In November 2016 with the new book by Lee Child in the Jack Reacher series, we asked our readers what the best Jack Reacher book was.

Here are their responses:

Alan: I’ve got to admit that I read almost all the Jack Reacher books and then found myself sick of them….I found them very repetitive, and truly can’t even remember the plots or characters in any of them I read.

I think the Tom Cruise movies gave this series a big lift, and yes, I agree Tom Cruise is all wrong for the role, but thats beside the point…….I feel sure many people start reading the books after seeing one of the movies.

Amy: Just a comment on the Myron and Mickey Bolitar series.

I love them and have read all of them. I generally do audible. Unfortunately, not all narrators do the same quality of work, and the reader can make or break a book to me. However, I’m hooked enough on that series to bear with a change of reader. For the same reason, I followed through on the Mickey series, but did not care for it nearly as much. Mickey comes across as a smart alec brat to me with the books more unbelievable, but I do really like his sidekicks. I was very happy to see a new Myron book out though.

I have read all the Jack Reacher books. Sometimes I like them and sometime not so much. I keep a list of all books I read with a 1-5 star rating, and Reacher series has run the gamut from 1’s to only one “5”.. The only one I actually gave a “5” in this series is One Shot, Dick Hill has narrated the majority of them on audible and makes the character for me.

Speaking of audible books and narrators, I often wonder how they get paired. It makes all the difference. The narrator for the latest Grisham book, The Whistler, did such a poor job, I had to return the book. I may give the book another try in a different format, but I simply couldn’t listen to it. Looking at the reviews on audible, I’m not alone in that reaction.

The choice of narrator can make or break a book. A Greg Iles book was narrated by someone unfamiliar with Mississippi pronunciations of places, including Natchez where it’s set. It made it hard for a Mississippi lady to listen to. Have you read The Professor by Robert Bailey, a relatively new author from Alabama in the the legal thriller genre? His second book in the series, Black and White, just came out. They’re really good reading, though unnecessarily crude at times for my taste. I mention them in this context because the narrator, who does an excellent job overall, massacred the pronunciation of legal terms in the first one.

Diana: This is one of my favorite series. I own every single Reacher book (in paperback) and every few years, I start at the beginning with Killing Floor and read them all in order AGAIN, with the object of getting to the final one just in time to get the new paperback when it comes out. Lee Childs is a terrific writer. I’m very choosy about style and word choice, and I appreciate his sly humor and the way each book lets the reader see more of Jack Reacher’s character, as well as his common sense approach to many problems. (We WON’T discuss the clear error of choosing tiny tom, no matter how buffed up, to play a very large person.)

I found a new (to me) author a few weeks ago: Inger Ash Wolfe (a pseudonym for a Canadian poet and author). I’ve read just the first book in the series and know of two others which I will get to in short order. I’m fortunate to live in a county with a TERRIFIC library system . . .

Gil: I read all of the Jack Reacher books until I went on line and saw that they were making a film. I thought of all the big guys around – and they picked Tom Cruise!
Now I quite like Cruise, and I think he’d a good actor, but he’s only 5′ 7″, whereas the thing about Reacher is that he’s 6’6″ – that is his persona and his strength as
a character.
Subsequently I’ve stopped reading Lee Child; he might be English, but he certainly isn’t much good at picking his heroes. He had the temerity to say that Cruise
was a good actor: I agree, but he’d have to be good to play a 6’6″ bloke!

Jane: Several years ago I read several Jack Reacher Books. In some cases it was a bit like reading a Superman book and I soon got tired of the stories. Recently I have read two books by Lackberg (The Preacher and The Stone Cutter) I read these books as Lackberg was compared to Stieg Larson and others of my favorite Scandinavian writers. Lackberg does not even come close but her books are interresting police procedurals

Janet: I love all the Reacher books. Asking me which is my favorite is like asking which of the kids I love the most. Depends on what mood I am in that day. Actually since I can’t name a favorite I will say the first one – Killing Floor, it started the series of Jack Reacher’s adventures.

I even got my 80 year old Mom to read them. She really likes Reacher, but I will admit she likes Savich and Sherlock in the Coulter FBI series a bit more.

Jeanette: Good Morning!
Firstly, may I say that reading your book reviews is like a bonus cup of tea: refreshing and gratefully accepted!
When I saw your mention of the Reacher series, I sighed sadly. I had begun them, and after only 2 books I knew I was hooked! However, my perception of Reacher and the movie version are jarringly dissimilar. Cruise is not an acceptable Reacher, and I feel that he has ruined the series as a viable movie property.
Aside from that, thank you for your latest insights – they are very helpful to someone like myself, whose contact with the greater world is circumscribed.

