GUEST POST: Author Jack Stewart Reviews ‘Lethal Range’ by Ryan Steck


Note From TRBS: For obvious reasons, I couldn’t review Lethal Range (for those who weren’t aware, aside from being The Real Book Spy, I’m also the author of two books and counting, including last year’s Fields of Fire). That would definitely be a conflict of interest. However, I do feel like, being a fan of thrillers myself and knowing my audience, that my books are just the kind of thing that Book Spy readers might enjoy. And since there’s no other one-stop shop for all things thriller, I wanted to find a way to cover it objectively, of course. So, I reached out to the very talented Jack Stewart, whose debut thriller, Unknown Rider, hits bookstores on November 21st. I loved Jack’s book and am already a huge fan. Thankfully, he let me send him a copy of Lethal Range, and then, after reading it, he sent me this review to post. Please check him out, and know that I’ll be covering all of his stuff too. In the meantime, see his review of Lethal Range—written by yours truly, available August 8th—below.

Having saved his father’s ranch from ruin and the world from a dangerous cabal of powerful individuals hellbent on shaping the world to suit their needs, former Marine Raider Matthew Redd settles into a quiet life as a rancher, husband, and new father.

But a life of violence isn’t easy to leave behind.

Legendary Marine Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller once said, “We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem.” Redd is surrounded, but the problem is far from simple. His relationship with his estranged father is strained to the limits when Redd leads an FBI fly team on an unauthorized—and unsuccessful—raid to capture public enemy number one, Anton Gage. But in the wake of his suspension from the team, even the revelation they had been set up isn’t enough to keep Redd from focusing on what truly matters to him—his family. When his wife, Emily, is surrounded by a gang of bikers on a remote stretch of Montana road while driving their sick infant to the doctor, Redd can’t help but think his past has come back to haunt him. But instead of waiting for the Infidels to threaten his family again, he goes on the attack and quickly learns that the enemy has been one step ahead of him from the start. They are smart. They are savvy. And they are larger and more organized than he anticipated.

With time running out to save his ranch from financial ruin and neutralize the danger to his wife and son, Redd finds himself forced to consider help from unlikely places. This battle is too big to fight on his own, and he must learn to trust those he has sworn to protect to have his back in the coming war.

Best known for his thoughtful and fair reviews as The Real Book Spy, author Ryan Steck has proven he knows what works and what doesn’t in the thriller genre. Protagonist Matthew Redd is imposing and smart, but a tad impetuous at times—a trait that makes him come alive on the page and stand apart from his peers. Instead of a hero who has nothing to live for (à la James Reece) or one who can’t remember what he has to live for (à la Jason Bourne), Steck paints Redd as a hero who struggles to balance faith, family, and friendships in cinematic fight scenes that leave you breathless and satisfy your thirst for justice. If you enjoy a modern-day western in the style of C. J. Box or Taylor Moore with an emotionally authentic hero you can relate to, you’ll feel right at home with Lethal Range. While it reads like a stand-alone, you would be best served to begin with his debut Fields of Fire to fully appreciate the breadth of Redd’s development from Marine Raider to devoted family man and the tapestry of unique characters that breathe life into the series.

Set in Big Sky Country, Matthew Redd is a hero many readers will find comfortingly familiar while refreshingly different, and Steck wields him with precision in Lethal Range—a spectacular follow-up to his stellar debut. If you’re a skeptic who thinks Ryan Steck can only write about thrillers, you’re missing out on one of the hottest new authors in the genre. But if you’re like me and have enjoyed him from the start, you’ll be far from disappointed in this installment and eager for more.

