Jack Reacher is the fictional and infamous “drifter” character. Written by Lee Child, the former Military Police Major Jack Reacher travels all over the United States, via bus or hitchhiking. As he never got to see much during his time in the military, Jacks aim is to see everything there is to see throughout the United States. Unfortunately for Reacher, wherever he goes, trouble seems to follow.

Jack Reacher is one of the more consistent series out there. Not only in terms of quality, but in frequency of publication. Lee Child has been publishing a new addition to the Jack Reacher series annually ever since the series started with Killing Floor in 1997. Below is a list of the Jack Reacher novels in order of when they were first released:

Publication Order of Jack Reacher Books

Killing Floor (1997)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Die Trying (1998)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Tripwire (1999)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Running Blind / The Visitor (2000)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Echo Burning (2001)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Without Fail (2002)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Persuader (2003)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Enemy (2004)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
One Shot (2005)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Hard Way (2006)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Nothing to Lose (2008)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Gone Tomorrow (2009)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
61 Hours (2010)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Worth Dying For (2010)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Affair (2011)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
A Wanted Man (2012)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Never Go Back (2013)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Personal (2014)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Make Me (2015)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Night School (2016)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Midnight Line (2017)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Past Tense (2018)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Blue Moon (2019)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Sentinel (2020)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Better Off Dead (2021)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Chronological Order of Jack Reacher Books

In chronological order, The Enemy would be the first book to read, as it takes place while Reacher is still in the Military followed by Night School.The Affair would be the next book to read, as it covers the end of Reachers Military career, and leads into Killing Floor.The short stories have Second Son(Reacher is 13) and High Heat(Reacher is 16).After that, all books would go by the order that they were published.Persuader also had flashbacks to during Reacher’s military career.

Publication Order of Jack Reacher Short Stories/Novellas

Second Son (2011)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Deep Down (2012)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
High Heat (2013)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Not a Drill (2014)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Good and Valuable Consideration: Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller (2014)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Small Wars (2015)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Christmas Scorpion (2018)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Cleaning the Gold (2019)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Fourth Man is not available for purchase.

Publication Order of Jack Reacher Collections

No Middle Name (2017)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Note: Running Blind was published as The Visitor in the United Kingdom.

If You Like Jack Reacher Books, You’ll Love…

Jack Reacher Synopsis: The Affair is the sixteenth book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. Jack Reacher is a 6’5″ ex-military cop who now travels the country and has a knack for finding trouble. The Affair takes us back to before Killing Floor (the first novel in the series) when Reacher is on his last mission in the army. A dead woman is found in a small town and Jack Reacher is sent to investigate.

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Order of Jack Reacher Books: A Readers Opinion

It’s the series that spawned a million copycats; Lee Childs books starring Jack Reacher is one of the best-selling book series out there. You’ve heard the phrase “printing money” and that’s pretty much what Lee Child does when he writes a new Jack Reacher book to add to our Order of Jack Reacher Books.

So what’s the big appeal? Well other than the fact that Jack Reacher is freaking awesome? I think it’s the whole “superhero” concept. Look at how big the comic book market has been for years, and all of the superheroes. Look at all of the movies that have been blockbusters.

I think that’s why the Reacher books are so popular. They’re basically a more socially acceptable form of superhero comic books.

We all want to be that ultimate human being: someone who is physically and mentally better than everyone else. Maybe we want to go out and right all those wrongs in the world. The comic books do that – but they do it in a rather supernatural, fantasy type way.

Jack Reacher is more a down to earth superhero, and someone that we can all strive to be. I mean do you think for a minute you could fly around the planet like Superman, or climb and shoot webs like Spiderman? Of course not. But how many of you have read about Reachers ability to always know what time it is, and then copied that? How many of you have read “Reacher said nothing” and then actually tried to duplicate that in real life?

That to me, is a large part of the reason the Jack Reacher series is a success. He’s someone that we can live vicariously through, but in a method where it isn’t THAT surreal.

As for the books themselves – well they’re obviously all fantastic. I was lucky – I started off with the first one in the series which was Killing Floor. Always nice to get in on the ground floor – because it’s AMAZING to see how the series has progressed. Especially in the latter books – Lee Child has really got into the Jack Reacher character, and does some amazing things with him where you’d only truly appreciate if you read the order of Jack Reacher novels from the very beginning.

While we list the Chronological order of the books with the two novels that do flashbacks – I’d honestly not recommend that. I’d read them as they are. The Affair in particular is where Lee Child really has a lot of fun with Jack Reacher – but you’d only appreciate it more if you read all the previous books.

The Enemy is the other flashback Jack Reacher novel and although I enjoyed it, it is a bit dry. I would recommend reading the books from the very beginning.

