21 best Jack Reacher books, according to Goodreads – Business Insider

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Jack Reacher, the protagonist of Lee Child’s popular crime thriller series, is an ex-army Robin Hood with no scruples about acting outside the law. Reacher is a loner with the sort of wanderlust that propels him across the US in the backs of strangers’ cars, with indomitable confidence whenever he’s confronting danger or wrongdoing.
Lee Child has written over 25 Jack Reacher novels. You can also watch Reacher come to life in movies starring Tom Cruise (“Jack Reacher” adapted from the ninth book “One Shot” to “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” adapted from the 18th book “Never Go Back”) and a new Amazon Prime series adapted from the first book, “Killing Floor.
While you can read the Jack Reacher books in order, it’s not necessary — most work as their own stand-alone tales. Below, you’ll find 21 of the most popular Jack Reacher books, ranked in descending order according to their Goodreads ratings. 
Descriptions are provided by Amazon and edited lightly for clarity and length.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.90
It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.
Two other men are in the classroom — an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.
Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor — a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.”
For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.21
“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop and sullen and watchful people. And a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.
Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang… so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way — right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
Thumbing across the scorched Texas desert, Jack Reacher has nowhere to go and all the time in the world to get there. Cruising the same stretch of two-lane blacktop is Carmen Greer. For Reacher, the lift comes with a hitch. Carmen’s got a wild story to tell — all about her husband, her family secrets, and a hometown that’s purely gothic. She’s also got a plan. Reacher’s part of it. And before the sun sets, this ride could cost them both their lives.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, another telling stories that don’t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And a hitchhiker with a broken nose. An hour behind them, the FBI descends on an old pumping station where a man was stabbed to death — the knife-work professional, the killers nowhere to be seen.
All Jack Reacher wanted was a ride to Virginia. All he did was stick out his thumb. But he soon discovers he has hitched more than a ride. He has tied himself to a massive conspiracy, in which nothing is what it seems, and nobody is telling the truth.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29
Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What’s one extra day? He takes the detour.
At the same moment, in the same isolated area, a car breaks down. Two young Canadians had been on their way to New York City to sell a treasure. Now they’re stranded at a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. The owners seem almost too friendly. It’s a strange place, but it’s all there is.
The next morning, in the city clerk’s office, Reacher asks about the old family home. He’s told no one named Reacher ever lived in town. He’s always known his father left and never returned, but now Reacher wonders, was he ever there in the first place?
 
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
Jack Reacher is an innocent bystander when he witnesses a woman kidnapped off a Chicago street in broad daylight. In the wrong place at the wrong time, he’s kidnapped with her. Chained together, locked in the back of a stifling van, and racing across America to an unknown destination for an unknown purpose, they’re at the mercy of a group of men demanding an impossible ransom. Because this mysterious woman is worth more than Reacher ever suspected. Now he has to save them both — from the inside out — or die trying…
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.75
Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had.
Reacher is there to meet — in person — the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone.
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.
When threatened, you can run or fight.
Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, the FBI, the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29
Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?
So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of a small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.
 
