Chris Ryan Books

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Chris Ryan is the pseudonym of Colin Armstrong MM, an English security consultant, former Special Forces agent, television presenter, and author. Ryan was the only member of an eight-member crew to survive the vagaries of the Iraqi desert, and trek 200 miles to escape from the country, the longest evasion and escape in the SAS’s history. He has been writing mystery thrillers and children’s books since 1995.

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Order of Geordie Sharp Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Stand By, Stand by 1996 Description / Buy
2 Zero Option 1997 Description / Buy
3 The Kremlin Device 1998 Description / Buy
4 Tenth Man Down 1999 Description / Buy

Order of Josh Bowman Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Manhunter 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Matt Browning Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Greed 2003 Description / Buy
2 The Increment 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Code Red Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Flash Flood 2006 Description / Buy
2 Wildfire 2007 Description / Buy
3 Outbreak 2007 Description / Buy
4 Vortex 2008 Description / Buy
5 Twister 2008 Description / Buy
6 Battleground 2009 Description / Buy

Order of Alpha Force Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Survival 2002 Description / Buy
2 Rat-Catcher 2002 Description / Buy
3 Desert Pursuit 2003 Description / Buy
4 Hostage 2003 Description / Buy
5 Red Centre 2004 Description / Buy
6 Hunted 2004 Description / Buy
7 Blood Money 2005 Description / Buy
8 Fault Line 2005 Description / Buy
9 Black Gold 2005 Description / Buy
10 Untouchable 2005 Description / Buy

Order of Agent 21 Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Agent 21 2010 Description / Buy
2 Reloaded 2012 Description / Buy
3 Codebreaker 2013 Description / Buy
4 The Wire 2013 Description / Buy
5 Deadfall 2014 Description / Buy
6 Under Cover 2015 Description / Buy
7 Endgame 2016 Description / Buy

Order of Extreme Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Hard Target 2010 Description / Buy
2 Night Strike 2013 Description / Buy
3 Most Wanted 2014 Description / Buy
4 Silent Kill 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Danny Black Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Masters of War 2013 Description / Buy
2 Hunter-Killer 2014 Description / Buy
3 Murder Team 2015 Description / Buy
4 Hellfire 2015 Description / Buy
5 Bad Soldier 2016 Description / Buy
6 Warlord 2017 Description / Buy
7 Head Hunters 2018 Description / Buy
8 Black Ops 2019 Description / Buy
9 Zero 22 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Strike Back Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Strike Back 2007 Description / Buy
2 Deathlist 2016 Description / Buy
3 Shadow Kill 2017 Description / Buy
4 Global Strike 2018 Description / Buy
5 Red Strike 2019 Description / Buy
6 Circle of Death 2020 Description / Buy

Order of Special Forces Cadets Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Siege 2018 Description / Buy
2 Missing 2019 Description / Buy
3 Justice 2019 Description / Buy
4 Ruthless 2020 Description / Buy

Order of Chris Ryan Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Hit List 2000 Description / Buy
2 The Watchman 2001 Description / Buy
3 Land of Fire 2002 Description / Buy
4 Blackout 2005 Description / Buy
5 Ultimate Weapon 2006 Description / Buy
6 Firefight 2008 Description / Buy
7 Who Dares Wins 2009 Description / Buy
8 The Kill Zone 2010 Description / Buy
9 Killing for the Company 2011 Description / Buy
10 Osama 2012 Description / Buy

Order of Chris Ryan Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 One Good Turn (Short Story) 2008 Description / Buy
2 Medal of Honor 2010 Description / Buy
3 War Dog (Short Story) 2013 Description / Buy

Order of Chris Ryan Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 The One That Got Away 1995 Description / Buy
2 SAS Fitness Book 2001 Description / Buy
3 Chris Ryan's Ultimate Survival Guide 2003 Description / Buy
4 Fight to Win 2009 Description / Buy
5 Safe 2017 Description / Buy
6 The History of the SAS 2019 Description / Buy

