Jack Reacher Books in Order: How to read Lee Child Books?

The Jack Reacher book series by Lee Child is a popular series of crime thriller novels that follow Jack Reacher, a major in the US Army’s military police.

As of 2023, 28 novels and sixteen short stories have been published in this series. In total, three novels have been adapted for the screen.

Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher (2012) film was an adaptation of the ninth novel, One Shot, and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) was an adaptation of the eighteenth novel, Never Go Back.

The first novel has been adapted into a television series by Amazon Prime Video, starring Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher.

Sl. No.Jack Reacher Books in OrderLink
1)Killing FloorView on Amazon
2)Die TryingView on Amazon
3)TripwireView on Amazon
4)The Visitor (UK) or Running Blind (US)View on Amazon
5)Echo BurningView on Amazon
6)Without FailView on Amazon
7)PersuaderView on Amazon
8)The EnemyView on Amazon
9)One ShotView on Amazon
10)The Hard WayView on Amazon
11)Bad Luck and TroubleView on Amazon
12)Nothing to LoseView on Amazon
13)Gone TomorrowView on Amazon
14)61 hoursView on Amazon
15)Worth Dying ForView on Amazon
16)The AffairView on Amazon
17)A Wanted ManView on Amazon
18)Never Go BackView on Amazon
19)PersonalView on Amazon
20)Make MeView on Amazon
21)Night SchoolView on Amazon
22)The Midnight LineView on Amazon
23)Past TenseView on Amazon
24)Blue MoonView on Amazon
25)The SentinelView on Amazon
26)Better off DeadView on Amazon
27)Plan BView on Amazon
28)The SecretView on Amazon
Jack Reacher Books In Order

Lee Child’s Biography

Lee Child is the pen name of James Grant, a British author of thriller novels best known for the Jack Reacher novel series. Grant was born in Coventry and worked in commercial television after graduating from law school. Grant was involved in the making of shows such as ‘The Jewel in the Crown,’ ‘Prime Suspect,’ and ‘Cracker.’

Grant switched to writing stating that it is “the purest form of entertainment.” He famously starts writing a new job on the anniversary of starting his first book after losing his job.

Critics describe Grant’s writing style as “hardboiled” and “commercial.” In an interview grant himself suggested that the writing of the Jack Reacher books was deliberately aimed at maintaining the books’ profitability.

Who is Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher is the protagonist of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. He was introduced in the 1997 novel ‘Killing Floor.’

In the film and television adaptations, Jack Reacher has been portrayed by Tom Cruise, Alan Ritchson, and Maxwell Jenkins.

In the stories, Jack Reacher left the army at the age of 36 and roams around the United States taking odd jobs. He also investigates suspicious and frequently dangerous situations.

Jack Reacher Books In Order

The 1st Jack Reacher book, Killing Floor, was released in 1997. Since then, Jack Reacher’s author Lee Child has published one book per year. As of January 2023, 27 novels have been released in this book series.

1) Killing Floor

Killing Floor

Published in 1997, Killing Floor introduces the world to Jack Reacher as he enters the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia. According to his brother, this is the town where blues musician Bling Blake died. Much to his surprise, shortly after his arrival, the retired army major is arrested for a murder committed in a local diner.

Is Jack Reacher able to prove his innocence? Although it is the first book to be published, however, chronologically it is the fourth book according to the story told in the series.

2) Die Trying

Die Trying

Published in 1998, in Die Trying Jack Reacher tries to help Holly Johnson, an attractive woman struggling with her crutches on Chicago streets when both of them are kidnapped at gunpoint. Soon they find themselves trapped in a seemingly remote place. Now, they must work together to find the answers to their random kidnapping.

3) Tripwire


Published in 1999, in the novel Tripwire, Jack Reacher finds his way to Key West where he spends most of his day digging pools by hand and his nights as a bouncer for a topless bar.

However, he discovers the body of a New York private investigator hired by “Mrs Jacob” to find him. He soon realizes that “Mrs. Jacob” is actually the daughter of General Leon Graber, Reacher’s surrogate father, and mentor in the army. She hires Reacher to investigate her father’s last military project.

