The TV series Reacher has been an absolute success. It’s one of the best shows adapted from a famous novel, and Amazon’s most streamed show of 2023. Alan Ritchson gives a charismatic performance as the lead, and the supporting characters in the first two seasons are working, especially Neagley (Maria Stein), Finlay (Malcolm Goodwin), and Roscoe (Wila Fitzgerald).
- Release Date
- February 4, 2022
- Alan Ritchson , Maria Sten , Malcolm Goodwin , Willa Fitzgerald
After the second season’s ending, and knowing each 10 episode season covers a book, the biggest question is which book could be adapted next? There have been 28 Jack Reacher books published, so there’s a lot of material to choose from. The film franchise led by Tom Cruise adapted One Shot (book 9) and Never Go Back (book 18), and Reacher adapted Killing Floor (book 1) and Bad Luck and Trouble (book 11). Let’s take a look at which books season three could adapt next.
10 Past Tense – Book 23
Past Tense looks into Reacher’s past. This time, he goes to the town where his father spent his childhood, Laconia, New Hampshire. The problem is, there never was a Reacher in that town. From there on, the character discovers much more about his past while getting in trouble with a corrupt local farmer and a Boston crime syndicate.
Exploring the Reacher Family and their Origin
The first season explored Reacher’s brother, so this season would help explore deeper the character’s family and their origin. This book is also one of the most adrenaline-fueled of them all. It would make for a non-stop action story that would keep audiences engaged, episode after episode. The ending would also help audiences understand the character a bit more.
9 Gone Tomorrow – Book 13
Reacher is on the New York subway when he sees a woman who has many of the traits of a suicide bomber. When he tries to help her, she kills herself. The NYPD wants to close the case, but Reacher feels different, so he starts investigating on his own. What he finds is much bigger and more complicated than he thought.
Reacher Goes to the Big City
Another big conspiracy story, this time in the Big Apple, as Reacher goes against politicians, federal agents, Russians, and Al-Qaeda. The biggest draw of this story would be seeing the character in a big city, where his nomadic ways might feel even stranger than usual. The story has so many twists and turns that it might need a bit of streamlining for a 10-episode season. Gone Tomorrow has Reacher at his most intelligent and strong, making for an interesting duality that still hasn’t been explored fully in the TV series.
8 The Affair – Book 16
Set in the past, when Reacher was still in his military days, a body is discovered that might be related to the people on a nearby military base. The character is the one charged with investigating without making any noise. This might be Reacher’s origin story, as there’s an explanation of why he left the service, a real romantic interest, and him getting in trouble with his superiors because he has honor.
Reacher’s Origin Story
Some felt season two had too many clichés, so this would be a way to change the pace. Even if it’s in the past, Ritchson would be playing the character, as he did in the most recent season’s flashbacks. The story is much darker than most, as it deals with sexual assault, racism, and how those in power who do bad things usually don’t get punished for them. This book also has what might be Reacher’s biggest love story, as he starts falling for Sheriff Devereaux, who is as intelligent as he is. Neagley is also part of The Affair, and having Maria Stein appear as the character is always a win for the TV series.
7 A Wanted Man – Book 17
Reacher hitchhikes in Nebraska and gets picked up by two men and a woman. The more time he spends with them, the more he starts getting suspicious that those men have kidnapped the woman and are fleeing the scene after killing a man. From there, many twists and turns happen, as nothing is what it looks like.
Things Start Tense and Escalate from There
Reacher’s hitchhiking has put him in so much trouble over the years that he should use more buses. This time, the FBI, CIA, and national security are involved in the mystery as things start to tense and escalate from there. This book would be a good adaptation if the creators wanted to do a season similar to the second one, even if, this time, there wouldn’t be any personal attachment by Reacher to what’s happening around him.
6 Echo Burning – Book 5
The fifth book in the series starts as one of those “a case falls in Reacher’s lap” while he’s traveling. He hitches a ride with a Hispanic woman named Carmen, whose abusive husband had just been released from jail. She’s scared and asks Reacher to kill him. He says no but accepts to be her bodyguard for a bit. Can he trust her?