Book Details

Author: Ryan Steck
Series: Matthew Redd #2
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1496462912
Publisher: Tyndale
Release Date: August 8th, 2023
Real Book Spy Farley Rating: 8.5/10



More Praise for LETHAL RANGE


“Ryan Steck’s latest LETHAL RANGE is a high-stakes thriller that starts at a run and races faster with every flip of the page. The mix of spy tradecraft, gutsy action, and nonstop mayhem is what I love in a book. Pair that up with the return of Matthew Redd, a hero as ballsy as Jack Ryan and as as street-smart as Jack Reacher, what’s not to love? Plus, the big skies of Montana are as much a character—both for its beauty and grit. All beautifully and brutally told! I can’t wait to see what trouble Redd must tackle next!” — James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestseller of Kingdom of Bones 

“A brilliant thriller. Blurring the lines between military thriller and western, Steck weaves multiple genres into an action-packed, movie-like novel―think Lonesome Dove but with more motorcycles and, somehow, more gunfire.” — The Best Thriller Books

Intense, riveting, and ultimately wild escapist fun, LETHAL RANGE is a powerful modern Western… It’s Sons of Anarchy crashing into Yellowstone. Steck is a talented cinematic writer and has created a character in Matthew Redd that is both larger than life and remarkably relatable. Buy this book!”
Don Winslow, #1 bestselling author of The Force and The Border

A white-knuckle ride from start to finish, LETHAL RANGE takes off with one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever read, then builds to a thunderous crescendo. It’s one of this summer’s hottest thrillers.Like the best kind of rollercoaster, the tension rises to an incredible climax.”
—  T.J. Newman, two-time New York Times bestselling author of Falling and Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421

“Steck and Redd are back! Crisply written and beautifully researched, Lethal Range rips the reader from Majorca to Big Sky Country. Packed with twists and cliffhangers, this classic thriller from world-class thriller expert The Real Book Spy roars like a beast.” — Gregg Hurwitz, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Orphan

“Full of fists and fury, Ryan Steck’s Lethal Range is a masterfully plotted battle of good versus evil. With unforgettable characters, lightening pace, and a story frighteningly similar to today’s headlines, this book entertains and educates. If you like C. J. Box or Vince Flynn, you will love this book!” — Larry Loftis, New York Times bestselling author of The Watchmaker’s Daughter  

“This one contains all the danger, treachery and intrigue that a thriller reader could hope for. It’s a gritty tale, with tangled threads, full of action and drama.  More than enough angst and adventure to keep you reading long into the night.” — Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Kingdom

“Given my background as a NYC street hustler turned SOF Veteran, I have a good sense of what’s authentic and what’s not. Ryan has not only written and authentic action thriller, but also an authentic personal story that will leave readers identifying with Matthew Redd in more ways than one.” — Remi Adeleke, bestselling author of the acclaimed memoir Transformed, and the newly released thriller, Chameleon



After a Navy pilot inexplicably loses control of his stealth fighter, he stumbles upon a global conspiracy, and embarks on a thrilling chase filled with espionage and betrayal.

TOP GUN instructor Colt Bancroft has just catapulted off the USS Abraham Lincoln, his F-35C Joint Strike Fighter trailing blue and yellow flame as he climbs into the night sky off the California coast.

When he is sent to investigate a series of mysterious lights floating dangerously close to his aircraft carrier, disaster strikes. His jet becomes unresponsive as it rolls inverted and enters a nosedive aimed right at the aircraft carrier’s unsuspecting escort cruiser.

What follows is a tale of heroism and betrayal, spycraft and suspense, and aerial combat against an unexpected adversary.

To clear his name and unmask a traitor, Colt must survive a dangerous game of spy-vs-spy, where trusting the wrong person could cost him his life. To stop the enemy from hitting their ultimate target, Colt must use every ounce of his skill and training.and uncover the identity of the UNKNOWN RIDER.

From author Jack Stewart, a former US Navy Top Gun instructor pilot, comes an exhilarating military thriller that’s packed with high-octane action and puts the reader behind the controls of a modern jet fighter. Perfect for fans of Tom Clancy and Dale Brown.




Jack Stewart grew up in Seattle, Washington and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy before serving twenty-three years as a fighter pilot. During that time, he flew combat missions from three different aircraft carriers and deployed to Afghanistan as a member of an Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. His last deployment was with a joint special operations counter-terrorism task force in Africa. Jack is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and holds a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. He is an airline pilot and has appeared as a military and commercial aviation expert on international cable news. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and three children.

Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, comes out on August 8th. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.



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