Order of Books » Characters » Order of Jack Reacher Books

65 Responses to “Order of Jack Reacher Books”

  1. IndianaGary: 1 year ago

    OK, this is heresy but I’m OK with Cruise playing Reacher for only one reason: it exposes the character to new potential readers. The Reacher in the movie is NOT the Reacher in the books and they should not be confused. Movies are not books are not movies; the mediums have limited overlap. I can’t remember a movie based on a book that followed the book at all closely. First, the time-sense is all wrong. Movies must do in two hours what books can take subjective years to develop and time-compression can destroy the progression that an author created. Finally, movies often are forced to rearrange events for a coherent narrative to make sense; the slower pace of a book allows for things to play out more naturally. So, I enjoy the Reacher movies for what the are and the books for what they are and never try to compare the two. They occupy different universes.

  2. Walter L Baker: 1 year ago

    Which book mentioned a Huge Building built by the Army I think during WW 2 that mentioned it being in central Missouri someplace. I am near that area at times and just would like to see it if its still there..Near Moberly, Mo. I think.

  3. rogiedodgie: 4 years ago

    Selleck as Reacher. Never again Cruise!!

  4. Ann Contella: 4 years ago

    I think most of the comments regarding Tom Cruise as Reacher are a bit harsh. No, he doesn’t match Reacher’s physical description, but in most other respects he did a fine job. Whenever I see a movie that doesn’t live up to the book, I try to think of it in the same way as wanting Italian food and ending up at Olive Garden: not authentic, but a reasonable facsimile.

    • Andy: 4 years ago

      Pablo schrieber is the perfect fit as reacher.

  5. AtonEloh: 5 years ago

    JJ Watt is, Jack Reacher.

  6. NANCY MUSSELMAN: 5 years ago

    need someone to play Reacher that is believable and tom cruise is not him. how about russell crow or at least someone that can act, and fits the part. tom curise is about 51/2′ tall and there is no telling how many towels he would have to put on to weigh 200 lbs. whoever picked him for the part made a big mistake. needs to be more realistic. as much as i love the reacher books, tom makes me not want to see the movie.

  7. ServosT: 5 years ago

    I saw the movie before I had ever heard of the books. I liked the movie well enough and thought Cruise did a good job. Now having read a few of the books I understand the complaints.

  8. ServosT: 5 years ago

    I only recently discovered the Reacher books and have read six of them. I will probably get through all of them in a year which makes me sad. Itss great series.

  9. Taterblade: 5 years ago

    I was watching a recent episode of The Good Wife and it occurred to me who would make an excellent Reacher on the big screen: Jeffery Dean Morgan, who plays the new investigator on the show. He is best known for portraying Denny Duquette in the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. But it is in his new role that you can truly see him as the big, smart and handsome character that Lee Child created. I won’t try to sell it hard. Go check him out and see what you think. The question is would the Reacher film(s) ever get made without the star power of Tom Cruise?

    • Red Sailor: 5 years ago

      Would the Jack Reacher movies ever have got made without the supposed power of Tom Cruise? Of course they would as the tough character created by Lee Childs has presence and dominance in stories that have international gravitas and credibility. Cruise may have bought out the movie rights but is too lightweight and puny an actor for the role. Reacher is 6′ 5″ tall and weighs in at 210 pounds whilst Cruise is a diminutive physical joke in comparison. He projects so little threat on screen that my granny could have kicked his ass with ease. Liam Neeson would have been a more logical choice.

  10. Charles East: 5 years ago

    MP3 audio?

  11. jd: 5 years ago

    I love the Reacher series also….but who could possibly have visualized T. Cruise as Reacher? I just don’t get any connection there….too small and too short. I see Reacher as a Stone Cold Steve Austin type. Who’da thunk???

  12. Dan T: 6 years ago

    The perfect actor as Jack Reacher would have been a young Don Joe Baker who played the lead in the original “Walking Tall”

  13. Richard Walters: 6 years ago

    Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is a hero for a whole new generation. ( I grew up reading Don Pendleton’s The Executioner / Mack Bolan series and all of the great spin offs published by Gold Eagle Books ) Lee Child is a master story teller and his books are an action packed roller coaster ride from cover to cover. It is nice to see a flesh and blood hero who can stand up for the innocent and put evil on it’s ass without super powers. Jack Reacher uses his size and applied brute force to get the job done in grand style. No disrespect intended towards Tom Cruise as an actor, but even if he was 6’5″ and 250 muscled pounds , he couldn’t bring to life Jack Reacher in only a 90 minute movie without losing much of the story from the books. I think he did as well as anyone could given the limits of the movie industry.

