is called The Visitor.
- Echo Burning (Jack Reacher #5) - His 5th book was published in 2001.
- Without Fail (Jack Reacher #6) - Book #6 in the Jack Reacher series, and it was published in 2002.
- Persuader (Jack Reacher #7) - The book was published in 2003 and is Lee Child's 7h novel featuring Jack Reacher.
- The Enemy (Jack Reacher #8) - It was published in 2004 and is book #8. However chronologically the story happens before Killing Floor. However it makes more sense to read iall the previous books first, so that everything makes the most sense when you get to the actual prequel.
- One Shot (Jack Reacher #9) - Whether you read the prequel or not, this is the 9th book in the series, and it was published in 2005.
- The Hard Way (Jack Reacher #10) - Book #10, The Hard Way got published in 2006.
- Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher #11) - Lee Child's 11th novel about Jack Reacher. Published in 2007.
- Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher #12) - This is Jack Reacher story #12. It was published in 2008.
- Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher #13) - Here we have his 13th Jack Reacher novel, which was published in 2008.
- 61 Hours (Jack Reacher #14) - Jack Reacher is back again in a new thriller in Lee Child's 14th book. It was published in 2010.
- Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher #15) - Here is Jack again in book #15. 2010 publication.
- Second Son (Jack Reacher #15.5) - A shorter novella in the series, published 2011
- The Affair (Jack Reacher #16) - The Affair was published in September 2011.
- Deep Down (Jack Reacher #16.5) - This is a shorter Jack Reacher story found only in ebook (Kindle) format.
- A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher #17) - The new book that everyone expected featuring Jack Reacher. Already available at Amazon.
- High Heat (Jack Reacher #17.5) - A short novella, published in 2013
- Never Go Back (Jack Reacher #18) - The 18th book in the series has been published in 2013
- Not a Drill (Jack Reacher #18.5) - This is another short novella in the series, published in 2014
- Personal (Jack Reacher #19) - Currently the latest book in the Jack Reacher series, released in 2014
My hardcover copy of Gone Tomorrow - one of my favorite books in the series!
The Book Reviews
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, No. 1) - by Lee Child
Killing Floor Killing Floor is the first Jack Reacher novel ever written. Truth be told, this was the first book I read, after I've read Die Trying. However once I got through the first two books, I religiously read each new one in strict order.
In this very first book Jack Reacher gets arrested for murder, and one of the victims is no other than his estranged brother. He has to find out who really killed his brother if he ever wants to get ticket free.
Jack is a very complex anti-hero, one that is extremely likable, despite the fact that he tries too hard not to be. If you've never picked a Jack Reacher novel before, I think you'll love this new series!
“I'm not a vagrant. I'm a hobo. Big difference.”
~Lee Child, Killing Floor
Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2)
The second installment of the Jack Reacher books in order is full of action, suspense and you'll find yourself turning the pages until you get to the very last one.
Here Jack is taken as a hostage in a van along with Holly, an FBI agent. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or was it the right place and right time, to stop a crime from being committed?
Tripwire (Jack Reacher, No. 3) - by Lee Child
Here we find Jack Reacher all spent out digging pools for some pithance in Florida Keys. During the night he plays a bouncer at the local strip club. He is quite content doing these things and not getting involved in anything deadly until he find the PI Costello who was watching him and asking around about him, killed. He then realizes that his paradise days are over.
Another gripping chiller from Lee Child, this book is just as engaging and suspenseful a thriller as his previous one. I loved it!
Btw, Have You Seen The Jack Reacher Movie With Tom Cruise? - I loved it, but not everyone did
Running Blind (Jack Reacher #4)
Running Blind is called in the UK 'The Visitor'. I actually have the UK edition at home. At the time almost bought Running Blind as well, thinking that they're two different books. Here Jack Reacher once again is under suspicion of having killed two army women, especially that he knew both from before.
However when the third woman also is found dead, Jack starts his own investigation to find the real killer and avenge the women.
The more books I read with Jack, the more I like this reluctant hero. In a way he reminds me of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosh, yet with is own personal style and charm.