4) The Visitor (UK) or Running Blind (US)

Running Blind

Published in 2000, in Running Blind, FBI Special Agent Julia Lamarr arrests Jack Reacher on the suspicion of murdering two ex-Army women who were found dead in their homes. Both of the deceased women were also victims of sexual harassment in the army.

However, Reacher is soon released after another woman is killed in a similar manner. Now, he must help with the murder investigation and why the killer’s motives to kill even more women.

5) Echo Burning

Echo Burning

Published in 2001, in Echo Burning, Jack Reacher hitches a ride from a truck driver who is trapped in an abusive marriage and asks Reacher for help.

However, when he reaches their remote ranch, Reacher finds himself in a web of lies which climaxes to the woman being arrested for her husband’s sudden death. Now, it is up to Reacher to find the truth for himself.

6) Without Fail

Without Fail

Published in 2002, in this book, Jack Reacher has been intercepted by a beautiful Secret Service Agent who has a special request for Reacher: to name all of the different ways in which he can carry out the assassination of the Vice-President of America. Being aware of the methods will help her tighten the vice president’s security.

However, soon enough the vice president starts receiving suspicious letters that threaten him. Now, it is up to Reacher to find the culprit behind them.

7) Persuader


Published in 2003, in the book Persuader, Jack Reacher notices a man responsible for the murder of Reacher’s colleagues and who himself must be dead. In order to nab this man, Reacher must team up with the DEA to penetrate a smuggling ring.

8) The Enemy

The Enemy

Published in 2004, The Enemy is chronologically the first novel in the series. Set on New Year’s Day 1990, Jack Reacher must contain the situation of an army general’s death while engaging in coitus with a prostitute. However, matter’s escalate when Reacher realizes that the general’s death was not a coincidence and had a greater purpose behind it.

9) One Shot

One Shot

Published in 2005, the book starts off with five murders committed by an experienced sniper. However, the man that the police arrested for the crime says he is innocent and says, “Get Jack Reacher.” Shocked by the request, Reacher sets out to find the truth with the absolute certainty that the man is guilty but soon things take a turn for the worst.

10) The Hard Way

The Hard Way

Published in 2006, in The Hard Way, Jack Reacher is hired by the director of a private military company to rescue his wife and stepchild after they have been kidnapped. In the process of finding the kidnapped wife and child, Reacher uncovers the director’s mysterious past.

11) Bad Luck and Trouble

Bad Luck and Trouble

Published in 2007, in Bad Luck and Trouble, someone makes a small deposit into Reacher’s bank triggering his investigative instincts. He soon realizes that the deposit is a secret signal that is only known to the former members of his elite squad of army investigators.

12) Nothing to Lose

Nothing to Lose

Published in 2008, Nothing to Lose, tells the story of Jack Reacher as he enters the town of Hope, Colorado where he is an unwelcomed visitor. Intrigued by the town’s unwelcoming disposition, Reacher sets out to find the truth and uncover the mystery behind a recycling factory that employees the majority population of the town of Despair, Colorado.

13) Gone Tomorrow

Gone Tomorrow

Published in 2009, Gone Tomorrow starts off with a late-night subway ride where Jack Reacher becomes troubled by one of his fellow passengers. At first, he thinks that the woman is a suicide bomber, however, she soon shoots herself in the head. In the rest of the book, he tries to investigate the reason behind her suicide.

14) 61 hours

61 hours

Published in 2010, in 61 Hours, Jack Reacher is travelling in a tourist bus when it crashes during a savage snowstorm. Now, it is up to Jack Reacher to find the murderer whilst simultaneously protecting the key witness.

15) Worth Dying For

Worth Dying For

Published in 2010, Worth Dying For is a book set in a rural Nebraska town. In a fading motel bar, Reacher overhears a doctor refusing to attend to a victim of domestic abuse. Reacher intervenes, persuades the doctor to treat the wife, and ends up breaking the husband’s nose. Reacher soon gets involved in a smuggling ring and an unresolved disappearance from twenty-five years ago.

