|First appearance||Killing Floor (March 1997)|
|Created by||Lee Child|
|Portrayed by||Tom Cruise|
|Aliases||Reacher always uses an alias when checking into a hotel. In earlier stories, this was usually the name of a lesser known ex-president. In later stories, he more often used baseball players' names.|
Former US Army Military Police Major
|Family||Stan Reacher (father, deceased)
Josephine Moutier-Reacher (mother, deceased)
Joe Reacher (brother, deceased)
Jack Reacher is a fictional character and the protagonist of a series of books by British author Jim Grant, who writes under the pen name of Lee Child. A former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, Reacher quit at age 36, and roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. A feature film, Jack Reacher, was released on 21 December 2012.
- 1 Fictional biography
- 2 Demeanor and personality
- 3 Skills
- 4 Habits and beliefs
- 5 Physical appearance
- 6 Family
- 7 Acquaintances
- 8 Jack Reacher novel series
- 9 Short stories
- 10 Other authors' works
- 11 In film
- 12 See also
- 13 Notes
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Jack Reacher is a former Major in the United States Army Military Police Corps. He was born on a military base in Berlin on 29 October 1960. A graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, he served 13 years in the Military Police, during which time he became part of a fictional military police unit, the 110th Special Investigations Unit, formed to handle exceptionally tough cases, especially those involving members of the US Army Special Forces.
Though he was demoted from Major to Captain in the prequel novel The Enemy, he regained his rank by the time he mustered out in 1997. He received many military awards during his career, including the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Soldier's Medal, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983.
Since leaving the Army, Reacher has been a drifter. He wanders throughout the US because he was accustomed to being told where to go, when to go and what to do for every day of his life from military childhood to military adulthood. He also felt he never got to know his own country, having spent much of his youth living overseas on military bases and at West Point. He usually travels by hitchhiking or bus. As a drifter, the only possessions he carries are money, a foldable toothbrush and, after 9/11, an expired passport and an ATM debit card.
Regular references are made to the fact that Reacher's given name is Jack, that it is not a nickname for John, and that he has no middle name. His military record officially refers to him as Jack (none) Reacher. From the time he was a boy, his family, even his mother, called him simply "Reacher", an affectation that has stayed with him, but was never given to his brother.
Demeanor and personality
In 61 Hours, it is stated that an Army psychological study of reactions to fear in children showed him as having abnormally fast reflexes and aggression levels at the age of six. Reacher believes that this abnormal level of aggression at that age is due not to genetics (as the Army report suggested) but because he got tired of being frightened, and "trained [him]self out of it".
Reacher has the uncanny ability to know what time it is, at any time of the day, without referring to a clock. He often uses his internal clock as an alarm, enabling him to wake up at any time he chooses. He sometimes uses his "human metronome" ability to countdown and calculate during time-related situations.
It is revealed throughout most of the books in the series, and in particular Bad Luck and Trouble, that Reacher has a fascination with mathematics.
Reacher is highly skilled at fighting, enhanced by in-depth technical and military knowledge. He has experience and skills from various martial arts, although he is not an expert in any particular style. Reacher's favourite techniques include elbow strikes, uppercuts, and headbutts. His experience, skills, knowledge, and strength aid him in fighting as he is sometimes stronger than his opponents but often matched with similar or larger enemies. As revealed in Nothing to Lose, Reacher hates confronting an opponent armed with a knife, believing that he has "no particular talent for it".
He mentally plans his fights using physics in a scientific calculating method. He knows how to break a person's neck with one hand and kill someone with a single punch to the head or chest. In a fight against a 7 ft (2.1 m), 400 lb (180 kg), steroid-using thug, Reacher lifts his opponent into the air and drops him on his head. He once reflected when a fight was about to start that he could defeat his opponent because his foe would be focused on 'the tactical victory [whereas Reacher] lived to piss on the other guy's grave.', Reacher placing greater importance on winning than on how he will win.