Order of Tattered Souls Series with Richard Wright, Matt Wallace, Ginger Hamilton, Jeff Crook, Chris Reed, Frank J. Hutton, David A. Magitis, M.E. Palmer

# Read Title Published Details
1 Tattered Souls ( With: Richard Wright, Matt Wallace, Ginger Hamilton, Jeff Crook, Chris Reed, Frank J. Hutton, David A. Magitis, M.E. Palmer) 2007 Description / Buy
2 Tattered Souls II, ( By: Forrest Aguirre, Steve Ruthenbeck, Ginger Hamilton, Stephanie Shaw, Frank J. Hutton, Elias Siqueiros, Kathleen Dale, Melanie Fogel, Anne Michaud) 2011 Description / Buy

Chris Ryan Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Tattered Souls 2007 Description / Buy
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Chris Ryan is a prolific writer with several nonfiction and fiction works under his belt. The One That Got Away, his first novel and arguably one of his most highly regarded is the best known of his nonfiction works. The first novel spawned several fiction works that included the Geordie Sharp series, the Matt Browning series, Chris Ryan Extreme series, the Strike Back series, the Code Red series, the Alpha Force series, the Agent 21 series, the Danny Black Series among other freestanding titles. Some of his works such as Strike back have been adapted for TV.

Chris Ryan was born Colin Armstrong in the village of Rowlands Gill in the North East of England in 1961. After attending secondary school until the age of 16, Ryan joined the British Army after his cousin, who was in the SAS Reserves, invited him visit and give him a taste of what it was like to be in the Army. Ryan would do this most weekends, almost completing the selection process, but was unable to complete the final test week due to his young age. However, as soon as he was old enough, Ryan passed selection and joined the 23rd SAS. Following this, he began the process again, this time for the 22 Regiment of the Special Air Service, which he joined as a medic in their B squadron. He then went on an eight-week secondment do the Parachute Regiment, before working as an operative for the SAS for the next seven years.

It was during his time with the SAS that Chris Ryan would later achieve some level of fame. He was a member of the Bravo Two Zero patrol, which also included soldier-turned-author Andy McNab. Bravo Two Zero would becoming McNab’s breakout book, but Ryan’s own story, which included a 190 mile escape on foot through Iraq after the patrol was compromised, has also become the thing of legend. After his 100 mile escape, Ryan never returned to active duty, due to injuries suffered during that time. Ryan would continue to work for the SAS as a trainer and recruit, but was discharged from the service in 1994.

The year after his discharge from the SAS, Chris Ryan wrote his first non-fiction book, The One That Got Away, which draws on his time as part of Bravo Two Zero.

The following year, Chris Ryan created the character of Geordie Sharp, and the first book in the series, Stand By, Stand By, was published in 1996. This was followed by Zero Option in 1997, then The Kremlin Device in 1998 and Tenth Man Down in 1999. The character of Geordie Sharp is like a fictionalised version, as he also joins the Army at the age of 16, and becomes a member of 22 Regiment, spending time in Iraq during the Gulf War.

Following the Geordie Sharp series, Ryan wrote Greed and The Increment, which was published in 2003 and 2004, which feature the character of Matt Browning, his next foray into writing a series, after writing some stand-alone novels.

Ryan would then chance tack and move into writing for young adult with the Alpha Force series, which began with Survival, which was published in 2002. The Alpha Force series focuses on a group of teenagers, all with unique skills who have to work together, in the first book in the series, after becoming shipwrecked. After that ordeal, the group become great friends and meet up during the school holidays and always end up mixed-up in some sort of adventure.

The Code Red would be the next series Ryan would start in 2006, with the publication of Flash Flood. However, it was to be the publication of Strike Back in 2007 which would catapult Ryan to the forefront of the public’s minds, as it was adapted for television and became a worldwide hit. It took nine years for Ryan to follow up Strike Back with the publication of Deathlist in 2016.

