Jack Reacher

Author: Lee Child

Jack Reacher was born into a military family and spent his childhood moving from country to country and from base to base. As a young man he was educated at West Point and became a military policeman rising to the rank of Major. He is a decorated soldier, and a giant of a man, with a strong sense of right and wrong. He is a formidable fighter, fearless and invincible.

Almost all of these novels - but not absolutely all - are set after Reacher is honourably discharged. As a reaction to having spent his entire life under army orders, he lives his life completely under the radar. He has no home, no possessions other than his toothbrush, and travels the United States using his army pension to pay for hotels, food, and the inexpensive, workmanlike clothes that he throws away rather than launder. With no credit card, driving licence or passport, Reacher (always Reacher, never Jack) seems to have disappeared from view, and he likes it that way.

So, what's the story? Reacher runs into trouble wherever he goes. As you might expect there is normally a romantic interest (but these novels are not in any way erotic) and there is always a villain - kidnap, bribery, larceny, corruption, forgery or drugs. Reacher gets caught up by accident in almost every case, but he is, underneath it all, a policeman through and through and he doesn't back down.

Reacher still has a few contacts in high places, and seems able to call in a few favours along the way. He also has an almost legendary reputation in the military, and this enables him to gain the respect and co-operation of the various agencies in the US whose paths he crosses along the way. He is, however, irreverent, independent and violent, and in his M.P. days has been promoted and demoted several times: he does not respect rank alone, it has to be combined with capability and achievement.

We can't put these books down once we've started one. Lee Child needs to write more quickly, because we're completely up to date and waiting for the next one. It's quite likely that you'll be hooked too: the plots are complex enough to be challenging, but Reacher is also a good old-fashioned hero who always prevails. He satisfies our sense of natural justice, breaking the rules frequently in order to make right what is wrong, but is fundamentally a good man.

These books are amongst our all-time favourites and get a full five book score - we don't give that often but these really are exceptionally good reads.

 Books in order

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

11

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Killing Floor

Die Trying

Tripwire

The Visitor

Echo Burning

Without Fail

Persuader

The Enemy

One Shot

The Hard Way

Bad Luck & Trouble

Nothing To Lose

Gone Tomorrow

61 Hours

Worth Dying For

The Affair

A Wanted Man

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2010

2011

2012

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