Reacher is a skilled marksman. Throughout the novels, Reacher has shown great skill in the use of various types of firearms. In addition to being the only non-Marine to win the US Marine Corps 1000 Yard Invitational rifle competition, he also won the US Army Pistol Championship and served as a pistol instructor. In One Shot, Reacher uses his enhanced intelligence with advanced technical and military knowledge during a long range shooting scene—slowing and counting his heartbeat while calculating wind, humidity, trajectory, speed, energy, and force.
Reacher speaks fluent English and French, with passable Spanish.
Habits and beliefs
In Killing Floor, it is revealed that he has a love for music, especially blues. It was this affinity for the blues that inspired Reacher to get off the bus at the start of Killing Floor and catapulted him into the resulting story. Also in this novel, Reacher's internal monologue reveals that he has a music collection in his head, which he listens to. Reacher had also been to a Blues club on Bleecker Street immediately before the beginning of Gone Tomorrow.
As revealed in Nothing to Lose, Reacher holds no religious beliefs and is openly scornful of the fundamentalist Christianity espoused by the novel's antagonist. Reacher also shows his disdain for religion when in Bad Luck and Trouble he is travelling to Los Angeles via airline, and he states that he does not like Alaskan Airlines "because they put scripture cards on the meal trays."
In Nothing to Lose, Reacher indicates that he has an antipathy towards what he sees as the corruption of traditional spelling, such as the use of "U" for "you", and "lo" for "low".
He wears his clothing for 2–3 days before discarding it, usually purchasing new clothing cheaply from chain outlets. He has no steady income and lives on savings in his bank account and part-time jobs. At various points during the series, his bank account is supplemented by taking money from his enemies (as in Killing Floor and Bad Luck and Trouble). Reacher knows how to drive and enjoys cars, as in Tripwire, Running Blind, Bad Luck and Trouble, and One Shot, although he says he's a bad driver (A Wanted Man) and does not have a drivers license, since he does not have a permanent address.
Since he has no fixed address, Reacher often eats in diners and other inexpensive restaurants. He drinks coffee constantly: "The Reacher brothers' need for caffeine makes heroin addiction look like an amusing little take-it-or-leave-it sideline".
Reacher is 6'5" tall (1.96 m) with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 220 and 250 pounds (100–115 kg). He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural (he reveals in Persuader, he has never been an exercise enthusiast). He is exceptionally strong, has a high stamina, but is not a good runner.
Reacher has various scars, most notably a scar on his abdomen caused by a bombing in Lebanon. He also has a 3–4 inch thin white scar that intersects his shrapnel scar that he received during a knife fight in Gone Tomorrow. Reacher mentions how the rough stitch work from his existing scar helped decrease the severity of his most recent attack. The cut did produce a deep, serious gash that led to Reacher passing out from blood loss. He also has a scar on his chest from a .38 bullet, a tear drop burn scar from close range gunshot that crossed his chest at point blank range, and one on his arm where his brother struck him with a chisel in his youth.
Reacher's maternal grandfather Laurent Moutier was a furniture restorer in Paris. Thirty years old in 1914, he volunteered for the French Army with the outbreak of World War I and fought at Verdun and The Somme. Between 1919 and 1929 he was commissioned to produce wooden legs for wounded veterans. Josephine Moutier was his only child. He died in 1974 at age 90, in his last days facing unflinchingly the approach of death. The young Reacher met him three times and liked him.
Reacher's mother Josephine Moutier Reacher, born in France, was 30 years old when Reacher was born. She met Reacher's father in Korea and married him in the Netherlands. She was widowed in 1988, and died in 1990 at the age of 60 of cancer. When she was only 13, she joined the French Resistance and under the alias "Beatrice" worked with Le Chemin de Fer Humain (the Human Railroad), saving 80 men. She garroted a schoolmate, a boy who threatened to give her up to the Nazis. Josephine Moutier was awarded the Médaille de la Résistance (the Resistance Medal) for her heroism.
Reacher's father (Stan Reacher) was a Marine captain, who served in Korea and Vietnam. His military service kept his family continually moving all around the world to various military bases. He died in 1988. When describing his father, Jack is quoted as saying, "(He was) A plain New Hampshire Yankee with an implacable horror of anything fancy...he had no use for wealth and excess. Very compartmentalized guy. Gentle, shy, sweet, loving man, but a stone-cold killer. Next to him I look like Liberace". After military service, "there was no place left for people like him".