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
A bus crashes in a savage snowstorm and lands Jack Reacher in the middle of a deadly confrontation. In nearby Bolton, South Dakota, one brave woman is standing up for justice in a small town threatened by sinister forces. If she’s going to live long enough to testify, she’ll need help. Because a killer is coming to Bolton, a coldly proficient assassin who never misses.
Reacher’s original plan was to keep on moving. But the next 61 hours will change everything. The secrets are deadlier and his enemies are stronger than he could have guessed — but so is the woman he’ll risk his life to save.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.49
Across the country, women are being murdered, victims of a disciplined and clever killer who leaves no trace evidence, no fatal wounds, no signs of struggle, and no clues to an apparent motive. They are, truly, perfect crimes. In fact, there’s only one thing that links the victims. Each one of the women knew Jack Reacher — and it’s got him running blind.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.75
Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is enjoying the lazy anonymity of Key West when a stranger shows up asking for him. He’s got a lot of questions. Reacher does too, especially after the guy turns up dead. The answers lead Reacher on a cold trail back to New York, to the tenuous confidence of an alluring woman, and the dangerous corners of his own past.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
Jack Reacher lives for the moment. Without a home. Without commitment. And with a burning desire to right wrongs — and rewrite his own agonizing past. DEA Susan Duffy is living for the future, knowing that she has made a terrible mistake by putting one of her own female agents into a death trap within a heavily guarded Maine mansion.
Staging a brilliant ruse, Reacher hurtles into the dark heart of a vast criminal enterprise. Trying to rescue an agent whose time is running out, Reacher enters a crime lord’s waterfront fortress. There he will find a world of secrecy and violence — and confront some unfinished business from his own past.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.79
Everything starts somewhere. For elite military cop Jack Reacher, that somewhere was Carter Crossing, Mississippi, way back in 1997.
Reacher is ordered undercover to investigate the murder of a young woman. Evidence points to a U.S. soldier with powerful friends. Once in Carter Crossing, Reacher meets local sheriff Elizabeth Deveraux, who has a thirst for justice and an appetite for secrets. Uncertain they can trust each other, they reluctantly join forces. Reacher works to uncover the truth, while others try to bury it forever. The conspiracy threatens to shatter his faith in his mission — and turn him into a man to be feared.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
North Carolina. 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 body of the general’s wife.
This stomach-churning thriller turns back the clock to a younger Reacher, in dog tags. A Reacher who still believes in the service. A Reacher who imposes army discipline. Even if only in his own pragmatic way…
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.24
Hired by the Secret Service to test their shield around the new vice president of the United States, ex-military cop Jack Reacher discovers that a team of assassins is already planning a hit on the vice president.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
Jack Reacher was alone, the way he liked it, soaking up the hot, electric New York City night, watching a man cross the street to a parked Mercedes and drive it away. The car contained one million dollars in ransom money because Edward Lane, the man who paid it, would do anything to get his family back.
Lane runs a highly illegal soldiers-for-hire operation. He will use any tool to find his beautiful wife and child. And Jack Reacher is the best manhunter in the world.
On the trail of vicious kidnappers, Reacher learns the chilling secrets of his employer’s past… and of a horrific drama in the heart of a nasty little war. He knows that Edward Lane is hiding something. Something dirty. Something big. But Reacher also knows this: He’s already in way too deep to stop now. And if he has to do it the hard way, he will.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
New York City. Two in the morning. A subway car heading uptown. Jack Reacher, plus five other passengers. Four are okay. The fifth isn’t. And if you think Reacher isn’t going to get involved… then you don’t know Jack.
Susan Mark, the fifth passenger, had a big secret, and her plain little life was being watched in Washington, California, and Afghanistan — by dozens of people with one thing in common: They’re all lying to Reacher. A little. A lot. Or just enough to get him killed. A race has begun through the streets of Manhattan, a maze crowded with violent, skilled soldiers on all sides of a shadow war. For Jack Reacher, a man who trusts no one and likes it that way, the finish line comes when you finally get face-to-face and look your worst enemy in the eye.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
From a helicopter high above the California desert, a man is sent free-falling into the night. On the streets of Portland, Jack Reacher is pulled out of his wandering life and plunged into the heart of a conspiracy that is killing old friends… and the people he once trusted with his life.
Reacher is the ultimate loner — no phone, no ties, no address. But a woman from his old military unit has found him using a signal only the eight members of their elite team would know. Then she tells him a terrifying story about the brutal death of a man they both served with. 
Soon Reacher is reuniting with the survivors of his team, scrambling to unravel the sudden disappearance of two other comrades. But Reacher won’t give up — because in a world of bad luck and trouble, when someone targets Jack Reacher and his team, they’d better be ready for what comes right back at them.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me.
And sure enough, ex-military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. He knows this shooter — a trained military sniper who never should have missed a shot. Reacher is certain something is not right — and soon the slam-dunk case explodes.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.29
There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska… and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First, he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades old, that Reacher can’t let go. 
The Duncans want Reacher gone — and it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment that’s already late — and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world. 
For Reacher, it would have made much more sense to keep on going, to put some distance between himself and the hard-core trouble that’s bearing down on him. For Reacher, that was also impossible.
Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here.

Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected].

source

Leave a Comment