Kacey: I had to write and thank you for Books in Order.
I was sick, in bed, for almost 3 years. All I could do was read and listen to audio books. It was my wish after retirement, to read a lot of books. I got my wish the hard way. I really got hooked on series books. I have used your site constantly to stay in order. Sometimes reading 3 or 4 books a week.
I’m much better now but still read a lot, and use your site for all.
I recently started the Harry Bosch series. Its not as good as Reacher, or Lucas Davenport, but will do until they come out in New books.
I also love Dr. Brockton, in the Jefferson Bass books. I live an hour and a half from Knoxville and have met Dr. Bass. In fact, I use to deliver mail to a house from his first book. Where the wife killed her husband, and she put him in the crawl space. Creepy!!!
I read Kathy Reich, and any number of other murder mysteries. So any writers along these lines I’d love recommendations on. Greatly appreciate them.
Keep up the great work.

Linda: That is a hard question to answer. All of the Reacher books are excellent. But when I read them in order “One Shot” was my favorite up to that point. Then I read “The Hard Way” and it was my favorite. And so on and so on until I read “Make Me” and it became my favorite. I just think Childs gets better and better. Loved the series.

Midge: I love the Jack Reacher books. Can’t say that i have a favorite. Haven’t found one i don’t like..

Mishawn: It’s hard to pick a favorite! I loved all the Jack Reacher books! I am patiently waiting for the newest one!

Rhea: Well, I guess there’s no way I will win because I don’t read the Reacher series. It’s not my thing. Maybe next month.

Rick: Just finished reading the November newsletter and wanted to jump in on Reacher. I’m pretty new to your site but I am very happy to have found it and want to thank you for all the marvelous work you are doing.

Anyway, back to Reacher. I discovered this series about 10 years ago and have been a loyal fan since picking up “The Killing Floor”. Being compulsive about these things, I only read series in the order of publication, so of course I started at the beginning. As you note, there are times when the chronological order may end up being different, that doesn’t normally bother me and has only happened a couple of times in this series.

It is very difficult for me to pick a favourite, but I think the top of my list would be “61 Hours”, the first of 2 that came out in 2010. I found the story particularly compelling and as Jack wound his way through all the madness it was very difficult to put down. The ending of the book certainly left me wondering, along with everyone else, if Jack had survived the explosion.

I was somewhat perplexed when “Worth Dying For” didn’t really explain what had happened after the explosion and how Jack managed to survive and move on.

Probably 2nd place for me would be “Echo Burning”. Again, I found the story compelling and as always the characters well defined and clear on their part in the story.

Thanks again for your great site. I have made it known to my reading friends this is a place they need to go to find what they need on book series they are already into and to find some intriguing new series.

Sandy: I absolutely love the jack reacher series. I have read them all and can’t wait till night school comes out.
My favorite is 61Hours. At the end of the book I thought jack was gone forever.
Jack is tall.. … bad as hell and has a heart of gold.I Love the series!!!!!
Just finished Home …….great book.
Super fan of Vince Flynn….. Lov Mitch Rapp
Yes let’s make November. ……. Jack Reacher month.

Vicki: Jack Reacher – so far I’ve only read the first five. I just got hooked into the series in the past year, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I have liked the second one, Die Trying, the most for now. His vivid descriptions of the compound and its community as well as its traps set the tone well.

As for the Thursday Next series – you have to read The Eyre Affair first. The others are also good, but that one is necessary for the set up. I laughed out loud at that book more than I had in years.

Becky: Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I read One Shot (based on the movie) and the Hard Way and I cannot wait to read more. I am a James Patterson fan, but I’m loving Lee Child’s!

Mary Ann: I liked The Killing Floor-Book 1on Reacher but did not read till halfway through series.Mary Ann Rosas Kansas City

Carole: It’s difficult to choose a favorite. At our library, we always preorder Lee Childs, and despite that we have several patrons who start reminding us well in advance when a new one is coming out. If I have to choose a favorite Reacher, it would have to be Never Go Back. I was afraid it was going to be the last in the series because the plot is really twisted and I couldn’t see how he was going to beat the bad guys.

Lynn: O my! what a hero…it has to be 2 together and in order …61 Hours followed by Worth Dying For…talk about crying when you read…and the best Reacher scene is when he dresses for his brothers funeral …blubber-blubber …gives me goosies just to think about it!

Dave: I have read 4 Jack Reacher stories and as of yet do not have a favorite.The question can be answered at a later date as i have decided that i will read all of the Jack Reacher in the order that they have been written. I am currently on the 4th in the order and as with the others i have read it is very hard to put the books down . I will continue until i get to Night School . Your site has led me to other new authors to read , keep up the great work i always recommend your site to family and friends.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Best Jack Reacher Book