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Ryan Steck Books In Order

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Publication Order of Matthew Redd Thriller Books

Ryan Steck is an American author of thriller and mystery books. Besides writing, Ryan is a freelance editor and The Real Book Spy editor-in-chief. He was named an Online Influencer by Amazon and considered one of the hardest working, fairest, and most thoughtful reviewers by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline.

Published in 2022, Fields of Fire is the first novel in Matthew Redd’s Thriller series by Ryan Steck. It is an explosive and action-packed thriller that unfolds primarily in the vast landscapes of Montana but also takes us to California, Washington, and Mexico. It combines political intrigue with an intricate international covert operation to eliminate a dangerous terrorist. The protagonist, Matthew Redd, must rely on his resourcefulness to survive against all odds.

While there are occasional hints of Jack Reacher’s character, this novel marks the beginning of a new series with ample room for a new heroic figure to emerge. The conclusion of Fields of Fire sets the stage nicely for the second book in the series.

Matthew Redd seems to attract trouble, and as the story begins, he finds himself cornered in the open terrain of Montana, with enemies closing in on him. Despite being outnumbered and facing grenades and gunfire, Redd is determined to fight to the very end.

Two weeks earlier, in Washington, DC, Gavin Kline of the FBI Intelligence Branch received information about the location of one of their most wanted targets, codenamed Willow, whose sex and identity remain unknown. Willow is a bioweapons expert with ties to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organizations. Kline wants to lead the operation to capture Willow, but his new boss, Rachel Culp, overrules him. She assigns the task to the Marine Raiders, an elite unit based in Camp Pendleton, California.

The mission is to locate Willow in Yucatan, Mexico, but it quickly goes awry as the Raider team is ambushed, resulting in the deaths of 28 Marines. It becomes apparent that someone leaked the mission details to the enemy, leading to the deadly ambush. The only soldier absent from the mission is Redd, who had stopped to help a woman with car trouble and accepted a drink at her place the night before the operation. Redd’s next memory is waking up in an Airbnb, where he is arrested by JAG officers and labeled a traitor.

Although there is no concrete evidence against Redd, his absence during the mission casts suspicion on him. Faced with an Other Than Honorable discharge, he chooses the quiet way out and returns to his father’s ranch in Montana, only to discover that his father, JB, dead in what appears to be a horse-riding accident.

Redd’s neighbor, Wyatt Gage, expresses interest in buying the ranch at double the market value, but Redd initially declines. This decision unleashes a series of troubles for Redd. Returning to his childhood home, he realizes that much has changed, and the place is more hostile than when he left for California a few years earlier. At the same time, the source of the mission leak may lie within Washington. Kline suspects Culp, while Culp keeps a close eye on Kline. It becomes evident that Kline harbors a secret.

The novel unfolds with unexpected twists as the stories of uncovering the traitor and Redd’s battle to secure his father’s farm gradually intersect. Surprisingly, Redd chooses to walk away from the Marines, even though he remains under a cloud of suspicion. He refrains from fighting to clear his name or identify the true betrayer as he faces other pressing issues explored later in the story.

Fields of Fire boasts a well-constructed plot, and while the characters may be somewhat black and white, the relentless and thrilling action takes center stage. It is a solid, fast-paced read ideal for devouring on the beach.

Lethal Range is the second novel in Ryan Steck Matthew Redd’s Thriller series. It serves as an excellent sequel to the first installment, and the story takes place a few months after the events of the debut novel. Matt Redd is now a member of an FBI team tasked with capturing Anton Gage, the antagonist from the first book. In the previous book, Gage planned to reduce the world’s population to a more sustainable level using a genetically modified wheat strain. The team continually monitors a location on Majorca where they believe Gage is hiding.
In a daring move, Matt Redd persuades the Spanish members of the team to conduct a raid on the suspected location, as he fails to obtain permission from his FBI superiors. Unfortunately, the raid is unsuccessful, as Gage has cleverly employed a decoy to mislead them.
At the same time, back in Montana, Emily Redd faces assault from a motorcycle gang while on her way to the hospital with their sick son. Matt Redd had previously made enemies with this gang in the first book.

Following the failed raid, Gage is confronted by another member of the Group of 12, the organization with which he is affiliated. They question his new plan, which involves destroying a significant portion of the wheat crop using a genetically modified wheat rust. This act would kill the plants and render the land unsuitable for future wheat cultivation. The Group of 12 gives Gage one last opportunity to fulfill their goal of reducing the Earth’s population to a sustainable level.

These events set the stage for the remainder of the novel, including the conflicts between Redd and the motorcycle gang and the efforts to capture Anton Gage.

Lethal Range is a highly engaging novel suitable for fans of thrillers and authors like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, and Joel Rosenberg. Like Joel Rosenberg’s works, the novel subtly portrays Matt Redd’s Christian faith. While not a central theme, his faith guides his decisions, especially when he grapples with conflicts between his beliefs and his actions regarding his enemies. If you enjoy reading stories that read like an action-packed movie, like Bourne’s film franchise, then Ryan Steck’s books are highly recommended.

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