Jack Reacher Books in Chronological Order: A Comprehensive Guide

Jack Reacher, the iconic character created by British author Lee Child, has taken the literary world by storm since his first appearance in 1997. The former U.S. Army Military Police Corps officer turned nomadic vigilante has captivated readers across the globe through his thrilling adventures, solving mysteries, and dispensing justice.

This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the Jack Reacher series in chronological order, allowing both new and seasoned fans to follow Reacher’s exploits from his early days to the latest release. Join us as we dive into the world of Jack Reacher, exploring the intricacies of each book and the order in which it should be read.

Jack Reacher Books In Order

Who is Jack Reacher?

Jack Reacher is a fictional character created by British author Lee Child. Born on a military base in Germany, Reacher grew up in a military family, which instilled in him a strong sense of duty and honor. He joined the U.S. Army, serving as an officer in the Military Police Corps for 13 years.

After leaving the Army, Reacher becomes a drifter, roaming the United States with no fixed address and minimal possessions.

Standing at 6’5″ and weighing around 250 pounds, Reacher is an imposing figure with a keen intellect and a strong moral compass. His extensive military training and investigative skills enable him to solve complex mysteries and help those in need.

Quick Fact: Reacher’s adventures have made him a beloved character in the literary world, with millions of fans eagerly awaiting each new release.

Jack Reacher Books in Order

Jack Reacher Books In Order
Jack Reacher Books In Order

The Jack Reacher series currently consists of 26 books, published between 1997 and 2021. Here is the list of books in the order they were published:

  1. Killing Floor (1997)
  2. Die Trying (1998)
  3. Tripwire (1999)
  4. Running Blind (2000) / The Visitor (UK title)
  5. Echo Burning (2001)
  6. Without Fail (2002)
  7. Persuader (2003)
  8. The Enemy (2004)
  9. One Shot (2005)
  10. The Hard Way (2006)
  11. Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)
  12. Nothing to Lose (2008)
  13. Gone Tomorrow (2009)
  14. 61 Hours (2010)
  15. Worth Dying For (2010)
  16. The Affair (2011)
  17. A Wanted Man (2012)
  18. Never Go Back (2013)
  19. Personal (2014)
  20. Make Me (2015)
  21. Night School (2016)
  22. The Midnight Line (2017)
  23. Past Tense (2018)
  24. Blue Moon (2019)
  25. The Sentinel (2020)
  26. Better Off Dead (2021)

Jack Reacher’s Chronological Reading Order

While the publication order provides an enjoyable reading experience, some fans prefer to follow the series in chronological order, which aligns more closely with Reacher’s life events. Here is the chronological order of the Jack Reacher books:

  1. The Enemy (2004) – Set in 1990, during Reacher’s military service
  2. Night School (2016) – Set in 1996, also during his military service
  3. The Affair (2011) – Set in 1997, just before Reacher leaves the Army
  4. Killing Floor (1997)
  5. Die Trying (1998)
  6. Tripwire (1999)
  7. Running Blind / The Visitor (2000)
  8. Echo Burning (2001)
  9. Without Fail (2002)
  10. Persuader (2003)
  11. One Shot (2005)
  12. The Hard Way (2006)
  13. Bad Luck and Trouble (2007)
  14. Nothing to Lose (2008)
  15. Gone Tomorrow (2009)
  16. 61 Hours (2010)
  17. Worth Dying For (2010)
  18. A Wanted Man (2012)
  19. Never Go Back (2013)
  20. Personal (2014)
  21. Make Me (2015)
  22. The Midnight Line (2017)
  23. Past Tense (2018)
  24. Blue Moon (2019)
  25. The Sentinel (2020)
  26. Better Off Dead (2021)

Below is a brief summary of each Jack Reacher book:

Killing Floor (1997):

Killing Floor (1997)
Killing Floor (1997)

Reacher arrives in the small town of Margrave, Georgia, only to be arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. He must work to clear his name and uncover a dark conspiracy involving counterfeit money.

Die Trying (1998):

Reacher stumbles upon the kidnapping of an FBI agent in Chicago and is taken captive alongside her. They must outsmart their captors and survive the treacherous wilderness of Montana.

Tripwire (1999):

Reacher is drawn to Key West, Florida, by a mysterious investigator looking for him. He discovers his former commanding officer is in danger and must unravel a web of deceit and corruption to protect him.

Running Blind / The Visitor (2000):

Reacher is called upon by the FBI to help investigate a serial killer targeting female military personnel. He must use his skills to find the killer and stop the murders.

Echo Burning (2001):

Echo Burning (2001)
Echo Burning (2001)

In Texas, Reacher is asked to help a woman whose abusive husband is about to be released from prison. He uncovers a vast conspiracy involving murder and racial tensions.

