Books Like Jack Reacher

Books Like Jack Reacher

With 23 novels already published at the time of writing this article, there can be no doubt about the enduring popularity of Jack Reacher. Even the author, Lee Child, couldn't predict the success that the books would have as he began writing them purely because he lost his job and needed a form of income. With Jack Reacher, he has created an ex-military cop trying to make a living in the civilian world, but always ending up in some kind of trouble as he tries to right wrongs. Child was obviously not the first author to come up with an action here who appears when needed and then vanishes off into the sunset after saving the day, but his character definitely ranks amongst the best. Luckily for readers who have already devoured all the books in the Jack Reacher series, there are a few titles from other authors that are similar. Here are some of the books like Jack Reacher that are worth checking out.

The Jack Ryan Series

by Tom Clancy


Although they share the same first name, Jack Ryan lacks the pure brute strength that Jack Reacher has. However, this hasn't prevented him from taking down his fair share of bad guys. Ryan was a former Marine officer until he sustained a terrible back injury, but has managed to save the world on multiple occasions despite this handicap. While Jack Reacher is a loner that prefers to stay far away from the limelight, Jack Ryan isn't afraid to step up and has even gone on to become the President of the United States in the books. Nobody can deny the skills of Jack Reacher, but he has some catching up to do if he wants to compete with the resume of Jack Ryan. The Jack Ryan series started in 1984 with The Hunt for Red October and is still going strong, even after author Tom Clancy passed away. 

The Alex McKnight Series

by Steve Hamilton


Alex McKnight lacks the military background of Jack Reacher, but this former Detroit police officer still has what it takes to solve crimes. Like Reacher, he is a loner who prefers his own company, but always ends up with trouble finding him. McKnight retired from the force after the death of his partner in a violent shooting incident, but reluctantly makes a living as a private investigator to make ends meet. Despite picking a remote North Michigan town as his stomping round, McKnight still finds plenty of trouble crossing his path. Steve Hamilton started writing the series in 1998 with A Cold Day in Paradise, and has been going strong ever since. 

The Mitch Rapp Series

by Vince Flynn


Mitch Rapp first burst onto the scene in 1999 with the book Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn. Since then, he has gone on to headline a new book almost every year and shows no signs of slowing down. Readers just can't get enough of the hard hitting counter terrorism operative and his brutal efficiency has made him a firm favorite amongst action fans. Just like Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp is not afraid to get his hands dirty, but instead of fighting for the downtrodden he is employed by the CIA. Rapp got his start in the business after his girlfriend was killed in a terrorist attack, but even after exacting revenge on them he has made it his mission to fight terrorism at home and abroad.

The Bourne Series

by Robert Ludlum


Jason Bourne, who was created by author Robert Ludlum, may not have as many novels about him as Jack Reacher, but he is every bit as popular and capable. Ludlum wrote the three original novels in the Bourne series, which has since been extended after his death by Eric Van Lustbader. The books started with The Bourne Identity in 1980, which introduced readers to a man named Jason Bourne suffering from retrograde amnesia. Although he doesn't remember much about himself and his past, Bourne is definitely capable of some incredible feats when it comes to survival, which comes in handy seeing as the CIA along with a number of other shadowy groups want him dead. 

The Elvis Cole / Joe Pike Books

by Robert Crais


The Elvis Cole / Joe Pike books written by author John Rain should also be on the must-read list of all Jack Reacher fans, seeing as Lee Child himself has described Rain as one of his favorite American crime writers. The novels began in 1987, with The Monkey's Raincoat, which introduced readers to the ex-Ranger turned private investigator Elvis Cole and his partner Joe Pike. Rain has continued to write about this duo ever since, winning numerous awards along the way. Just like Jack Reacher, Elvis Cole has a very strict code of morals when it comes to helping those in need and his partner Pike is a man that will let nothing stand in his way when it comes to getting a job done. Cole is tough, but Pike who is an ex-marine as well as part time mercenary is even tougher, which makes them quite a formidable duo.