Jack Reacher books in order

Looking for Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books in order? Never fear – we’re here to help!

A series of books can be a daunting prospect. Do you have to begin at the beginning? Which book is the first one? Which book is the best one? Are there sub-plots or sub-series to tap into first? The questions are many and the answers are not always straightforward, but we’re here to help bring some clarity to this confusion.

There are 22 books in Lee Child’s highly successful Jack Reacher series, plus one short story collection. In the first thriller we’re introduced to Jack Reacher, a dangerous and unattainable lone ranger who used to be in the military. The series follows his exploits all across America and occasionally into other countries.

There are four books that form a sub-series starting off with 61 Hours then continuing in Worth Dying For, A Wanted Man and finally Never Go Back. They follow Reacher as he’s trying to get to Virginia to return to his old base and a woman’s voice.

The first book in Lee Child’s series, Killing Floor, is so good it seems a shame not to start there, but this is a series you can dip into at different stages because there’s always one constant – our hero himself. Here are the Jack Reacher books in order.

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books in order:

lee child's jack reacher books in order1. Killing Floor

Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia. An arbitrary decision he’s about to regret.

Reacher is the only stranger in town on the day they have had their first homicide in thirty years.The cops arrest Reacher and the police chief turns eyewitness to place him at the scene. As nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure: they picked the wrong guy to take the fall.

Jack Reacher2. Die Trying

Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere. A Chicago street in bright sunshine. A young woman, struggling on crutches. He offers her a steadying arm. And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach.

Chained in a dark van racing across America, Reacher doesn’t know why they’ve been kidnapped. The woman claims to be FBI. She’s certainly tough enough. But at their remote destination, will raw courage be enough to overcome the hopeless odds?

Jack Reacher books in order3. Tripwire

For Jack Reacher being invisible has become a habit. He spends his days digging swimming pools by hand and his nights as the bouncer in the local strip club in the Florida Keys. He doesn’t want to be found.

But someone has sent a private detective to seek him out. Then Reacher finds the guy beaten to death with his fingertips sliced off. It’s time to head north and work out who is trying to find him and why.

Jack Reacher books in order4. The Visitor

Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cooke have a lot in common. Both were army high-flyers. Both were acquainted with Jack Reacher. Both were forced to resign from the service. Now they’re both dead.

Found in their own homes, naked, in a bath full of paint. Apparent victims of an army man. A loner, a smart guy with a score to settle, a ruthless vigilante. A man just like Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher books in order5. Echo Burning

Jack Reacher, adrift in the hellish heat of a Texas summer. Looking for a lift through the vast empty landscape. A woman stops, and offers a ride. She is young, rich and beautiful. But her husband’s in jail. When he comes out, he’s going to kill her.

Her family’s hostile, she can’t trust the cops, and the lawyers won’t help. She is entangled in a web of lies and prejudice, hatred and murder.

Jack Reacher never could resist a lady in distress.

Jack Reacher books in order6. Without Fail

Jack Reacher walks alone. No job, no ID, no last known address. But he never turns down a plea for help.

Now a woman tracks him down. A woman serving at the very heart of US power. A woman who needs Reacher’s assistance in her new job – protecting the Vice-President of the United States, who someone wants dead.

lee child's jack reacher books in order7. Persuader

Jack Reacher lives for the moment. Without a home. Without commitment. But he has a burning desire to right wrongs – and rewrite his own agonizing past.

When Reacher witnesses a brutal kidnap attempt, he takes the law into his own hands. But a cop dies. Has Reacher lost his sense of right and wrong?

lee child jack reacher books in order8. The Enemy

New Year’s Day, 1990. A soldier is found dead in a sleazy motel bed. Jack Reacher is the officer on duty. The soldier turns out to be a two-star general. The situation is bad enough, then Reacher finds the general’s wife.

This stomach-churning thriller turns back the clock to a younger Reacher, in dogtags. A Reacher who still believes in the service. A Reacher who imposes army discipline. Even if only in his own pragmatic way…

lee child's jack reacher books in order9. One Shot

This is the novel the first Jack Reacher movie was based on so from a film perspective a valid place to start. A lone sniper shoots five people dead in a heartland city. But the accused guy says, ‘Get Reacher’.

Jack Reacher books in order10. The Hard Way

A coffee on a busy New York street leads to a shoot-out three thousand miles away in the Norfolk countryside.