16) The Affair

The Affair

Published in 2011, The Affair is the third novel chronologically and is set in a small town in Mississippi. It is set six months prior to the events of Killing Floor. In this book, Reacher is still in the army and must determine the murderer of a soldier’s girlfriend’s brutal murder.

17) A Wanted Man

A Wanted Man

Published in 2012, in A Wanted Man in order to get to Virginia, Reacher hitches a ride from a group of men and a woman. But he soon realizes that the men have kidnapped the woman. Tied into the situation, Reacher looks for a way to save the woman.

18) Never Go Back

Never Go Back

Published in 2013, Never Go Back extends the story to 61 hours. Reacher finds out that Major Susan Turner has been arrested and he himself is taken into custody and must appear for a trial for alleged crimes he committed in the army. The two of them join forces to clear their names.

19) Personal


Published in 2014, in Personal, Reacher is tasked with finding the person behind the assassination of the French President.

20) Make Me

Make Me

Published in 2015, in Make Me, Reacher finds himself in a town called Mother’s Rest where his services are enlisted by a woman to help find a missing colleague.

21) Night School

Night School

Published in 2016, Night School is the second novel chronologically. It is set in 1996 with Reacher still in the Army. Reacher and his associates are tasked with uncovering the truth behind a cryptic Jihadist message.

22) The Midnight Line

The Midnight Line

Published in 2017, the Midnight Line’s story follows the events of Make Me. In this book, Jack Reacher buys a West Point graduation ring from a pawn shop in an effort to reunite it with its original owner.

23) Past Tense

Past Tense

Published in 2018, jack Reacher visits his father’s hometown and during the visit, he learns about his father’s past.

24) Blue Moon

Blue Moon

Published in 2019, Blue Moon starts off with Jack Reacher helping a potential victim and then finds himself in the thick of a turf war between two rival gangs.

25) The Sentinel

The Sentinel

Published in 2020, in the Sentinel Jack Reacher hitches a ride to Pleasantville where he steps right into the middle of a kidnapping.

26) Better off Dead

Better off Dead

Published in 2021, while heading to San Francisco, Jack Reacher comes across a wrecked car and he helps its female occupant find her twin brother.

27) No Plan B

No Plan B

Published in 2022, in No Plan B, Jack Reacher witnesses the murder of a woman, whose death is reported as a suicide. It is up to Reacher to find the man who killed her and uncover the truth behind the coverup.

28) The Secret

The Secret

Jack Reacher Short Stories

Here is the list of Jack Reacher short stories and novellas by Lee Child which can be found in No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories

1) Second Son

Second Son gives us a glimpse into his childhood and his family live on a military base in Okinawa.

2) Deep Down

In Deep Down, Reacher is sent undercover to infiltrate a top-secret proceeding.

3) Guy Walks into a Bar

The Guy Walks into a Bar is set the moments before the events of the novel Gone Tomorrow.

4) James Penney’s New Identity

This short story follows Jack Reacher while he is still in the army as a captain. He is helping a Vietnam War veteran, James Penney get back on his feet after he loses his job and his car gets stolen.

5) High Heat

High Heat is a novella that is set in 1977 when Jack Reacher is a teenager visiting his brother at West Point. During his visit, he sees a woman getting assaulted by a man, who is one of the mob bosses of New York City.

6) Everyone Talks

Everyone Talks is a short story told from the perspective of an alleged shooting.

7) Not a Drill

In this short story, whilst hitchhiking near the US-Canada border, Reacher is picked by a trip of Canadians who claim to be outdoor enthusiasts.

8) Good and Valuable Consideration

Written by Lee Child and Joseph Finder, Good and Valuable is a short story that opens with Jack Reacher encountering two men.

9) Small Wars

Set in 1989, Small Wars is a short story in which Jack Reacher is still serving as an officer in the military police.

10) The Picture of the Lonely Diner

This short story is set in Manhattan’s Flatiron District and tells the story of an unusual encounter experienced by Jack Reacher.