Jack had only one sibling, brother Joe Reacher. Two years older than Jack, Joe was born on a military base in the Philippines. Jack used to help Joe beat up the kids who gave him trouble in school, and vice versa. Joe was also a West Point graduate, and spent five years in military intelligence before joining the US Treasury Department. He never won any of the "good medals", only the "junk awards." Joe died at age 38, having arranged a meeting with a potential investigation subject. Because he was killed in the line of duty, his name can be found on the Treasury's Roll of Honor.
- Elizabeth Deveraux, late thirties, is a former Marine serving as a county sheriff in Carter Crossing, Mississippi in 1997. She appears in The Affair. She was a potential lover for Reacher, as they had sex several times, but ended up drifting apart.
- Karla Dixon, age unknown, possibly late 30s is a forensic accountant; formerly a Major in the Army and part of Reacher's 'Special Investigators Unit', which he formed and led in the 90s. They are reunited in Bad Luck & Trouble and secretly rekindle an affair, which they regret not starting back in the Army. She is described as 'dark, very pretty, comparatively small' and slim. She is extremely good with numbers and shares Reacher's fascination with mathematics.
- General Leon Garber, retired, was Reacher's former commanding officer, mentor and close friend. His only child is Jodie. He helped Reacher in Die Trying, and willed him his house, as his daughter is wealthy, didn't want it and already owns her own New York City home. He also appeared in The Enemy and The Affair, and (through his funeral) in Tripwire.
- Jodie Garber-Jacob, 30, is the daughter of General Leon Garber. She met and fell in love with Reacher when she was 15 and was off-limits to him. In Tripwire, she is divorced, using her married name, working as a corporate attorney and reunites romantically with him after her father's funeral. She and Reacher live together in New York City and upstate New York in Leon's house which was left in his will to Reacher, his surrogate son. She is mentioned in Echo Burning as having moved to Europe. She appeared in Tripwire, and Running Blind (The Visitor in the United Kingdom and Australia).
- Eileen Ann Hutton, age unknown, is a Brigadier General in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps. She and Reacher had a relationship prior to, and featured in, One Shot.
- Dominique Kohl, 29, was a sergeant on the way up assigned to Reacher's unit when he was a captain in the Army. She appeared in Persuader, where Reacher remembers the events that lead to her death ten years earlier.
- Duncan Munro, late thirties, is a member of Reacher's old 110th MP unit. He appears in The Affair.
- Frances Neagley, late thirties, is a partner with a successful private security firm, and former Army Master Sergeant and Military Policeman. She is of medium height, slim, and has dark hair and eyes. She spends large amounts of time in the gym and has a purely platonic relationship with Reacher, not liking to be touched. Her demeanor suggests that she could be considered a female counterpart to Reacher. Rarely impressed, Reacher describes her as sometimes scary. She appeared in Without Fail, The Affair and Bad Luck and Trouble.
- The first page of Bad Luck and Trouble has a dedication "For the real Frances L. Neagley", which refers to real life Frances Neagley, who won a Bouchercon charity auction for the naming rights to a character.
- Stan Lowrey, late thirties, is a member of Reacher's old 110th MP unit. He is handsome, youthful, and full of energy. A kind of man that gets the job done. He appears in Bad Luck and Trouble and The Affair.
- Dave O'Donnell, late thirties, is a member of Reacher's old 110th MP unit. He appears in Bad Luck and Trouble. He is "tall, fair, handsome, like a stockbroker...carries an army blade in one pocket and a pair of ceramic brass-knuckles in the other." The ceramic knuckles are made from a composite stronger than steel, harder than brass and gets past any metal detector. He is meticulous, doesn't mind paperwork, and is usually underestimated because he looks like a white-collar office worker.
- Lieutenant Summer, 25, is an African-American Lieutenant in the Army Military Police. She is petite and slender, and appeared in The Enemy.
- Officer Roscoe, 30, is a police officer, appearing in Killing Floor.
- Holly Johnson, 27, is a newly inducted Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent and former Wall Street stock analyst. She is dark, attractive, self-assured and a knee ligament injury sustained whilst playing soccer requires her to use a cane. She appeared in Die Trying. She is the only daughter of General Johnson, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is the goddaughter of the US President.