Echo Burning (Jack Reacher #5)
In Echo Burning our hero Jack Reacher returns for yet another installment of fun, thrill and suspense. Here we find him on the road hitchhiking his way in Texas when Carmen comes along in her car and picks him up in her shiny new Cadillac.
And of course, she comes with her own set of problems that only Jack Reacher can fix for her. Not her husband, not the police are any good. So of course, Jack once again saves the day.
These books are all rather predictable in style, but still they're such fun to read that you don't actually care that the plot in a way is always the same...
“I know I'm smarter than an armadillo”
~Lee Child, Echo Burning
Without Fail (Jack Reacher #6)
This 6th book in the Jack Reacher series starts with a bang: Jack is asked by the Secret Service to kill the US Vice President. And that's one request he doesn't get every day!
I won't spoil the fun with giving away the plot, but let's just say that this book is just as fun to read as the previous ones, with constant action and suspense throughout.
Do You Think Tom Cruise Makes A Good Jack Reacher?
What do you think of Tom Cruise in this role?
I think he's the perfect Jack Reacher!
Persuader (Jack Reacher #7)
Quinn, Jack Reacher's nemesis is back. Jack thought he'd eliminated him many years ago, but it seems not. To finally kill him for good, Jack has to go undercover to flush out Quinn.
This is again a book that you simply can't put down once you've started reading. It does start a bit slow, so bear with it as it really picks up its pace. Twists and turns at every corner, Jack is always the hero who saves the same and everyone in danger. A great read!
The Enemy (Jack Reacher #8)
The Enemy is Lee Child's 8th Jack Reacher novel. Chronologically this story takes place before the events in The Killing Floor, in 1990 when a general is found dead in a hotel room in North Carolina.
While apparently it is a heart attack, it seems there's more to the story than that, so Jack has to get involved and solve the case.
The book is full of non-stop action, and it makes it a great and fast read. If you liked Jack Reacher so far, you'll eat this book up as well.
One Shot (Jack Reacher #9)
In this new novel, Jack is finally off work, enjoying the sun and beach of Miami with a gorgeous blonde. Unfortunately he can't enjoy his status quo for long because he has to find a sniper who ruthlessly kills randomly 5 people.
While the guy is easily found, he asks for Jack Reacher saying that he is not guilty. So the easy case turns out to be not so easy afterall.
Yet again Jack Reacher is at his best, following leads, solving crimes and being his adorable gloomy self.
Lee Childs Talking About His Choice For Tom Cruise In The New Jack Reacher Movie
The Hard Way (Jack Reacher #10)
It's interesting how the trouble always finds Jack when he's not even looking for it. Here he is sipping quietly his espresso at a cafe when he's dragged into a case of kidnapping (that he has to solve, of course).
No stranger to violence, he's not shy to use it, along his charm and knowledge to solve the puzzle.
Sure, the story is a bit predictable, but it's just as enjoyable as his very first novel.
Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher #11)
Book 11 finds Jack Reacher again alone, just the way he likes it. But he won't be alone for long. One of his old team members has been thrown out of a helicopter, so Jack can't NOT get involved.
He meets a few of his old team mates and together have to find out why their old mate was killed and why a few other old team mates have disappeared as well.
Almost just as good as his previous ones, for some reason though this book didn't grab me as the others. However it's still a great read, don't get me wrong. Jack seems a bit more mellow and soft, compared to how he acts in older novels.
“Now they broke my toothbrush, I don't own anything.”
~Lee Child, Bad Luck And Trouble
Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher #12)
As usual we find Jack Reacher alone. This time walking on the road between two desolate towns because he can't find a ride. All he wants a cup of coffee, otherwise he's quite happy in his skin alone. Which he can't be for long since thugs find him, no matter where he is.
In all honesty, this book was my least favorite of all the Jack Reacher books in order. I couldn't relate to the story and I found it a bit dragging. It was not bad, but personally I found it not up to Lee Child's usual standard. But still worth a good read.
Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher #13)
After the rather disappointing Nothing to Lose, here we find Jack back in full force. It's the old Jack as we know and love him. The story starts with a bang: Jack is in a subway in Manhattan when he witnesses an apparent suicide.
But apparently the suicide has other origins in fact, and Jack is drawn to find out what really happened. How could he not?