A More Character-Driven Story
This story could be called Texas Reacher, as it all happens in that great state. It’s also a more character-driven book than most, and the relationship between the character and Carmen’s six-year-old daughter, Ellie, shows he’s just a big, hulking softie at heart. Even then, there’s plenty of violence, crooked politicians, hitmen, and some past murders that scream conspiracy.
5 61 Hours – Book 14
Snow, a biker gang selling methamphetamines, and the first time a recurring character appears. What is not to love? Reacher ends up in Bolton, South Dakota, helping the local police keep a retired librarian, Jane Salter, safe. The old woman is the only one brave enough to testify against the biker gang.
A Change of Scenery in a Snowy Town
This story would be a chance of scenery for the show, as it all happens in a snowy town. The whole book is all action, all adrenaline, all the time, continuing the trend of the first two seasons. Although the third and final part of the book would make it memorable, 61 Hours also has the first appearance by recurring character, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders in Jack Reacher: Never Look Back), with whom the lead character has a more than flirty relationship via phone.
4 Without Fail – Book 6
Reacher is in Atlantic City when Secret Service Agent M.E. Froelich finds him and asks him for help. The vice president is receiving death threats, and she wants Reacher to do an investigation into it. She’s also his brother’s old girlfriend, who is still in love with his deceased brother.
Political Thriller Reacher
Reacher’s brother’s death was one of the more emotional posts that the first season rested on. It would be very interesting to see how he’s been dealing with it all this time later and maybe revisit some of their old interactions. This book is more political thriller, making for an interesting change of pace from the first two seasons, as it’s a genre full of twists and conspiracies. If all that wasn’t enough, who might be the best character in the show, Neagley (Maria Stein), comes back to help Reacher.
3 Worth Dying For – Book 15
Reacher is in Nebraska, sleeping for a night, when he discovers the whole town is dominated and extorted by the Duncans. The clan has Nebraska Cornhuskers’ offensive linemen as enforcers, and also has contacts in Las Vegas with Italian and Iranian mobs. One of those men is tough enough to break Reacher’s nose.
One Man Against a Whole Clan
Even if the Cruise version of Reacher didn’t work, McQuarrie wanted to adapt this book for the sequel, and it makes perfect sense as it’s tailor-made for a charismatic star. Here, Reacher is alone for most of the book, having only himself to trust. He also has to face some of the best villains in the whole saga, the Duncan clan. The bad guys are violent and cruel, and don’t mind killing for profit, making Reacher go against them even more pleasurable than usual.
2 Tripwire – Book 3
When the book starts, Reacher lives in Florida, working as a pool digger by day and a strip club bouncer by night. If that wasn’t enough, the villain who wants to end him has a hook for a hand, and its named “Hook” Hobie. What else is needed? It’s also one of the most beloved stories by the book fans. After a private investigator is killed, Reacher travels to New York to uncover what case the P.I. was investigating and how he’s related to it.
The Detective Version of Reacher
This story is where Reacher is more of a detective than a man who punches first and asks questions later, and that would be a different flavor for the show. There are also Vietnam flashbacks, a much worse torture-prone villain than the TV series has ever seen, and a surprising, if almost unbelievable, ending.
1 Die Trying – Book 2
A woman in Chicago is having trouble carrying her laundry as she’s also on crutches. Reacher helps her, and all of a sudden, they both get kidnapped, put in a van, and taken into a mountain community thousands of miles away. Thankfully, the woman is an FBI agent, and she’ll become his best partner in trying to solve what’s really happening.
Wrong Time, Wrong Place… for the Kidnappers
Reacher’s first season adapted the first book, so it makes perfect sense they should adapt book two next. The fact that Die Trying is a wrong place, wrong time kind of story would also give the show a different set of stakes, as both seasons have been personal for Reacher. The character is one of Ritchson’s best performances, and having him be almost alone against the world would be an interesting challenge for the actor. FBI agent Holly Johnson is not only a great partner for him, but also a strong, smart character in his own right. Someone who could be played by Minka Kelly, with whom Ritchson has chemistry in spades, as shown in Titans.