  14. Dymond: 6 years ago

    The Reacher movie was produced by Cruse so he could play Reacher. No Hollywood BS. Cruse paid for the movie because he wanted to play him and clean up on all the Reacher fans. He is NOT Reacher to us Reacher fans who read the book. To this techno generation that don’t read books Reacher was brand new to them and he did an ok job

    • David L. Allison: 3 years ago

      Scientology evidently rules.

  15. reacher fan: 6 years ago

    I just saw Equalizer with Denzel Washington, all through the movie I felt like the character’s actions and some of his dialogue could easily have been on a Jack Reacher novel.

  16. Blown Safety Valve: 6 years ago

    Kevin Durand IS Jack Reacher. Once it hit me – it made so much sense. Please more movies but with a casting change. His name isn’t very well known but we all know him from Lost to The Strain. Perfect!

  17. disappointed: 6 years ago

    I totally agree with C. Thomas and B Delaney about Tom Cruise playing the character of Jack Reacher. He is definitely not 6′ 5 with hands like a grizzly bear no matter what angle you film him. I will not see the movie either as I have a visual of Reacher in my head that I don’t want destroyed. This is as bad a the actor who played Alex Cross!!! What’s wrong with Hollywood????

    • Ann Contella: 4 years ago

      “as bad as the actor that played Alex Cross”??? Surely you aren’t referring to Morgan Freeman?

  18. earlene2533: 7 years ago

    tom selleck would have been a good choice for jack reacher tall and big and he usually plays something to do with the law

  19. Dman: 7 years ago

    I’ll have agree with everyone Tom Cruise is NO good as J.R

  20. PollyAnnne: 7 years ago

    Thank God I am no the minority when it comes to TomCruise ruining the movie. Whomever came up with that casting should be shot,tarred & feathered….. Same as wrong casting for Interview With The Vampire and several more,can’t be bothered to list. Really hope they give it another chance with better actor suited to role. So much untapped talent out there,could start a new series of movies with fab new unknown.

  21. Deanno: 7 years ago

    Cruise as Reacher ruined the whole franchise. Someone is an idiot for doing that,, went to John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport series, even though both those movies flopped also. WTH are these people thinking going from books to movies so far off course ?,..

  22. Phyllis: 7 years ago

    Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, that’s a laugh. Cruise is a light weight, don’t do that to Jack.

  23. DLS: 7 years ago

    One of the later books written includes a short story in the back of the book about Jack Reacher growing up as a teenager. This short story should actually be read BEFORE “The Enemy” & “The Affair”, as it shows his ability to solve things.( I don’t have the book with me, but I might be thinking about “The Second Son”.

    • TikkitikkitemboNosarembo: 6 years ago

      Thanks for this – I would never have known about this Jack Reacher contribution. I’m on Book 3 right now and think I’ll take a detour tonight by getting Second Son on Kindle

  24. La Saundra Dyson: 7 years ago

    Sorry, I did it the opposite way…I saw the movie 1st! Got me interested though, so now it’s on to all the books! I do like the idea of John Cena playing the part. Maybe next time Hollywood!

  25. PJ: 8 years ago

    I am a fan of Jack (none) Reacher. Will not see the movie. Totally wrong casting.

  26. EnKo: 8 years ago

    How about Jim Caviezel as Jack Reacher? I think he’d fit the bill just perfect; tall with beef on him, blue eyes etc.

    • Johnny Cee: 6 years ago

      Caviezel would be an outstanding Jack Reacher. He certainly gets my vote.

      • Bryan B.: 6 years ago

        I agree, that was the first person I thought of after reading about Jack.

        • limpet_jr: 5 years ago

          I’d rather see someone like Clive Owen or Liev Schreiber

    • MRod: 6 years ago

      Jim is great as Mr. Reese on POI but I think John Cena would have been a better choice.

    • Carol Kneifel: 5 years ago

      Jim has my vote. Maybe once he is done with his television series, he would be available to play Jack.

  27. LULU: 8 years ago

    Guess I don’t have to say what I thought of Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher…..Just didn’t do it. Thought the movie in general didn’t do justice to the book.

    • MRod: 6 years ago

      I get it financially. But honestly and I love Lee Child but I view this as a “sell-out”.

  28. BullyMonsterMama: 8 years ago

    Lawrence Dallaglio. Tom Cruise as Reacher is an INCREDIBLE disappointment.

  29. C. Kelshaw: 8 years ago

    I think Robert Taylor (Walt Longmire) would make a great Jack Reacher. He has the physical size, and is a great actor as well.

    • Larry: 5 years ago

      I agree. Robert Taylor would be a better choice than Tom Cruise. Thomas Jane(The Punisher) would be an excellent choice too.

      • NANCY MUSSELMAN: 5 years ago


  30. Saigongunny: 8 years ago

    Come on now, Cruise is 5’7″ and 160 pounds and Reacher is 6’5″ and 250. Something is wrong with this picture. Cruise cannot fill Reacher’s shoes. Wake up Hollywood.

