Monday, April 1, 2024

Reviewing Reacher - The Book and the Amazon Series

Lee Child created an intriguing character when he wrote the story of Jack Reacher in the military thriller titled Killing Floor. This first book in his Reacher series includes a cast of memorable characters and a mysterious murder (string of murders) case that is very difficult to solve. The twists and turns keep everyone guessing and suspicious of each other.  

Alan Ritchson, Reacher

Amazon has brought that book to life in a streaming series that is binge-worthy. When my friends ask for recommendations for a weekend of binging, I always recommend the Reacher season 1 series. Thank you Amazon for bringing a breathing, walking, talking Jack Reacher into homes everywhere. I love it when the movie/television version stays true to the book. 

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, book 1) by Lee Child

The book. Many years ago I read Killing Floor by Lee Child. The story was about a Veteran (ex-military police) named Jack Reacher. Reacher is a drifter who goes to a small Georgia town because at some point in time his brother mentioned a Blues Singer named Blind Blake. And in this fictional story Blind Blake had history in Margrave, Georgia. 

Reacher is in Margrave for less than an hour when he is arrested for a murder that occurred along the highway just before he walked into town. 

I devoured Killing Floor and then the 2nd book in the series. I remember enjoying Lee Child's descriptive writing and his characters. Somehow, probably busy with life, I did not continue the book series. And I am surprised (but not surprised) to find that Lee Child's series has continued to almost 30 books in the Reacher series!  I have resumed reading about this drifting, giant Veteran who always tries to do the right thing - which often eventually means being left with the only option of fighting and killing the bad guys.

The author. Lee Child (James Dover Grant's pen name) is a profilic writer. He has a huge fan base. He is reportedly one of the world's leading thriller authors. Lee Child refers to his stories as revenge stories - someone does something horrific and Reacher gets revenge. Child has said that he writes novels because they are the "purest form of entertainment". Others report that his style is commercial and focused on profitability. I'm okay with that. Gripping and entertaining is going to result in profitability. 

Lee Child fans might be interested to know that he makes a brief, cameo appearance in the season 1 finale.  

Reacher (Season 1) on Amazon

The Series. My excitement about Jack Reacher resumed in 2021 when my oldest son told me that the book had been made into an Amazon original series. I had not been at all interested in seeing the 2012 Jack Reacher version starring Tom Cruise. There is no way that I'd be able to forget Cruise and believe that he was Jack Reacher. But my son assured me that this Amazon series starred someone else and that the series was good. Skeptically, I watched. And then impatiently looked forward to each weekly installment. 

Alan Ritchson plays Jack Reacher. I think he's perfect for the role! I'm not familiar with Alan Ritchson so it is easy to allow him to become the Reacher that Lee Child described. Ritchson is big man and delivers a believable portrayal of a tough, skilled investigator. 

As happens in the book, Jack Reacher gets off the bus in a small town in Georgia and is not able to taste his peach pie when the local police roll up, sirens and lights, and arrest him for murder. "Reacher, why does trouble always find you?" his mother tells him during a flashback in time as they settle into their newest home. Reacher and his brother are military brats. His own military career includes being the head of a special investigators unit.

Reacher is attention-grabbing on his own. How much better to be surrounded by other unique characters.

Chief Detective Oscar Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin) -  Finlay has transplanted from Boston to Margrave, Georgia. Why does a Harvard graduate, tweed-suit-wearing, talented detective move to an extremely small police force in Georgia where no one looks like him, sounds like him, and he is clearly the outsider where everyone else has lived all their lives. It takes us awhile to find out why this very talented urban detective has moved to a "quiet", small, southern town.

Roscoe Conklin  (Willa Fitzgerald) - Roscoe is a pretty, young officer whose family has lived in Margrave since it was founded. However, she doesn't have any family left. When her parents died when she was very young, Roscoe was raised by her grandmother. And Chief Detective Gray helped looked after her but he has also since passed away. "I feel bad about the Margrave welcome wagon running you over" she says to Reacher as she's getting to know him.

Roscoe, Finlay, and Reacher form an alliance to try to catch the murderers.

Frances Neagley  (Maria Sten) - Neagley is a beautiful, tough, no-nonsense member of Reacher's disbanded Special Investigators team. She realizes he's in trouble and comes to help her former boss with her very special military talents. I LOVE watching Neagley in action. She is probably Reacher's best friend (not that he admits to having friends).

You can find Reacher, Season 1 - an Amazon original series here. 

I have binged seasons 1 and 2 (repeatedly) and look forward to season 3's release. If you like shoot-em-up, murder mystery, action thrillers and haven't yet seen Reacher, I highly recommend that you do. 

Parental Warnings. As with many action thrillers, this series includes violence, language, and nudity. Please look up parental guides to find more specific information.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I have not read the books, but I definitely watched the series on Amazon! Like you, I did not see Cruise as believable and I didn't even have the background info from the book to base that opinion on. However, I did find Alan Ritchson totally believable.

  2. Sounds like a very watchable series and definitely in my wheelhouse of genres. I have somehow never read the books, although I have seen them on bookshelves in the past. Perhaps it is time to introduce myself to the Reacher Books and series. Thanks for the 'heads-up', Dawn Rae.

  3. Your excellent review has gotten me really interested in this series! My concern is that it might be too violent for me, but I may ask my husband (who has a higher threshold for violence in entertainment) to preview it for me and let me know whether he thinks I would enjoy it.

  4. We loved the Reacher series and yes, it is binge worthy. Never a dull moment from the start right through to the very end. I just wish it didn't stop! I keep hoping they will continue this series. Great recommendation Dawn Rae!

  5. My hubby has watched several of these. I did manage to catch a few as well. I'm a fan of the Reacher series but have never actually read any of the books.


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