11) Faking a Murderer

Faking a Murderer tells the story of Temperance Brennan as she investigates the murder of a reporter who was re-opening a suicide case investigated by Jack Reacher.

12) Too Much Time

In this short story, Reacher witnesses a random bag-snatching at a hollowed-out town in Maine.

13) The Christmas Scorpion

Jack Reacher stumbles into a bar in the California desert on Christmas eve.

14) The Fourth Man

In this short story, Jack Reacher is being stalked and tracked down by an FBI agent.

15) Maybe They Have a Tradition

16) Room at the Motel

Chronological Order (In-Story)

  1. Second Son (Short story, 2011)
  2. High Heat (Novella, 2013)
  3. Deep Down (Short story, 2012)
  4. Small Wars (Short story, 2015)
  5. The Enemy (2004)
  6. James Penney’s New Identity (2006)
  7. The Secret (To be reelased in 2023)
  8. Night School (2016)
  9. The Affair (2011)
  10. Killing Floor (1997)
  11. Die Trying (1998)
  12. Tripwire (1999)
  13. The Visitor (UK) or Running Blind (US) (2000)
  14. Echo Burning (2001)
  15. Without Fail (2002)
  16. Persuader (2003)
  17. One Shot (2005)
  18. The Hard Way (2006)
  19. Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)
  20. Nothing to Lose (2008)
  21. Guy Walks into a Bar… (2009)
  22. Gone Tomorrow (2009)
  23. 61 Hours (2010)
  24. Worth Dying For (2010)
  25. Knowing you’re Alive (with Dr. Morgan Snow) (2011)[13]
  26. A Wanted Man (2012)
  27. Everyone Talks (2012)
  28. Never Go Back (2013)
  29. Not a Drill (2014)
  30. Personal (2014)
  31. Good and Valuable Consideration (with Nick Heller) (2014)[14]
  32. No Room at the Motel (2014)
  33. The Picture of the Lonely Diner (2015)
  34. Make Me (2015)
  35. The Midnight Line (2017)
  36. Maybe they Have a Tradition (2016)
  37. Faking a Murderer (with Temperance Brennan) (2017)[15]
  38. Too Much Time (2017)
  39. The Christmas Scorpion (2017)
  40. Past Tense (2018)
  41. The Fourth Man (2018)
  42. Cleaning the Gold (with Will Trent) (2019)[16]
  43. Smile (2019)
  44. Blue Moon (2019)
  45. The Sentinel (2020)
  46. Better Off Dead (2021)
  47. No Plan B (2022)

How many Jack Reacher books are there by Lee Child?

There are 27 Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. Another book The Secret is due to be released on October 24, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best order to read Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher books can be read as standalone books so you can read them in any order. But the best order to read Jack Reacher is as follows:

1) Killing Floor
2) Die Trying
3) Tripwire
4) The Visitor (UK) or Running Blind (US)
5) Echo Burning
6) Without Fail
7) Persuader
8) The Enemy
9) One Shot
10) The Hard Way
11) Bad Luck and Trouble
12) Nothing to Lose
13) Gone Tomorrow
14) 61 hours
15) Worth Dying For
16) The Affair
17) A Wanted Man
18) Never Go Back
19) Personal
20) Make Me
21) Night School
22) The Midnight Line
23) Past Tense
24) Blue Moon
25) The Sentinel
26) Better off Dead
27) Plan B
28) The Secret

Also answers: 
1) Is there an order to the Jack Reacher books?
2) Do Lee Child books need to be read in order?
Do Jack Reacher novels need to be read in order?


Is Jack Reacher series worth reading?

Jack Reacher books thrillers full of suspense, action, and drama. So if you like crime thriller genre then Jack Reacher books are up your alley.

Also answers:
1) Why are Jack Reacher books so popular?

What reading level is Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher book are meant for age 18+

Also answers:

1) What age is Jack Reacher suitable for?
2) Is Reacher appropriate for 12 year olds?


Are Jack Reacher books easy to read?

Jack Reacher books are easy and fun to read. 

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