Matthew John Reilly (born 2 July 1974) is an Australian action thriller writer. His novels are noted for their fast pace, twisting plots and intense action.
Reilly was born on 2 July 1974 in Sydney, the second son of Ray and Denise. He grew up in Willoughby, an affluent suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Reilly graduated from Sydney's St Aloysius' College in Milsons Point, in 1992. Reilly then studied Law at the University of New South Wales between 1993 and 1997, graduating 31st out of 250 students. While at university he was also a contributor to the student law society publication "Poetic Justice".
Reilly wrote his first book, Contest, at the age of 19 and self-published it in 1996. It was rejected by every major publisher in Australia, leading Reilly to self-publish 1000 copies using a bank loan. Reilly was discovered when Cate Paterson, a commissioning editor from Pan Macmillan found a self-published copy of Contest in a bookstore. Pan Macmillan signed Reilly to a two-book deal. Reilly wrote his second book, Ice Station, while studying at the University of NSW. It was quickly picked up by publishers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. He has since sold over 7 million copies of his books worldwide, in over 20 languages. Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves was the biggest-selling fiction title in Australia in 2011. Three more of Reilly's books have been the biggest-selling Australian titles of their years of release: Seven Ancient Wonders (2005), The Five Greatest Warriors (2009) and The Tournament (2013). A Sydney Morning Herald reviewer praised Reilly's writing for its bold action, but criticized it for straining credulity and "frequent lapses in logic."