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Publication Order of Jack Reacher Books

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Chronological Order of Lee Child Books:

1: Second Son (Short Story)
2: High Heat (Short Story)
3: The Enemy
4: Night School
5: The Affair

Then read it in publication order.

Lee Child Biography:

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Lee Child is best known for his main character, Jack Reacher. In fact, Lee Child has written 17 “Jack Reacher” books. These are best described as thrillers and in 2012, Tom Cruise starred as the main character in a movie titled, simply, “Reacher.” Lee Child has also been the recipient of several awards including the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery for his first Jack Reacher novel, “Killing Floor.” Another Reacher novel, “The Enemy”, won the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. With all of these accolades one would think Lee Child was born to be an author. But as usually is the case, his success story has many twists and turns that lead him on the path to writing his best selling novels and to ultimately create this alluring character.

Born Jim Grant on October 29, 1954 in Coventry England, Child and his family moved to Birmingham when he was four years old. At the age of 20, in 1974, Child entered Law School in Sheffield, England. It is said that he never intended to actually practice law. Upon graduation, he decided instead to get a job in commercial television and joined Granada TV in Manchester. Child would end up working there for 18 years before being fired as a result of “corporate restructuring.” During that time he wrote countless commercials, news stories and trailers. It was 1995 and Child was 40 years old. After purchasing six dollars worth of paper and pencils, he decided to try his hand at writing. Lee Child then wrote his first Reacher novel, “Killing Floor.” Reacher novels are not the only works that Lee Child has published. He has also written the short stories, “Second Son” and “Deep Down.” These are now available as eBooks.

Child moved to New York in the summer of 1998. This is where he met his wife, Jane. It is to her that his 2012 book, “A Wanted Man” is dedicated. Together they have a grown daughter, an apartment in Manhattan and a home in the south of France. Child also counts his numerous plane rides between his two domiciles as his “third home.” His brother, Andrew Grant is also a thriller novelist.

In his spare time, Child likes to read, listen to music and watch the New York Yankees. He was elected President of the Mystery Writers of America in 2009. He is also available for speaking engagements and has his own website, www.leechild.com.

Never before has one character – especially from a book – become such an enigma. As one reads these novels, an immediate image of who Jack Reacher is and what he looks like can be visualized. Jack Reacher has his own biography and statistics. He was born on October 29th with no middle name. This is referenced a few times throughout the books. Reacher frequently tells people his name on his birth certificate is “Jack None Reacher.” He is a large man – extremely large and ominous – weighing between 220 and 250 pounds and standing 6 and a half feet tall. His chest is 50 inches across and he wears a size 3XL coat and the inseam on his pants measures 95 centimeters. Born on an Army base in Berlin, Jack Reacher and his brother Joe moved around a lot as kids. Now both his mother and his father and his brother are all deceased. Reacher left home at the age of eighteen and then graduated from West Point. He served 13 years in the Army bouncing from Major down to Captain and finally back up to Major before leaving the service in 1997. Reacher has no drivers license, receives no Federal Benefits and will not file taxes. It is often wondered what he does for money. He is a decorated military serviceman. Reacher buried his Silver Star with his Mother and has also received the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star and Purple Heart, to name a few. To say he has special “skills” is probably an understatement.

In many of the novels, Reacher is in the wrong place at the wrong time but ends up using his skills to solve even the most perilous situations. In “Killing Floor”, for example, the first of the Reacher novels, Reacher is arrested for murder shortly after arriving in Margrave, Georgia. The victim happens to be his own brother who he has not seen in seven years. It does not help that the main eyewitness happens to be the police chief who claims to have seen Reacher at the scene. Reacher knows he was boarding a bus in Tampa at the time. With the help of a Harvard-graduate chief detective and a female officer, Reacher traces his brother’s steps to solve the mystery. Of course this all happens in a span of only three days. This superb adventure easily captivates the reader and creates a relationship with Reacher that is hard to forget.

In the second Reacher novel, “Die Trying,” a Chicago dentist is attacked and thrown into the trunk of his own car. Coincidentally, Reacher and a woman he does not even know are taken hostage in the light of day. Ever the gentleman, Reacher was only “with” this woman because she was limping and struggling on her crutches and of course he stopped to help her. Turns out she is an FBI agent. They are taken hostage for ransom. Together, Reacher and this woman must work together and act as a team to get out of their predicament. As only Reacher can do, he relates to this woman and uses his charm and wit, not to mention his incredible intelligence and skills, to not only get them out safely, but also take down the criminals.

The good thing about Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels is that they can be read in any order. Lee Child provides enough background in each book to bring the reader current without sounding repetitive and redundant.

With all of these thrilling, often crazy and sometimes unimaginable situations that Jack Reacher finds himself in just during the course of his every day life, it is easy to see how a reader can get sucked in, and really not mind. It is what makes each and every novel special. It is what makes Lee Child a truly gifted master at story-telling.

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