This is one of Lee Child's best books in my opinion. Jack is back and all the ambient and action that we are used to is back with him as well.
61 Hours (Jack Reacher #14)
A typical Jack Reacher novel, this is Lee Child's 14th book. It's a good, solid plot which reads quite fast. If you're in for lots of action, this book doesn't have that many. Jack is more running after clues and solving the puzzle than using his fist to fight.
But still a great novel with a wonderful character that you can't but like.
“I'm not afraid of death. Death's afraid of me.”
~ Lee Child, 61 Hours
Worth Dying For (Jack Reacher #15)
This is a perfect example why you'd want to read the Jack Reacher books in order. This story takes place shortly after the plot in 61 Hours ends. I'm not going to give away the plot, just to say that it's just as good as the previous stories. Action, suspense, thrill and good old Jack, even though battered and tattered, but alive and kicking.
The Affair (Jack Reacher #16)
This is so far the latest book in the Jack Reacher series, #16. Again, chronologically speaking, The Affair is a prequel, coming before Killing Floor, but after The Enemy. It is 1997 when Reacher is still in the army. Here we understand more about why he actually dropped out and became the loner he is in most of the books.
The story is set again in a small town (like many of the previous books) and Jack has to find a murderer, while at the same time help cover up a any scandal that might be headed the army way. Which might not suit Jack's philosophy too much...A great read, one that is highly recommended. Can't wait for Lee Child's next Jack Reacher novel!
Deep Down (A Jack Reacher Story #16.5)
This is a shorter Jack Reacher story that takes place after the events in the #16th book, The Affair. His new assignment involves going undercover to find out who is the spy who leaks sensitive information about the new rifle for the US military.
Obviously this being a rather short story, you won't find the complex character development of the full fledged Jack Reacher novels. However for its size I found it quite fast paced and well written, typical of Lee Child's writing.
It's cheaper than the actual novels, so it's worth getting, especially if you want to read everything by this author.
A Wanted Man (Jack Reacher #17)
This is the 17th Jack Reacher book in the series by Lee Child. While the plot and the style seems to be repeating somewhat in a formulaic fashion from the previous books, I think it's exactly what the fans want because we're so used to the rugged Jack Reacher saving every time the world that getting him do it just one more time is exactly what we want :)
A great read, however I do agree with other readers, it might be that we've just gotten so used to this style, to what comes next, to predict the plot and the outcome that I'm really hoping the next book that comes out later this year will be like a breeze of fresh air.
Not A Drill (Jack Reacher #17.5)
Not a Drill is a short novella (52 pages only) which is squeezed between Never Go Back and Personal (currently the latest Jack Reacher novel).
I've read it as I can't stop myself to always get the lastest Jack Reacher book, and I was not impressed. At all.
I love Lee Child's novels, but somehow the novellas - due to their short size probably - just can't bring across what the large novels do. I know the trap, and yet I keep buying them...oh well
Never Go Back (Jack Reacher #18)
And here is the latest Jack Reacher novel published in September 3. I was waiting patiently until I saw the Kindle edition up on Amazon and I snagged ti with the 1 Click buy option right away.
Finished reading it and I was not disappointed. Jack Reaches is back again in action in the same style that we already know and expect from Lee Child.
This particular novel follows directly the story from 61 Hours (book #15) where Jack is trying to find Major Susan Turner, his new commanding officer - but without luck. Of course now he has his work carved out for him and the action simply doesn't stop until the last page. I loved the book!
If I'm not mistaken book #20 will be the last one, so we have 2 more goodies to receive until the series if finally over (insert sad face here).
...the army is different. Whatever else is wrong with it, you can trust your brother soldiers. And believe in them.— Jack Reacher in Personal
Personal (Jack Reacher #19)
So we're at the latest Lee Child offering in Personal. As usually, Jack Reacher is on the road. Alone. Right until he is called back to action by the military, since he is the only one who can stop the killer who has took a liking to the French president.
Having just read the book, at this point I have to say I'm rather glad the series is coming to an end soon. I think the author has run out of steam and can't keep up. That's fine, he has given us some great books, a great hero and many hours of fun past time enjoyment. Like everything else that's good, it has to come to an end.