What Are the Jack Reacher Series Novels About?


Quick Answer

The Jack Reacher series of novels, written by British author Lee Child, focuses on the eponymous hero Jack Reacher, a former military officer turned drifter. In his wide-ranging travels around the United States, Reacher investigates dangerous situations and offers help to those in need.

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Full Answer

Born to a military family, Reacher spends his childhood on various bases around the world before enrolling in the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduating, Reacher spends 13 years in the military police before leaving the service in 1997. Upon leaving the military, Reacher becomes a drifter, wandering the country seemingly at random. Throughout the course of his travels, Reacher is thrust into dangerous situations, often against his will. For example, in “Killing Floor,” the first novel in the series, Reacher steps off a bus in Georgia to search out an obscure blues singer, only to be arrested and charged with a murder he did not commit.

At other times, different military organizations solicit Reacher’s assistance. In “Without Fail,” the Secret Service request his expertise to help defend the Vice President against a possible assassination attempt. In “Personal,” a Special Forces general recruits Reacher to investigate a long-range assassination attempt against the French president, which was likely committed by a sharpshooter Reacher once sent to prison. In all his adventures, Reacher uses both his intellect and his physical prowess to stay alive.

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