Fields of Fire

Ryan Steck. Tyndale House, $25.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4964-6286-2

A former Marine investigates the death of his adoptive father in Steck’s strong debut. While on a joyride in California, Marine raider Matthew Redd stops to help a woman with a flat tire and they go back to her place. The next thing he remembers, a day has passed and he’s getting arrested for allegedly leaking information about a mission in Mexico that led to the death of his entire team. After accepting a dishonorable discharge, he receives a voice mail from his adoptive father, J.B., about needing help back in Montana, but when Redd arrives he discovers J.B. has died under suspicious circumstances. As Redd investigates, he comes under pressure to sell J.B.’s property to his neighbor Wyatt Gage, a tech-billionaire’s son, but Redd refuses and Gage’s tactics become increasingly violent. A visit from Redd’s biological father, an FBI agent, helps Redd see that J.B.’s death might be related to the mission that killed Redd’s team, suggesting a greater threat than he had imagined. Meanwhile, Redd reconnects with an old flame whose father, a minister, quietly steers Redd toward the path to God. The suave yet vulnerable lead and propulsive narrative will keep readers hooked. This is an auspicious start for Steck. (Aug.)
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