Mystery novel protagonist-Jack Reacher

What makes a good protagonist? Skip that question. Good isn’t good enough for the main guy or gal in a top-selling fiction suspense novel. Next question. What makes an unforgettable character that draws repeat readers and boosts books sales? Take a look at Jack Reacher created by suspense writer Jim Grant who writes as Lee Child.

Jack (none) Reacher, a Westpoint graduate, former U.S. Major mustered out in 1997, is a nomad who survives by nonconformance. Unencumbered, he has no family, no home, no vehicle, no job, no middle name. This protagonist steps in to bring justice, often breaking the rules, on his nomadic journeys. Reacher’s six feet, five inches and 250 pounds give him the edge. He has enemies. Not a conversationalist, he evades direct answers about himself. Not my kind of guy.

Then why do I follow Reacher when I could be reading other mysteries? Like others who pushed Child’s global book sales to an estimated one every five seconds—about six million books per year—I can’t resist following Reacher as he moves on, leaving nothing the same as it was before he arrived. When he pops up in the next novel, I’ll be there.

Meet Jack Reacher.


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