By Sean Tuohy
Stephen King has called Jack Reacher “the coolest character” and the public agrees. For nearly 20 books, the former military cop turned drifter has woven himself into the American literary fabric. Hardboiled and witty, Lee Child’s character is one of the funniest good guys to follow. Tom Cruise also brought the character to the big screen in the recent action film “Jack Reacher.”
Child’s new book, Make Me, hits stands on Sept. 8, so we decided to help those unfamiliar with the Reacher legend by counting down the top five Reacher novels.
As an added bonus, listen to my interview with Lee Child!
5. Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2)
Not surprisingly, this novel starts with Reacher finding himself as the right guy at the wrong time and place. Kidnapped off a city street, he must figure out the identity of his captors and why they took a young FBI agent along with him. One crazed, but smart, villain, some hand guns, and Reacher’s brawn all adds up to a fun read.
4. Without Fail (Jack Reacher # 6)
Someone is trying to kill the second most powerful man in the United States and Reacher must stop him. Again, filled with twist and turns, this book keeps readers on the edge of their seat. Reacher teams up with the Secret Service to track down a group of well-trained assassins before they can strike again.
3. Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher #11)
When Reacher receives a distress call from his former army unit he goes west to solve a mystery and stop an attack on the country. Reacher teams up with his former unit and explores what could have been had he not left the army.
2. Tripwire (Jack Reacher #3)
Jack Reacher travels from Key West, Fla., to New York City when the past reaches out to him. Reacher finds himself in front of a lot of bad guys and too many bullets in this taut thriller. Child brings to life one of his best villains; a hook-handed, high-end bookie with a taste for blood.
1. Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1)
The first Jack Reacher novel has one of the best first chapters in all of modern history. Tight and thrilling, the opening lines smack the reader in the face hard and the rest of the novel keeps on punching.