Jack Reacher Novels In Order


The Jack Reacher novels in order by Lee Child follow an ex-military policeman who likes to travel alone, but whom trouble finds no matter in which far away corner of the country he happens to be at the time. Lee Child started to write this series back in 1997 with Killing Floor, the first book in the series, at least in publication order.

Jack Reacher Books In Order

  1. Killing Floor, 1997
  2. Die Trying,  1998
  3. Tripwire, 1999
  4. The Visitor, 2000 – also under the name of Running Blind
  5. Echo Burning, 2001
  6. Without Fail, 2002
  7. Persuader, 2003
  8. The Enemy, 2004 (the story takes place before any other in the series, back when he was still an MP  in 1990 – if you want to start with the first in chronological order, The Enemy should be it)
  9. One Shot, 2005 – this is the Jack Reacher novel that prompted the first movie adaptation in 2012 with Tom Cruise
  10. The Hard Way, 2006
  11. Bad Luck And Trouble, 2007
  12. Nothing To Lose, 2007
  13. Gone Tomorrow, 2009
  14. 61 Hours, 2010
  15. Worth Dying For, 2010
  16. Second Son (a short novella where Jack is only 13 years old – if you discount the actual novels, this could be really the first Jack Reacher book in chronological order), 2011
  17. The Affair (the second book in chronological order, following The Enemy, and 6 months before the events happening in Killing Floor), 2011
  18. Deep Down the story is set early in Reacher’s military career, back in 1986), 2012
  19. A Wanted Man, 2012
  20. High Heat (this short novella finds Jack Reacher as a young 16-year-old), 2013
  21. Never Go Back, 2013 – second movie adaptation with Tom Cruise
  22. Not a Drill, 2014
  23. Personal, 2014
  24. Small Wars, 2015 (short story)
  25. Make Me, 2015
  26. Night School, 2016
  27. The Midnight Line, 2017
  28. Yesterday, 2018

Lee Child has also written two further short stories that were published in 2011 in one book called James Penney’s New Identity/Guy Walks Into a Bar. Guy Walks Into A Bar is set shortly before the happenings in Gone Tomorrow, which makes the novella book #12.5 in chronological order, while James Penney’s New Identity features Jack still in the Army as a captain.

Where else does Jack Reacher appear in books?

I was quite surprised a while back to learn that Jack Reacher appeared in books of other authors, including Stephen King in his book Under the Dome. Diane Capri has also written a series called The Hunt for Jack where Reacher is mentioned quite a lot, although he never actually appears in the books as a character.

Jack Reacher Books in Chronological Order

If you want to catch up to the chronological order of the Jack Reacher books, you should start with The Enemy (which is book #8 in publication order and was written in 2004). The book chronologically covers the very end of the time Jack Reacher was in the military, and it transitions into the first book written, Killing Floor.

In addition, Persuader has a few flashbacks to Jack Reacher’s military career, but as for reading the book, you can easily read it in the regular publication order.

Also, some of the short stories should be read before Killing Floor. In the novella Second Son, Jack Reacher is merely 13, and in High Heat, Reacher is a 16-years-old teenager.

Lee Child author

Born in 1954 in Coventry England, Lee Child  (a pen name for the British author James Grant) moved to at the age of 4 to Birmingham He went to law school where he graduated, but never really practiced law.

Instead, he went to work the Granada TV in Manchester, where he worked for 18 years before he was downsized in 1995. This is when he decided to try his hands at writing. And it ended up being the best decision of his career ever. Reading the Jack Reacher novels in order proves this very point.

His very first book, a Jack Reacher novel, was Killing Floor, published in 1995. It was also the book that started me on my journey of discovering this great author with his enigmatic character.

In 1998 Lee Child moved to the US where he continued writing his Jack Reacher series, where he met his wife, Jane. He currently lives in New York with his wife and his already grown daughter. A fun trivia I was pleased to read about – he dedicated A Wanted Man (published in 2012) to his wife.

So who is Jack Reacher? He is a drifter who loves to hitchhike or go by bus, and who never wears a watch – yet invariably knows the exact time of day or night any time you ask him. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘drifter’ though. He knows well the art of fighting, he knows how to defend himself and anyone else around him that needs defending. Especially a good-looking damsel in distress.

Have you noticed most of the Jack Reacher book covers have that lone character depicted somewhere walking on a road? I find it kind of sad, Jack Reacher always choosing to be and leave alone after finishing the current job.