  31. sarah: 8 years ago

    Jack reacher can reach….can Tom cruise????….ummm no no no no no….why???? I love Tom cruise a great actor but not for this role I’m afraid….sorry Tom old chum but I just can’t watch I have Jack in my mind and it just isn’t you….xx

  32. sailsheets: 8 years ago

    John Cena as reacher,.,,,,search his movie(pics)….bad ass. Not pussy Cruise!

  33. sailsheets: 8 years ago

    Tom wussie Cruise as Reacher…..Nooooooooo

  34. Marty: 8 years ago

    I believe Joe Pike (Robert Crais novels) would certainly give Jack Reacher a run for his money. Definitely a tough guy.

  35. j Kimbro: 8 years ago

    Very true. Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher. All my friends have decided we won’t go to the movie, because it will ruin it for us. Very bad casting. Tom Cruise doesn’t even come close……..

    • June: 8 years ago

      I also will never go see a movie that has Tom Cruise cast as Jack Reacher. That casting person needs to lose his/her job. Please, Lee Child, insist on a more believeable actor for this role. I love your books, but can’t believe Cruise in that role.

      • limpet_jr: 5 years ago

        Didn’t Tom Cruise initiate this casting? I thought he purchased the rights to this movie. A casting director does not choose the main characters. That’s higher up. Like I said Clive owen, or Liev Schreibner

  36. prego: 8 years ago

    casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher is ridiculous and gives new life to the old “casting couch” method in Hollywood. what knucklehead EVER thought this was a good idea?????

    • Robbie: 7 years ago

      Of course Cruise is a lousy choice to play Reacher, but if you look at the fact that the only things the the book and the movie had in common were the character names and the general story line, I guess it was an OK movie. I know I laughed a lot at the way Hollywood butchered the book. Of course I went to the movie knowing that Hollywood would do that. What is a movie without a chase scene? If the movie had been true to the book it probably would have flopped. People who go to movies generally don’t like to read.

      • john lee: 6 years ago

        …so I watched Jack Reacher movie, I didn’t know who Jack Reacher was. The fights were good. Then I found out it was based on a book…….lots of books. So I bought and read 13 so far, plus 3 short stories. I cant put them down. I say Tom Who? I too have thought about who would be best at this roll,
        I think of the Killing Floor and Tom head butting that big con
        heee heeee

      • Johnny Cee: 6 years ago

        99 times out of a hundred the book is always, yes ALWAYS,
        way better than the movie.
        You get far more bang for your entertainment buck in books than you ever will in movies

  37. Debtak: 8 years ago

    Jack Reacher is a thoroughly likable character, which gives me pause because he can be a scary guy! Good thing he is on the side of right even if his methods veer toward the wrong…

  38. linda: 8 years ago

    Love the Jack Reacher books but Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher, a case of bad casting

  39. C. Thomas: 9 years ago

    Lee Child is such a great author and Jack Reacher is my favorite character
    of any that I have read. Please no Tom Cruise as Jack in a movie. Jack is
    such a great image in my mind, and Tom just does not fit there.

    • brian delaney: 8 years ago

      love all jacks books and tom cruse no no no never could play him;;;; even if he was twice as tal…. i wont go and see as it would put me off and lee it isent if you need the cash ha ha ha ;;;;

    • Johnny Cee: 6 years ago

      The Jack Reacher character does not bode well with Tom Cruise for those of us who have read Mr Child’s books.
      I have to admit that Cruise did a fair job of bringing Reacher to life on the screen. But after reading several of the books, it becomes quite clear that Tom Cruise will never do true justice to Jack Reacher.

    • M. Rod: 6 years ago

      Jack Reacher is right up there in my top three characters. All the books are great, so good you could reread them all and get as much enjoyment. I’m onboard with you on Tom Cruise not being Jack Reacher. No way. I think there were much better choices and this could be, with the right choice, a franchise kind of thing, like 007.

  40. Maxart: 9 years ago

    I’ve read every Reacher book and can’t wait for the next one.

  41. Graeme: 9 years ago

    I’ve read The Hard Way and Bad Luck And Trouble at least three times each. Lee Child is easily one of my favourite authors around! Can never get enough Reacher! Definitely my favourite series of all time.

    • MrBoo: 8 years ago

      Cruise was OK in “One Shot” movie; but somehow doesn’t fit the image from the books I agree. A young Tom Selleck type would be perfect.

      • Skipatroller: 8 years ago

        I vote for 6’6″,Matthew Willig as Reacher. Just dye his his hair blond, and voila.

        • Toni: 7 years ago

          I know that when you go the movies that you are supposed to use your imagination…but Tom C. as Reacher? I would have to suspend my mind!

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