- Lisa Harper, 29, is an F.B.I. Agent, stationed at Quantico. She appeared in Running Blind (The Visitor in the United Kingdom and Australia).
- Alice Amanda Aaron, 25, graduated from Harvard Law School, practising law at a legal mission in Pecos, Texas, as penance for coming from a wealthy family. She appeared in Echo Burning.
- Carmen Greer, 30, is a housewife, short, slim, dark-skinned, fine-boned, "maybe 100 pounds". She is married with one child and an abusive husband. She appeared in Echo Burning.
- Mary Ellen Froelich, 35, was a US Secret Service Agent, charged with protecting the Vice-President. She had short fair hair, and is quietly confident. She dated Joe Reacher, before he broke up with her prior to his death. Later she was in a relationship with Jack. She appeared in Without Fail.
- Susan Duffy, early thirties, is a rogue agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. She is pale, slim, and attractive, and appeared in Persuader, where she beds Reacher.
- Vaughan, exact age unknown, is a police officer in Hope, Colorado. She is "probably less than five feet six, probably less than a hundred and twenty pounds, probably less than thirty-five years old" according to Reacher's estimate. Married to a totally incapacitated casualty of the war in Iraq (husband's name is Robert David Vaughan, called David). She befriends Reacher in Nothing to Lose.
- Detective Theresa Lee is a New York City Police Department detective who aids Reacher's take down of an Al-Qaeda team in Gone Tomorrow. They had a brief romantic episode before Reacher left to complete his task.
- Lauren Pauling, early fifties, is an ex-F.B.I. agent who now acts as a private investigator. She often refers to herself as being old. She appears in The Hard Way.
- Susan Turner, early thirties, is a Major in the Army and is the commander of the 110th MP. She is described as a little above average height (5'7"), slender, long dark hair tied back, tanned skin and deep brown eyes. Her face is described as conveying "intelligence and authority and youth and mischief at the same time". Her defining characteristic is her voice ... "warm, a little husky, a little breathy, a little intimate". She appears in 61 Hours and Never Go Back.
Jack Reacher novel series
The Reacher novels are written either in the first-person or third-person. The schedule for the Reacher series, previously one-per-year, was stepped up in 2010 with 61 Hours and Worth Dying For both released in that year.
The United States is the setting for most of the novels so far. The novels are set in locales ranging from New York City and his house on the Hudson River in upstate New York, to Los Angeles to small towns in the Midwestern and Southern United States. To date, Reacher's travels outside the US have taken him to rural England (The Hard Way) and Paris, France, where Reacher visits his dying mother with his brother.
|Date of Publication||1st/3rd Person||Plot|
|March 1997||1st||After hopping off a Greyhound bus to pursue a whim, 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 interested in just clearing his name and getting out. This novel is set in the fictional town of Margrave, Georgia.|
|July 1998||3rd||Just as Reacher helps Holly Johnson, an attractive young woman struggling with her crutches on a Chicago street, they are both kidnapped at gunpoint. 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.|
|July 1999||3rd||Reacher is in Key West, digging pools by hand and moonlighting as a bouncer for a topless bar. He discovers the body of a New York investigator hired by "Mrs. Jacob" to find him. He finds out that she is attorney Jodie Garber, daughter of General Leon Garber, Reacher's mentor and surrogate father in the Army. She wants his help 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 sedentary life.|
|4||The Visitor (published as Running Blind in the US)
|April 2000||3rd||Two women are found dead in their own homes—in baths filled with Army-issue camouflage paint, their bodies completely unmarked—Jack Reacher knew them—and he knows that they both left the Army under dubious circumstances, both victims of sexual harassment. Reacher is under suspicion and arrested; as a former US military policeman, a loner and a drifter, he matches the psychological criminal profile prepared by the FBI Special Agent Julia Lamarr. When another woman is killed the same way, Reacher is released but pressured into helping the murder investigation. He has to find out what they have in common and why someone would kill more.|
|April 2001||3rd||Reacher hitches a ride in Texas. Carmen, the driver, is young, beautiful, and needs help. She has a little girl, is being watched by unseen observers, and has a husband who will beat her when he gets out of jail. At her remote ranch in Echo County there are lies and prejudice, hatred and murder. Her family is hostile, the cops can't be trusted and the lawyers won't help.|
