The Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child
For those of you who don’t know, Jack Reacher is a character in the Jack Reacher novel series by Lee Child. For more information about Reacher, take a look at our page about Who is Jack Reacher?
In our last post, we took you through the chronology of the Jack Reacher novels in publication date order. This time, we’re highlighting a bit more information about each of the Jack Reacher books. We appreciate that you may have only read a few of the books and instead of finding out a bit more about each book individually via searching the likes of Amazon, we’re bringing you the plots (as shown by Wikipedia) of each of the current 17 BRILLIANT Lee Child novels about Jack Reacher:
Killing Floor (March 1997)
After hopping off a Greyhound bus to pursue a whim (finding out what happened to a musician, “Blind Blake”). Reacher is arrested and charged with murder. After an attempt on his life while being held over the weekend in a state prison, Reacher is determined to figure out what happened. Later he finds out that the person he was framed for murdering was Joe Reacher, his brother. Unknowingly, Jack Reacher had stumbled into one of the biggest counterfeiting schemes in the United States. Subsequently, he takes on the vicious and ruthless butchers of a well established town gang operating a massive counterfeit notes racket. This novel is set in the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia.
Die Trying (July 1998)
While helping Holly Johnson, an attractive young woman struggling with her crutches on a Chicago street, they turn around only to discover two handguns pointing at them. Reacher and the woman are thrown into a dark van and taken 2000 miles across America, completely unaware why they were kidnapped and where they are going. Finding themselves trapped in a seemingly remote place, they must work together to find the answers.
Tripwire (July 1999)
Hanging around in Key West, digging pools by hand and moonlighting as a bouncer for a topless bar, Reacher finds himself wanted in New York by a Mrs. Jacob. She turns out to be the divorced wealthy attorney Jodie Garber, daughter of General Leon Garber, Reacher’s mentor and surrogate father in the Army. Jodie hired an investigator to find Reacher because her father was dying. Jack and Jodie begin investigating her father’s last project, a search on behalf of the elderly parents of their military MIA son. They soon find themselves hunted by a psychopath businessman and military criminal crippled in the Vietnam War, who has a shadowy business and other secrets to protect. Reacher inherits a house and a steady girlfriend, and contemplates the joys of sedentary life.
The Visitor (April 2000) (also published as Running Blind in the US)
It’s tough being a high-flying woman in the Army. Very tough. When Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cook are found dead in their own homes—in baths filled with Army-issue camouflage paint, their bodies completely unmarked—Jack Reacher is under suspicion. He knew them both—and he knows that they both left the Army under dubious circumstances, both victims of sexual harassment. A former U.S. military policeman, a loner and a drifter, he matches the psychological profile prepared by the FBI, and is arrested by ambitious Special Agent Julia Lamarr. But when the body of another woman, Sergeant Lorraine Stanley, is discovered, killed with similar precision, Reacher is released. Everyone fears there is a serial killer on the loose. But the FBI know something in Reacher’s past and have strong persuasive powers. Before long Reacher finds himself heavily involved in the murder investigation. He has to find out what these women have in common and why someone is out to do them harm.
Echo Burning (April 2001)
Hitching rides is an unreliable mode of transport. In temperatures of over a hundred degrees, you’re lucky if a driver will open the door of his air-conditioned car long enough to let you slide in. That’s Jack Reacher’s conclusion. He’s adrift in the fearsome heat of a Texas summer, and he needs to keep moving through the wide open vastness, like a shark in the water. The last thing he’s worried about is exactly who picks him up. He never expected it to be somebody like Carmen. She’s alone, driving a Cadillac. She’s beautiful, young and rich. She has a little girl who is being watched by unseen observers. And a husband who is in jail. Who will beat her senseless when he comes out. If he doesn’t kill her first. Reacher is no stranger to trouble. And at Carmen’s remote ranch in Echo County there is plenty of it: lies and prejudice, hatred and murder. Reacher can never resist a lady in distress. Her family is hostile, the cops can’t be trusted and the lawyers won’t help.
Without Fail (April 2002)
Reacher arrives in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after hitching a ride with a couple of aging musicians. He is accosted there by Mary Ellen (M. E.) Froelich, a beautiful secret service agent who managed to track him down. She has a special request for him: she consults him on how he could kill the Vice-President; countering those methods would help her considerably in her job: protecting the Vice-President. He accepts the challenge, and enlists old colleague Frances Neagley to help carry out the mission. Froelich asked Reacher’s assistance on this matter because of suspicious and threatening letters which had been sent to the Vice-President but instead intercepted by his protective team. Together, they attempt to find the ones responsible.
Persuader (April 2003)
Walking along the street, Reacher sees Quinn, a man who should be dead. Reacher is a man who hates unfinished business. Ten years ago, a key investigation went sour and Francis Xavier Quinn got away with murder. Now a chance encounter outside Boston’s Symphony Hall brings it all back. And Reacher sees his one last shot to finish what was started all those years ago.