Without Fail (2002):

Reacher is hired by the Secret Service to test the security around the Vice President of the United States, only to discover that there is a genuine assassination plot in progress.

Persuader (2003):

Reacher infiltrates a dangerous criminal organization to take down a man from his past, while also working to save a kidnapped college student.

The Enemy (2004):

During Reacher’s military service, he investigates the murder of an Army general and uncovers a conspiracy that goes to the highest levels of the military.

One Shot (2005):

One Shot (2005)
One Shot (2005)

Reacher investigates a seemingly clear-cut case of a former military sniper accused of a mass shooting. He must untangle the truth and protect the accused’s daughter.

The Hard Way (2006):

Reacher is hired to find the kidnapped wife and stepdaughter of a wealthy businessman, only to discover that things aren’t as they seem.

Bad Luck and Trouble (2007):

Reacher reunites with former Army colleagues to find out who is targeting their group and uncovers a deadly plot involving national security.

Nothing to Lose (2008):

Reacher becomes involved in a small-town dispute between a failed businessman and a corrupt police force, uncovering a sinister conspiracy.

Gone Tomorrow (2009):

Gone Tomorrow (2009)
Gone Tomorrow (2009)

Reacher witnesses a suicide on the New York City subway and becomes entangled in an international terrorist plot.

61 Hours (2010):

Reacher is stranded in a small South Dakota town during a blizzard and becomes involved in protecting a key witness in a drug trial.

Worth Dying For (2010):

Reacher stumbles upon a human trafficking ring in rural Nebraska and must confront a powerful family to save innocent lives.

The Affair (2011):

Set just before Reacher leaves the Army, he investigates the murder of a woman near a military base in Mississippi and discovers a cover-up.

A Wanted Man (2012):

A Wanted Man (2012)
A Wanted Man (2012)

Reacher is picked up by a car while hitchhiking, only to realize the passengers are involved in a conspiracy that puts them all in danger.

Never Go Back (2013):

Reacher travels to Virginia to meet the new commander of his former military unit but instead finds himself accused of a crime he didn’t commit and embroiled in a high-stakes conspiracy.

Personal (2014):

Reacher is called upon by the military to track down a sniper who has targeted world leaders at an upcoming G8 summit. His investigation takes him from the United States to Europe as he races to prevent an assassination.

Make Me (2015):

Reacher arrives in a small town called Mother’s Rest and teams up with a private investigator searching for her missing colleague. Together, they uncover a dark and dangerous secret that the town is hiding.

Night School (2016):

Night School (2016)
Night School (2016)

During Reacher’s military service, he is sent to a special training course alongside other elite operatives. Their mission is to uncover and thwart a potential terrorist plot involving an American traitor.

The Midnight Line (2017):

Reacher finds a West Point class ring in a pawn shop and becomes determined to return it to its rightful owner, leading him on a journey into the dark world of opioids and human trafficking.

Past Tense (2018):

Reacher visits the town where his father grew up and becomes involved in the case of a young couple stranded at a sinister motel. He must unravel both the present-day mystery and secrets from his family’s past.

Blue Moon (2019):

Reacher intervenes in a mugging and becomes entangled in a gang war between rival factions, ultimately seeking to protect the lives of innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire.

The Sentinel (2020):

The Sentinel (2020)
The Sentinel (2020)

Reacher comes to the aid of a man targeted by cybercriminals and uncovers a conspiracy that threatens national security. This is the first book co-authored by Lee Child and his brother Andrew Child.

Better Off Dead (2021):

Reacher is approached by an Army intelligence officer to help rescue a kidnapped scientist. He must navigate a treacherous world of mercenaries, spies, and cutting-edge technology to save the day. This is the second book co-authored by Lee Child and Andrew Child.

In conclusion, the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child (and later co-authored with his brother Andrew Child) offers readers an exciting and thrilling ride through the adventures of the enigmatic former military officer turned drifter. With intricate plots, captivating mysteries, and heart-pounding action, these books have garnered a loyal following of fans worldwide.

Whether you choose to read the series in publication order or chronological order, you’ll find yourself immersed in the world of Jack Reacher as he dispenses justice and uncovers the truth.
Now that you have a comprehensive guide to the Jack Reacher books in order and a brief summary of each novel, you can dive into this gripping series with confidence.

Whether you’re a new reader or a seasoned fan looking to revisit Reacher’s adventures, this list will serve as your roadmap through the thrilling world created by Lee Child. Happy reading!

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About Sara Cook

Hi, I am Sara! I am the founder of TheWritersHQ!

I have loved writing and reading since I was a little kid! Stephen King has my heart! I started this site to share my knowledge and build on my passion!