All Jack Reacher novels have a beginning and an end, meaning that reading the Jack Reacher books in order is not really a must. There are no loose ties left at the end of a novel. Wherever he is at the moment, Jack solves the case, saves the needy and terminates the threat – and then moves on to another part of the country he wants to visit.

However, if you do want to read the Jack Reacher books in order, you get to learn more about Jack Reacher in every subsequent novel – about his past, his brother, his demons and why he quit the Army Military Police Force to go around the country investigating situations that can get dangerous to people who can’t protect themselves.

A small trivia about the author Lee Child – every year he starts his new novels on September 1. This was the very date when he first purchases the paper and the pen he used to write his debut novel, Killing Floor.

So how many books has Lee Child written so far? Well, his Reacher series currently includes 22 main books and several short stories. The latest short story is titled The Midnight Line, published in 2017. The new Jack Reacher book published in 2018 will be titled Yesterday.

Currently, there are two Lee Child Jack Reacher movies available starring Tom Cruise, the last one released in November 2016.

Below you will find the Jack Reacher novels in order publication, with the Jack Reacher chronology listed in brackets next to each book.

Short Stories and Anthologies of Jack Reacher  in Order

  1. James Penney’s New Identity, 1999 – included in Fresh Blood 3 (a pre-Killing Floor Jack Reacher).
  2. Like A Charm, 2004 – author wrote chapter 6
  3. Ten Keys, 2005 – included in The Cocaine Chronicles
  4. The Greatest Trick of All, 2005 – included in Greatest Hits
  5. Safe Enough, 2005 – included in MWA Presents Death Do Us Part
  6. The .50 Solution, 2006 – included in Bloodlines: A Horse Racing Anthology
  7. The Chopin Manuscript, 2007 – author wrote Chapter 15
  8. Public Transportation, 2009 – published in Phoenix Noir
  9. The Copper Bracelet, 2009 – author wrote one chapter.
  10. The Line Up, 2010 – short story about the origins of Reacher
  11. Me and Mr. Rafferty, 2010 – published in The Dark End of the Street
  12. Section 7 (a) (Operational), 2010 – published in Agents of Treachery
  13. Addicted to Sweetness, 2011 – published in MWA Presents The Rich and the Dead
  14. The Bone-Headed League, 2011 – published in A Study In Sherlock (2011)
  15. I Heard a Romantic Story, 2012 – published in Love is Murder
  16. Everyone Talks, 2012 – published in Esquire (features Reacher)
  17. My First Drug Trial, 2013 – published in The Marijuana Chronicles
  18. Public Transportation, 2013 – published in USA Noir
  19. Good and Valuable Consideration, 2014 – published in FaceOff
  20. Wet with Rain, 2014 – published in Belfast Noir
  21. The Picture of the Lonely Diner, 2015 – published in MWA Presents Manhattan Mayhem
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12 Responses to “Jack Reacher Novels In Order”

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  1. Cliff Wright says:

    Dear Mr. Childs,
    I have read the majority of the Jack Reacher novels. You describe his height and weight yet somehow Tom Cruise is selected for the movie roll. Tom Cruise may do well in the Mission Impossible series BUT he is no Jack Reacher…not even close! I’ve seen the ‘Jack Reacher’ movie and it’s almost impossible to look at Tom trying to portray the part of your character. Just my 2 cents. Thank you for your books – they are very entertaining.

  2. Tannis Grugel says:

    After reading ” 61 Hours” I was devastated to think Reacher might be dead! You have no idea how happy I was when the next Reacher book came out!!

    • doodle says:

      I thought he was dead too….when next book came out, I hoped it would tell how he survived…..but did not find the answer……

  3. Moyia Potter says:

    I have enjoyed all the Lee Child stories of Jack Reacher have just finished 61 Hours. Is there a follow up to this one. Great books!
    It couldn’t end there for Jack I would be so disappointed!

  4. Sharon Falls says:

    I read each Reacher book as soon as it is released and then anticipate each new story. I love Jack Reacher as the “good guy” who always makes things right. I wish there were more. Several times, I have gone back and re-read them all one after another just to get my fix.

    • Ken Cook says:

      After reading all the Jack Reacher novels and wanting something more to read, I stumble on and would highly recommend David Baldacci’s books! See above Link.

  5. WOW! What a great, informative post! I’ve heard of Jack Reacher but didn’t know he wrote so many novels. I also like the idea that it doesn’t matter the order that one reads his books. Thanks for sharing.


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