|April 2002||3rd||Reacher arrives in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and is intercepted by Mary Ellen (M. E.) Froelich, a beautiful secret service agent. She has a special request: That Reacher tell her the various ways, were he an actual assassin, in which he could kill the Vice-President; being made aware of any such methods would help her considerably in tightening her security detail in order to protect the Vice-President's life. He accepts the challenge, enlisting old colleague Frances Neagley to help carry out the mission. Suspicious and threatening letters have been sent to the Vice-President and intercepted by his protective team. Together, they attempt to find those responsible.|
|April 2003||1st||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.|
|April 2004||1st||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.|
|April 2005||3rd||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 novel is adapted for the screen in 2012 as Jack Reacher, with Tom Cruise in the title role.|
|10||The Hard Way
|May 2006||3rd||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.|
|11||Bad Luck and Trouble
|April 2007||3rd||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 deduces that the deposit is a signal only the eight former members of his elite team of army investigators would use. Obsessed with math like Reacher, Frances Neagley locates him because of the brutal death of 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 the lives of those Reacher considers family at stake, his usual emotionless demeanor 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 investigation unit back together to get to the bottom of what's going on.|
|12||Nothing to Lose
|March 2008||3rd||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.|
|April 2009||1st||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. 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.|
|March 2010||3rd||In South Dakota, a tourist bus crashes during a savage snow storm with Jack Reacher in it. Reacher 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.|
|15||Worth Dying For
|September 2010 (UK) 19 October 2010 (USA).||3rd||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.|
|27 September 2011||1st||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?|
|17||A Wanted Man
|11 September 2012||3rd||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.|
|18||Never Go Back
|3 September 2013||3rd||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 even to think about.|
|19||Personal||28 August 2014||Someone has taken a long-range shot at the French president but failed to kill him. The suspected sniper has serious skills and is a hard man to find. Reacher tracked him down once and put him in jail. Now he's asked to hunt him again, and put him away permanently.|
Reacher has also appeared in several short stories by Child. "Second Son" and "Deep Down" were both released originally for the Amazon Kindle although "Second Son" was later included in the American & Canadian paperback editions of The Affair, and "Deep Down" with the American & Canadian paperback editions of A Wanted Man. "High Heat" with the American paperback edition of Never Go Back, "Everyone Talks" with the UK edition of Never Go Back.
"Second Son" is a snapshot of the life of Reacher and his family circa 1974, while they are stationed on a military base in Okinawa. Upon arriving they immediately get into deep trouble that is compounded by some bad news. The action is interspersed with contemplative moments, such as when Jack's grandfather, a prosthetic-limb maker and World War I veteran in Paris, recounts that "… a great war leaves a country with three armies: an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves."
Set in 1986. Summoned by military intelligence to Washington, DC, Reacher is sent undercover. The assignment that awaits him: The army is meeting with its Capitol Hill paymasters for classified talks on a new, state-of-the-art sniper rifle for US forces. But vital details about the weapon are leaking from someone at the top of the federal government and probably into the hands of unidentified foreign arms dealers. The prospect of any and every terrorist, mercenary, or dictator's militia getting their hands on the latest superior firepower is unthinkable. Reacher is tasked with infiltrating the top-secret proceedings and revealing the traitor. He targets a quartet of high-powered Army political liaison officers—all of them fast-track women on their way to the top. According to his bosses, it's a zero-danger mission, but Reacher knows that things are rarely what they seem.
"Guy Walks into a Bar..."
The story is set in the moments before the beginning of the novel Gone Tomorrow. Reacher, while at a blues music club, observes what he believes to be the beginning of a kidnapping as part of a Russian mafia dispute. This story was published in The New York Times on 6 June 2009.