Jack Reacher books in order11. Bad Luck and Trouble

One of Reacher’s buddies has shown up dead in the California desert, and Reacher must put his old army unit back together.

12. Nothing To Lose

Reacher crosses the line between a town called Hope and one named Despair.

lee child's jack reacher books in order13. Gone Tomorrow

On the New York subway, Reacher counts down the twelve tell-tale signs of a suicide bomber.

lee child's jack reacher books in order14. 61 Hours

In freezing South Dakota, Reacher hitches a lift on a bus heading for trouble.

Jack Reacher books in order15. Worth Dying For

Reacher runs into a clan that’s terrifying the Nebraska locals, but it’s the unsolved case of a missing child that he can’t let go.

Jack Reacher books in order16. The Affair

Six months before the events in Killing Floor, Major Jack Reacher of the US Military Police goes undercover in Mississippi, to investigate a murder.

Jack Reacher books in order17. A Wanted Man

A freshly-busted nose makes it difficult for Reacher to hitch a ride. When at last he’s picked up by two men and a woman, it soon becomes clear they have something to hide…

Jack Reacher books in order18. Never Go Back

Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. But the woman he’s meeting isn’t where she’s supposed to be and before Reacher knows it, there’s a lot that’s not quite the way it’s supposed to be. This is the book the second Jack Reacher film is based on.

Read the first chapter here or watch the film’s trailer here.

lee child's jack reacher books in order19. Personal

Someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president. Only one man could have done it. And Reacher is the one man who can find him.

Read the first chapter here.

lee child's jack reacher books in order20. Make Me

Reacher’s one-day stopover at Mother’s Rest turns into an open-ended quest leading to the most hidden reaches of the internet, and right into the nightmare heart of darkness.

Read the first chapter here.

lee child's jack reacher books in order21. Night School

It’s just a voice plucked from the air: ‘The American wants a hundred million dollars’. For what? Who from? It’s 1996, and the Soviets are long gone. But now there’s a new enemy. In an apartment in Hamburg, a group of smartly-dressed young Saudis are planning something big.

Jack Reacher is fresh off a secret mission. The Army pats him on the back and sends him to a school with only three students: Reacher, an FBI agent, and a CIA analyst. Their assignment? To find that American. And what he’s selling. And to whom. There is serious shit going on, signs of a world gone mad.

Read the first chapter here.

lee child's jack reacher books in order22. The Midnight Line

Reacher will stop at nothing until he’s tracked down the owner of a ring – a female cadet – and made sure she’s okay. This is a raw and elemental quest for simple justice.

Read the first chapter here.

lee child's jack reacher books in order23. Past Tense

Reacher, the eternal drifter, happens by chance on the small New Hampshire town he remembers his father was supposed to have come from. But when he starts looking for his dad’s old home, he finds there’s no record of anyone named Reacher ever having lived there.

Read the first three chapters of Past Tense here!


Jack Reacher books in orderNo Middle Name

All Lee Child’s shorter fiction featuring Jack Reacher in one volume. Read together, these twelve stories shed new light on Reacher’s past, illuminating how he grew up and developed into the wandering avenger who has captured the imagination of millions around the world. Read an extract here.

There you have it – the Jack Reacher books in order! How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below…

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  1. Bryan says

    Great post. This is especially good for anyone wanting to read Lee Child and not knowing where to start in his Jack Reacher series.

  2. catherine newell says

    i have read all of jack reacher and cannot wait for many more……its a job to pick out the best book yet….

  3. Kate Richards says

    I’ve read them all. I devour them can’t put down once I start, just love Jack Reacher!!! Feel sad once finish a book as know will have to wait a while for Mr Child to write the next

  4. David Matthews says

    Such an easy read. I have only just started reading these books and like the rest, i find them hard to put down! Now i’m struggling a bit, as i have been reading about three books a week, which is annoying as i have had to slow down to only reading when i go to bed and now only read one book a week. Mr Child’s! You need an army of writers to keep up the demand! I’m on the kast book and do not wish to finish it…..but i do! Want to know what happens!!!!
    One happy reader.
    Thank you Lee, its a pleasure to know how imaginative your mind works