The Enemy (April 2004)
On New Year’s Day, 1990, in a North Carolina motel, a two-star general is found dead. Within minutes, Reacher is ordered to contain the situation. But things soon escalate when Reacher discovers the general’s briefcase is missing and within hours, the general’s wife is killed. Reacher soon finds himself embroiled in a complex game of tug of war between powerful men in the United States Army, and beyond.
One Shot (April 2005)
In an innocent heartland city, five murders with six shots are done by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest a suspect, and build a slam-dunk case with iron-clad evidence. But the accused man claims he’s innocent and says “Get Jack Reacher.” Reacher himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defence is immensely relieved; but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked by the request of the accused, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man’s guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for.
The Hard Way (May 2006)
After witnessing an exchange of $1,000,000. Jack Reacher is hired by the underhanded director of a private military firm to rescue his wife and stepchild, who appear to have been kidnapped. While Reacher uncovers clues that might lead to a rescue, he learns about the director’s dubious past which involves a murderous plot against two ex-associates.He meets a beautiful ex-FBI agent converted to private investigator who assists him in the investigation to unveil the shocking truth, and ultimately engages in a showdown on a farm in Norfolk, England. The novel is set primarily in New York City.
Bad Luck and Trouble (April 2007)
Reacher is content with his choice of being a loner, a wanderer and being almost impossible to find. But someone makes a small anonymous deposit into his bank account, which triggers Reacher’s fixation for math and his investigative instincts. Reacher finds out the deposit is a signal only the eight former members of his elite team of army investigators would know. Obsessed with math like Reacher, Frances Neagley locates him because of the brutal death of a one of their own. They race to reunite with the survivors of their old team and raise the living, bury the dead, and connect the dots in a mystery that grows more complex with more murders. With tortured murders and lives at stake of those Reacher considers family, his usual emotionless demeanour breaks and he says of the killers, “They are dead men walking.” The team falls into their old roles and routines with ease, their motto still their sacred rule: You do not mess with the Special Investigators. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Reacher gets his old investigations unit back together to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
Nothing to Lose (March 2008)
Based in Colorado, travelling from the town of Hope to the town of Despair, it soon becomes clear that Reacher is an unwelcome visitor in a town with a lot of secrets to hide. Reacher cannot resist the opportunity to explore these secrets further, especially the peculiar town owner who has employed the majority of the population to work within his recycling factory.
Gone Tomorrow (April 2009)
Reacher takes the subway late at night, and routinely checks his fellow passengers. Four are okay, but the fifth is not. Checking against his mental list for suicide bombers, he comes to the conclusion that the fifth is one too. He is puzzled with her choice of timing and place, as it is not crowded; on the contrary the subway was exceedingly empty. He reasons with her, but she shoots herself; thereby proving Reacher wrong when he concluded she was a bomber. He is determined to discover why she killed herself and soon uncovers a massive conspiracy stretching from California to New York City to even Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation of that country.
61 Hours (March 2010)
In South Dakota, a tourist bus crashes during a savage snow storm with Jack Reacher in it. Jack gets caught up in a hunt for a murderer and the protection of a key witness. Meanwhile, a link to Reacher’s past comes to his aid and brings a path to redemption.
Worth Dying For (September / October 2010)
Reacher arrives late one night in a rural Nebraska town. In the town’s fading motel bar he overhears a drunk doctor’s refusal to attend a domestic abuse. The victim of the abuse is married to the scion of the Duncan clan, which holds that part of Nebraska in its grip, keeping the population cowed and docile. Reacher talks the doctor into doing the right thing, and ends up embroiled in a smuggling ring and an unsolved disappearance from twenty-five years prior.
The Affair (September 2011)
March 1997. Six months before the events of Killing Floor. Jack Reacher is still in the army. And there’s big trouble in a small town in Mississippi, where a soldier’s girlfriend is found with her throat cut from ear to ear. Local trouble? Or is the killer from nearby Fort Kelham, a giant base used by elite Army Rangers? In 1997, Reacher’s orders are: go undercover, keep your distance, monitor the investigation. Eventually the army’s official investigation produces a cast-iron prime suspect—and so does Reacher’s undercover search. But Reacher’s answer is not the same as the army’s. If he keeps quiet, will he be able to live with himself? And if he speaks out, will the army be able to live with him?
A Wanted Man (September 2012)
Four people in a car, hoping to make Chicago by morning. One man driving, eyes on the road. Another man next to him, telling stories that don’t add up. A woman in the back, silent and worried. And next to her, a huge man with a broken nose, hitching a ride east to Virginia. An hour behind them, a man lies stabbed to death in an old pumping station. He was seen going in with two others, but he never came out. He has been executed, the knife work professional, the killers vanished. Within minutes, the police are notified. Within hours, the FBI descends, laying claim to the victim without ever saying who he was or why he was there. All 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 that makes him a threat—to both sides at once.
Buying The Jack Reacher Series
Having read the whole Jack Reacher series, I can tell you now that the actual novels are just as good as the plots above make them sound! If not, better!! And I’m sure for other viewers of this fan site, if you haven’t had the luxury of reading a Jack Reacher novel yet – you really should give one a go!!