"James Penney's New Identity"
The story features Reacher, still in the Army as a captain, helping James Penney, a Vietnam War veteran who has recently been made redundant and had his car stolen. When Penney accidentally becomes a fugitive (after he burns down three houses in the course of deliberately burning down his own as an act of vengeance against his ex-wife), Reacher helps Penney obtain a new identity so he can start a new life. The story has appeared in an anthology.
It is July 1977. Jack Reacher is almost seventeen, and he stops in New York City on the way to visit his brother at West Point. The summer heat is suffocating, the city is bankrupt, and the mad gunman known as Son of Sam is still on the loose. Reacher meets a woman with a problem, and agrees to help her . . . but then the power grid fails and the lights go out, plunging the lawless city into chaos. What does a visiting teenager do in the dark? If that visiting teenager is Jack Reacher, the answer is plenty.
A short story published as part of the UK hardback edition of Never Go Back, the story is told from the perspective of a female detective investigating an alleged shooting. Reacher, while in hospital, relates the events prior to the story beginning.
Reacher is mentioned several times in the Stephen King novel Under the Dome, where he is described by the character Colonel Cox as "the toughest goddam Army cop that ever served, in my humble opinion.". Lee Child's endorsement of Dome appears on the cover of at least one edition of the book.
Reacher is referred to in the 'Hunt for Reacher' series of novels and short stories by Diane Capri, but is never explicitly seen. Capri has said in an interview that the series was inspired by her wondering 'What's [Reacher] doing between books?'
Paramount Pictures hired Academy Award nominated screenwriter Josh Olson to adapt One Shot, under the title Jack Reacher. Christopher McQuarrie, Oscar-winning screenwriter for The Usual Suspects was then brought in to re-write Olson's draft. It was announced in July 2011 that Tom Cruise would play Reacher in the movie. Lee Child was quoted as saying, "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way." All Jack Reacher books have been optioned for film.
- Curtis, Bryan (20 December 2012). "The Curious Case of Lee Child: Before Tom Cruise could become Jack Reacher, Jim Grant had to become Lee Child". Grantland.com. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Cruise goes back to what he does best in Reacher". Daily News (New York). 21 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- Bad Luck and Trouble
- Running Blind
- 61 Hours
- Worth Dying For
- The Affair, Chapter 66
- the CV provided at the start of all Jack Reacher Books published by Bantam
- Echo Burning
- O'Connell, John (2 May 2009). "Review: Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- The Enemy
- Nothing To Lose, Ch. 10, p. 43, "Reacher was no kind of a sprinter. As any kind of a runner, he was pretty slow. His best attempt at speed was barely faster than a quick walk."
- Die Trying, p. 2-3, "He had served thirteen years in the Army, and the only time he was wounded it wasn't with a bullet. It was with a fragment of a Marine sergeant's jawbone."
- Gone Tomorrow
- "Second Son"
- Without Fail, Ch. 11.
- Without Fail, Ch. 11, "He was OK. But he was a freak. No room for people like him anymore."
- See Killing Floor and Without Fail.
- "Characters welcomed! And you can be one, too". Weblogs.sun-sentinel.com.
- "Worth Dying For (Hardcover)". Amazon.co.uk. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- "Worth Dying For (Hardcover)". Amazon.com. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
- "Personal (Jack Reacher 19)". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
- Fresh Blood 3 (October 1999, ISBN 978-1-899344-52-9) a compilation of short mystery stories edited by Mike Ripley and Maxim Jakubowski
- High Heat: A Jack Reacher Novella – http://www.leechild.com/stories/high-heat/
- Chester's Mills police officer Jackie Wettington is revealed to have previously served as a military policewoman in Germany, and she is recommended to Colonel Cox by Reacher.
- "Don'T Know Jack: Interview With Diane Capri | Simplycreating". Sharonkowensimplycreating.wordpress.com.
- McWeeny, Drew (20 October 2010). "Why hasn't Paramount started making Jack Reacher movies?". HitFix. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- Fleming, Mike (15 July 2011). "Tom Cruise Locked To Play Jack Reacher In 'One Shot' For Paramount And Skydance". Deadline. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- Back cover flap of hardback edition of Never Go Back
- Author Lee Child's Official website, McAfee Malware Warning, 23 Dec 2012.
- Jack Reacher (the movie) Official website