    • Jackie says

      I am the same read all the books. Great reads. Meet Lee once such a gent. I also read Peter James the Roy Grace series if you’re looking for another author whilst waiting for the next Jack reacher

      • Agnes Vorsterman says

        I love Lee Child books. He’s my favourite author. Always a long list at the library. I agree Peter James Roy Grace books are really good too. I’ve read them all

  5. John says

    What was the name of the book where Reacher Persues the intelligence general who killed Kohl( ?) when she attempted to arrest him

  6. J Raikes says

    Thank You Mr. Child for keeping me entertained by such a fascinating Series. Well Done. I have made a listing of all your books and short stories just to keep track of what I have and have not read. Please keep Reacher alive so I can continue following his exploits with your pen. He’s the cowboy in the white hat that we all want to be.

  7. Paul Allen says

    I have read all books up to 22 the midnight line. But just noticed that a new book is out, I must get it,it’s compulsory,so addictive..

  8. Ben Wetzler says

    Love his books, have read them all. Can not wait for the next edition.

    How can Tom Cruise play the 6′ 5″ 250 lbs Jack?

    • Jackie says

      I am the same read all the books. Great reads. Meet Lee once such a gent. I also read Peter James the Roy Grace series if you’re looking for another author whilst waiting for the next Jack reacher

  9. Keith Huggett says

    Always await the next Jack Reacher with anticipation. My favourite holiday read.
    We go away this Saturday with no Jack Reacher how can that ba a holiday

  10. Anonymous says

    Best writer ever. Can’t wait for the next one. Don’t like Tom Cruise in the role, too short and too old and too pretty

  11. Anonymous says

    you left out Running Blind. Should come between Tripwire and Echo Burning

    • Rhiannon says


      This is The Visitor – the book was given a different title in the US.

      The Dead Good team

    • Tony says

      Running Blind is the U.S version. The Visitor is the U.K version. I just found that out.

  12. Anonymous says

    Always enjoyed Lee Child’s books…..until Make Me. I found it so gory that I have crossed Mr. Child off my “favorite authors” list and have vowed to never read another.

  13. John says

    Looking for book featuring jack reachers son. Really liked it. Would love to see another one. Can’t remember the name of it

  14. D.J. Bunker says

    When I was reading my first Jack Reacher book by Lee Child, someone told me I would become obsessed by the series of books…….I didn’t believe it at the time, but I’m here to say I’m a believer now!! The first book was read about 4 months ago…….since then, I have read 22 of the Reacher books. I am TRULY OBSESSED and wonder how I will ever pick up another random book at the library and not consider it a piece of fluff after being introduced to these deeply engrossing stories!

  15. Alison says

    I Have read 3 books which i had from a charity shop on recommendation and am totally hooked. just ordered 5 more and excited in anticipation.
    good writing and easy reading with such exciting twists and unexpected turns. waiting for the postman!

  16. Steve Scaife says

    If you love these books please look out for and read the Mitch Rapp books. I personally prefer the character to Reacher. I promise you, if you like Jack, you’ll like Mitch!!!

    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! The title was changed to Running Blind in the US – it’s called The Visitor here.

  17. Arrie Dillon says

    I have a Lee Child book Running Blind. And it’s not listed as one of the 24 books that has been published??

    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! The title was changed to Running Blind in the US – it’s called The Visitor here.

  18. Rick Orlando says

    I am a huge fan of Reacher and have read all the Reacher novels at least twice over the last 10 years. Lee Child’s creation of the Reacher character is genius. But the selection of Tom Cruise to play the part in movies does not work for me. Tom is too small stature and he does not portray the same personality. My question is novel #4. My copy is entitled “Running Blind”. Is this the same as “Past Tense” or is the latter another novel?

    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! The title of the fourth book in the series was changed in the US – it’s called The Visitor here. Past Tense is Lee Child’s brand new book to be released later this year. 🙂

  19. Len Dobson says

    I have read and thoroughly enjoyed twenty-one books in the series. I also passed them to my son who introduced me to Jack Reacher.
    There is no way that Tom Cruise is Jack Reacher! I do not decry him as an actor because he is good in what he does but the story is spoilt for me because the actor is wrong.

  20. r smithson says

    i have read all the reacher stories except for past tense. I am in fact reading them again. enjoy them very much. as a 30 year vet I can relate to the places and feelings in the stories.

