Jack Reacher is a very famous fictional main character of a series of novels, novellas, and short stories written by the author James Dover Grant (1954), also known by his pen name Lee Child. He is a British awarded author who has won some important awards, such as the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. Lee wrote over 20 books for this series, so it may be confusing for those who don’t know the story very well to understand which order is the right one to read. That is why I’m going to show you how to read Jack Reacher’s books in order correctly.

The Jack Reacher series of novels are his most successful body of work. It counts the story of Jack Reacher, a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps. This man goes to the United States to investigate suspicious and dangerous situations. His novels are written in the first-person or third-person, and they always follow the story of this specific character. Most of them are placed in the United States as well.

The first book of this series is Killing Floor (1997), followed by Die Trying (1998), Tripwire (1999), The Visitor (2000), known as Running Blind in the United States, Echo Burning  (2001), Without Fail (2002), Persuader (2003), The Enemy (2004), One Shot (2005), The Hard Way  (2006), Bad Luck and Trouble (2007), Nothing to Lose (2008), Gone Tomorrow (2009), 61 Hours (2010), Worth Dying For (2010), The Affair (2011), A Wanted Man (2012), Never Go Back (2013), Personal (2014), Make Me (2015), Night School (2016), The Midnight Line (2017), Past Tense (2018), Blue Moon (2019), The Sentinel (2020),  Better off Dead (2021).

This is the order in which these books were released. You can read in this particular order… or you can read in the chronological order of the story. For example, the first released book is actually the fourth book in terms of the in-story chronology. Check the chronologic order:

  1. The Enemy
  2. Night School
  3. The Affair
  4. Killing Floor
  5. Die Trying
  6. Tripwire
  7. The Visitor/Running Bling
  8. Echo Burning
  9. Without Fail
  10. Persuader
  11. One Shot
  12. The Hard Way
  13. Bad Luck and Trouble
  14. Nothing to Lose
  15. Gone Tomorrow
  16. 61 Hours
  17. Worth Dying For
  18. A Wanted Man
  19. Never Go Back
  20. Personal
  21. Make Me
  22. The Midnight Line
  23. Past Tense
  24. Blue Moon
  25. Better Off Dead

This book series also inspired a movie and a TV show. The movie was starred by Tom Cruise, directed by Christopher McQuarrie, and released in 2012. There was also a sequel to this movie, with Tom Cruise playing Jack again. Its name is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and it was released in 2016.

The TV show was announced in 2018 by Lee Child himself. He said that Tom Cruise will not be a part of it and that Jack will probably be more similar to how he is in the books. In 2019 it was announced that Amazon Prime will develop the show, and it is believed that this show – named simply Reacher – will be released on day 4 of February of 2022. If you enjoyed Jack Reacher, be sure to check out the Shatter me series.