LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Stephen Leather - Author

About the Author

Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Before that, he was employed as a biochemist for ICI, shovelled limestone in a quarry, worked as a baker, a petrol pump attendant, a barman, and worked for the Inland Revenue. He began writing full-time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series.

Photograph © Mark Mathers

 

Featured books by Stephen Leather

White Lies The 11th Spider Shepherd Thriller

White Lies The 11th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/02/2015

Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line - for his friends and for his job with MI5. So when one of his former apprentices is kidnapped in the badlands of Pakistan, Shepherd doesn't hesitate to join a rescue mission. But when the plan goes horribly wrong, Shepherd ends up in the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists. His SAS training is of little help as his captors beat and torture him. Shepherd's MI5 controller Charlotte Button is determined to get her man out of harm's way, but to do that she's going to have to break all the rules. Her only hope is to bring in America's finest - the elite SEALs who carried out Operation Neptune Spear - in a do-or-die operation to rescue the captives.

ebook of the month
Lastnight The 5th Jack Nightingale Supernatural Thriller

Lastnight The 5th Jack Nightingale Supernatural Thriller

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

The cops aren't getting anywhere so Jack Nightingale's nemesis, Superintendent Chalmers, asks him for help. Nightingale discovers that the murdered Goths had one thing in common: a tattoo connected to the secretive Satanic child-sacrificing cult called the Order of Nine Angles. As Nightingale closes in on the killers, the tables are turned and he finds himself in the firing line, along with his friends and family. The Order will stop at nothing to protect their secrets and Nightingale realises that there is nothing he can do to protect himself. Nor can he run, for the Order has connections across the world. It leaves him with only one way to stop the carnage - and that's to take his own life ...

ebook of the month
True Colours

True Colours

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/11/2013

The Russian oligarchs are the world's new elite. They treat the world as their plaything, travelling without borders and living lives of unimaginable luxury without fear or restraint. But when an assassin starts killing off some of the world's richest men, an oligarch with friends in high places seeks the protection of MI5. And Spider Shepherd is placed in the firing line. But while Shepherd has to save the life of a man he neither likes nor respects, he has to deal with a face from his past. The Taliban sniper who put a bullet in his shoulder turns up alive and well and living in London. And Shepherd is in no mood to forgive or forget.

ebook of the month
Fair Game

Fair Game

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/11/2011

Kidnapping is one of the cruellest crimes - lives are put at risk for cold, hard cash. But when Somali pirates seize the crew of a yacht off the coast of Africa, they bite off more than they can chew. One of the hostages has friends in high places and Spider Shepherd is put on the case. He goes deep undercover in an audacious plan to bring an end to the pirate gang's reign of terror. But as Shepherd closes in on his quarry he realises that there's much more at stake than the lives of the hostages and that the pirates are involved in a terrorist plot that will strike at the heart of London.

ebook of the month
Midnight

Midnight

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2011

Jack Nightingale found it hard enough to save lives when he was a cop. Now he needs to save a soul - his sister's. But to save her he has to find her and they've been separated since birth. When everyone Jack talks to about his sister dies horribly, he realises that someone, or something, is determined to keep them apart. If he's going to save his sister, he's going to have to do what he does best - negotiate. But any negotiation with the forces of darkness comes at a terrible price. And first Jack must ask himself the question: is every soul worth saving?

ebook of the month

Other books by Stephen Leather

The Hunting

The Hunting

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Can a doctor take lives instead of saving them? British doctor Raj Patel puts his own life on the line to treat the injured in war-torn Syria. His medical skills help casualties survive against all the odds.But Raj needs to rely on a completely different set of skills when he is taken hostage in a treacherous case of mistaken identity. Billionaire big-game hunter Jon van der Sandt is driven by revenge - his family have been killed by jihadist terrorists and he wants his vengeance up close and personal. He has hired ex Special Forces hard men to snatch the ISIS killers from the desert and transport them halfway across the world to the vast wilderness of his American estate. But they grab Raj by mistake, and once the killing begins it's too late to plead mistaken identity. To survive, he'll have to become as ruthless a killer as the man who is hunting him.

Fast Track

Fast Track

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Who can you trust if you can't trust the people tasked with protecting the nation? Murderous jihadists have been crossing the English Channel, passing themselves off as asylum seekers. MI5 have been keeping them under surveillance, but what starts as a simple terrorist takedown goes badly wrong and dozens of innocent civilians are killed in the heart of London. And the screw is tightened when a bomb takes out senior members of the Secret Intelligence Service. Someone within the security services has been working to their own agenda, and only Dan 'Spider' Shepherd can identify the bad apple. His search for the rogue agent takes him to Turkey and then to Dubai, where his masters order him to carry out a breathtaking act of revenge.

The Hunting

The Hunting

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2021

'I doubt if a more exciting and muscular book will come along this year' Peterborough Telegraph Money can't buy everything But it can buy revenge Can a doctor take lives instead of saving them? British doctor Raj Patel puts his own life on the line to treat the injured in war-torn Syria. His medical skills help casualties survive against all the odds. But Raj needs to rely on a completely different set of skills when he is taken hostage in a dangerous case of mistaken identity. Billionaire big-game hunter Jon van der Sandt is driven by revenge - his family have been killed by jihadist terrorists and he wants his vengeance up close and personal. He has hired ex Special Forces hard men to snatch the ISIS killers from the desert and transport them halfway across the world to the vast wilderness of his American estate. But they grab Raj by mistake, and once the killing begins it's too late to plead mistaken identity. To survive, he'll have to become as ruthless a killer as the man who is hunting him.