  21. Mary Campbell says

    I have read 16 Lee Child books, great to have while traveling 12 hours in a plane. Thanks.

  22. Baljinder gill says

    I have read all jack reacher books just love them can’t wait to read the next one

  23. David Richards says

    Second time around for me, the best and gripping stories i have read. Definitely books you can’t put down once started. Give us more Lee.

  24. Roy White says

    Hi there I have read all except the latest. I note that your list does not include Second Son or Running Blind, is this an oversight?

    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! Running Blind is the title for the US edition – this book is called The Visitor here. Second Son is a short story included in No Middle Lane which features at the end of this list.

  25. Paul says


    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! No Middle Name is included in this list, but separately at the end since it’s not a novel and is a compilation of lots of short stories that were all published previously at different times so it doesn’t fit into the normal ‘order’ 🙂

  26. TOM says

    I’ve read EVERY ONE – waiting for Past. Tense to be released. Can’t wait.

  27. Cedrick says

    I’ve read 18 off the books & really have enjoyed them. Keep up the good work Mr. Childs.

  28. Del Hardy says

    I have 17 Jack Reacher books, and have read 7 of them. I love the way Lee Child thinks, and then writes. Amazing story-lines, and I always feel like I’m in the story, in some weird way

  29. Traci Howes says

    I’ve read all of the books twice. They are (along with Harry potter) the only books I am keeping on the bookshelf. I am looking forward to the next one, and many more after that. Thank you Lee Child. I love Jack Reacher..

  30. Paul says

    I’ve read all his books and am almost finished reading all of them again! Can hardly wait to read his next ones!

  31. Jullieanne Sigsworth says

    I have read them all except Past Tense, not out were I live yet.
    I have read everyone as they came out, cannot put them down.
    I even bought one from Heathrow airport and read it on the plane.
    It wasn’t out here in Australia yet.

  32. Kev Holmes says

    Have read every book, would have liked to have read them in correct order. My first book was 61 Hours.

  33. Jim Shull says

    Heard talk that they are planning to change actors from Tom Cruise. The current actor that I see as Jack Reacher….. Liev Schreiber. He just looks like a loner tough guy and is closer in size at 6’3″. I thought that even before I heard they were looking to change.
    Never thought Tom Cruise was the correct person for the role especially knowing his true size at about 5’7″. after reading the books, it just did not seem to fit. Not that Cruise is great in other movies he has done. this one just did not seem to work for me.

  34. Mary Buttaro says

    I’ve read and kept all of them except 2 I still have to get. One day I’ll start at the beginning and re-read them all.

  35. Pat. says

    I have all Jack Reacher Books and have read most of them
    I am SO GLAD to hear that you are now looking for a New actor to play Jack Reacher Jason Statham comes to mind as well as many others, How Oh How was Tom Cruise ever imagined to be believed to be such a huge character in all respects.
    maybe now I will go and see a Jack Reacher Film if the actor bears some resemblance to Jack. how can a 5 ft. nothing be 6ft 5

  36. Steve says

    I’m on # 19 now, Personal, I’ve really enjoyed the series. I’ve also read the Jason Bourne series, also very good. I’m thinking of going at either the Scot Hardath series by Brad Thor or David Baldacci’s Jon Puller series.

  37. Randall Butler says

    I have read 15 so far in order, I actually started with his military career first, than in order. I really enjoy the books, thanks for writing them, can keep them coming. I am starting 61 hours

  38. anthony e otway says

    have read all of the reacher series.have enjoyed them all but the last thre have not contained the intense story lines of previous books. in my opinion i would let reacher gently settle down as he is now reaching that age

  39. Allen says

    I have read 18 great book and i excited about the 3rd movie or tv serious, which ever they decide.

  40. Tony Lawlor says

    BTW as far as I know there are several books before Killing Floor. Jack Reachers Rules, Second Son, High Heat, Deep Down, Small Wars, The Enemy, James Penny’s new Identity, Night School The Affair and then The Killing Floor.

    • Rhiannon says

      Hello! Killing Floor was Lee Child’s debut novel, first published in 1997, and was the first book to star Jack Reacher. Lee has since gone on to write prequel stories delving into Reacher’s past, so if you’re reading chronologically you could start with those, but if you’re reading in the series order then Killing Floor is the place to begin 🙂