After the success of the Alpha Force series, Ryan returned to writing for young adults with the Agent 21 series of books. The first book in the series, Agent 21, introduces us to the character of Zak Darke.

Unlike many of his ex-SAS colleagues, Chris Ryan also made the transition into television, and actually appeared in his own TV series, Hunting Chris Ryan, which involved Ryan trying to evade a four-man hunter force while attempting to reach his goal and the extraction point. This was titles Special Forces: Manhunt in the United States. So, while most former SAS operatives seek to keep a low profile, for Ryan, that is not the case.


In 1991, Chris Ryan was awarded the Military Medal for his distinguished and gallant service in the 1991 Gulf War.


Chris Ryan’s Strike Back series was adapted into a TV series by the same name produced by Sky 1 and Cinemax. The series starred Richard Armitage as John Porter the lead protagonist. The One That Got Away was adapted into a movie by the same name starring Paul McGann in the lead role of Chris Ryan.


Given that he is a former Special Forces agent, Chris Ryan’s novels are excellent. However, the most appreciated works include:

The One That Got Away: My SAS Mission Behind Enemy Lines: The first novel by Chris Ryan and one of his most popular, the masterpiece has been adapted into a film by the same name. The novel tells the story of an SAS team that was compromised deep behind enemy lines during the 1991 Gulf War. The SAS is a component of the British Army’s Special Air Service, a top special operations unit with a global reputation. The SAS mission is thrown into jeopardy when the team is ambushed, forcing the team to run for the border through a hostile terrain full of enemy combatants. Chris Ryan is the only member of the team that manages to make it out alive, after trekking through the desert into Syria for seven days and nights. The novel is a tale of extraordinary courage in the face of constant threat of death and capture, and facing up to the ravages of hostile terrain and above all, a story of the courage of Ryan in refusing to give in and die or be captured.

Strike Back: Another of Ryan’s work to be made into a TV series. It stars two former military men: one a broken veteran living in the alleys of Londo,n and the other a celebrated hero. They are no strangers to each other, having served together in the Middle East two decades past. In 1989, John had been an officer in a hostage raid in Lebanon. He spared the life of a Lebanese fighter who turned and killed several of his regiment. He has always blamed himself for the deaths, which has sent him to drown his sorrows in the bottle on the rough alleyways of London. On the other hand, Colonel Peregrine Collinson had been part of the troop involved in the raid and had earned himself celebrity status and the Military Cross for his heroics. However, the truth is that Peregrine is at fault for the mission gone wrong. But now there is a hostage crisis in the Middle East, and the paths of the two men will cross again. The Strike Back begins.

Agent 21: The first novel of the Agent 21 series is as explosive as they come. When Zak Darke’s parents are the victims of a mysterious mass murder, he is left an orphan with no one in the world to call family or friend. Well, that is until a mysterious man approaches him and informs him that he is working for a government agency, whose identity he declines to divulge. He tells Zak that he has been the subject of the agency’s surveillance as he is deemed an asset that could be of use in certain operational activities. He is recruited into the mysterious agency as Agent 21, and even as he is curious to know what happened to agents 1 to 20 that came before him, he is sure he would never get a straight answer if he dared ask. What he is certain of is his life is never going to be the same.

Chris Ryan FAQs

Q: What is Chris Ryan’s real name?

A: The author Chris Ryan’s real name is Colin Armstrong.

Q: What is the name of Chris Ryan’s first book?

A: The name of Chris Ryan’s first book is The One That Got Away, which is an account of his time in Iraq as part of the ill-fated Bravo Two Zero patrol, which was published in 1995.. His first work of fiction was Stand By, Stand By, the first book in the Geordie Sharp series, which was published in 1996.

Q: What nationality is Chris Ryan?

A: The author Chris Ryan is British. He was born in the village of Rowlands Gill.

When Does The Next Chris Ryan book come out?

Chris Ryan doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Manhunter and was released on May, 27th 2021. It is the newest book in the Josh Bowman Series.

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