Fast Track

Fast Track

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Who can you trust if you can't trust the people tasked with protecting the nation? Murderous jihadists have been crossing the English Channel, passing themselves off as asylum seekers. MI5 have been keeping them under surveillance, but what starts as a simple terrorist takedown goes badly wrong and dozens of innocent civilians are killed in the heart of London. And the screw is tightened when a bomb takes out senior members of the Secret Intelligence Service. Someone within the security services has been working to their own agenda, and only Dan 'Spider' Shepherd can identify the bad apple. His search for the rogue agent takes him to Turkey and then to Dubai, where his masters order him to carry out a breathtaking act of revenge.

Dead Men

Dead Men

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/05/2021

The fifth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Former SAS trooper turned undercover cop Dan Spider Shepherd knows there are no easy solutions in the war against terrorism. But when a killer starts to target pardoned IRA terrorists, Shepherd has to put his life on the line to protect his former enemies. While he is undercover in Belfast, a grief-stricken Saudi whose two sons died under torture in the name of the War on Terror is planning to avenge their deaths by striking out at two people close to Shepherd. As the Muslim assassin closes in on his prey, Shepherd realises that the only way to save lives is to become a killer himself.

Nightshade

Nightshade

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/05/2021

In Jack Nightingale's world - where reality and the occult collide - sometimes the only way to fight evil is with evil. A farmer walks into a school and shoots eight children dead before turning the gun on himself. It's a harrowing but straightforward case - until police search the man's farm and unearth evidence of dark Satanic practices. When the perpetrator's brother approaches Nightingale, adamant that his brother was set up, it's clear that something even more sinister lurks at the heart of the case. And there are dark forces elsewhere. A young girl miraculously returns to life, claiming she's spoken to those from beyond the grave. Those in contact with her are dying hideous deaths . . . forcing Jack Nightingale to make the hardest decision he's ever faced.

Hungry Ghost

Hungry Ghost

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/05/2021

Hong Kong, 1991. The colony is preparing for Chinese rule. Geoff Howells, a government-trained killing machine, is brought out of retirement and sent to there. His brief: to assassinate Chinese Mafia leader, Simon Ng. Howells devises a dangerous and complicated plan to reach his intended victim - only to find himself the next target. Patrick Dugan, a Hong Kong policeman, has been held back in his career because of his family connections: his sister is married to Simon Ng. But when Ng's daughter is kidnapped and Ng himself disappears, Dugan gets caught up in a series of violent events and an international spy ring that has spun out of control . . . *********** PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER 'A master of the thriller genre' Irish Times 'As tough as British thrillers get . . . gripping' Irish Independent 'The sheer impetus of his story-telling is damned hard to resist' Sunday Express

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2021

Tony Freeman rescued Mersiha when she was fighting for her life in war-torn Yugoslavia. Now she's his adopted daughter, the perfect all-American girl, and it seems like her past is another country. But Mersiha has been trained to kill. And when she discovers that Freeman's company is being subjected to a sinister takeover bid, she decides to help - whatever the risks. The consequences of her actions are lethal, for Mersiha has unearthed a conspiracy of terrifying proportions . . . ********* PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER 'A master of the thriller genre' Irish Times 'A writer at the top of his game' Sunday Express 'In the top rank of thriller writers' Jack Higgins

Nightmare

Nightmare

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2021

The third book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural thriller series. What goes around, comes around. Jack Nightingale learned that as a cop and discovered that it was just as true in the world of the supernatural. His life changed forever on the day he failed to stop a young girl throwing herself to her death. Ever since, he's been haunted by thoughts that he could have done more to save her. Now her cries for help are louder than ever. Is she trapped in eternal torment? Can Nightingale put things right? Or are the forces of darkness torturing and deceiving him in order to gain the ultimate prize - his soul? Nightingale will have to face down the powers of the police, south London gangs and Hell itself to find out. And evil is closer than he thinks . . .

Nightfall

Nightfall

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2021

The first book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural thriller series. 'You're going to hell, Jack Nightingale': They are words that ended his career as a police negotiator. Now Jack's a struggling private detective - and the chilling words come back to haunt him. Nightingale's life is turned upside down the day that he inherits a mansion with a priceless library; it comes from a man who claims to be his father, and it comes with a warning. That Nightingale's soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday - just three weeks away. Jack doesn't believe in Hell, probably doesn't believe in Heaven either. But when people close to him start to die horribly, he is led to the inescapable conclusion that real evil may be at work. And that if he doesn't find a way out he'll be damned in hell for eternity.

The Vets

The Vets

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/04/2021

Hong Kong. The British administration is preparing to hand the capitalist colony back to Communist China with the minimum of fuss. Colonel Joel Tyler, however, has other plans for the British colony - plans that involve four Vietnam War veterans and a spectacular mission making use of their unique skills. But while the vets are preparing to take the country by storm, their paymaster, Anthony Chung, puts the final touches to an audacious betrayal. The future of Hong Kong is at stake . . . ********* PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER 'A master of the thriller genre' Irish Times 'A writer at the top of his game' Sunday Express 'In the top rank of thriller writers' Jack Higgins

Live Fire

Live Fire

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/04/2021

The sixth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Mickey and Mark Moore are Ordinary Decent Criminals - hard men who live by their own code and leaders of a gang that has made millions at the point of a gun. But when Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is sent to infiltrate the tightly-knit team of bank robbers, he discovers that he has more in common with them then he first thought. And that perhaps being a career criminal isn't the worst thing in the world. As Shepherd and his Serious Organised Crime Agency colleagues plot the downfall of the Moore brothers, a more sinister threat stalks the streets of London. A group of home-grown Islamic fundamentalist fanatics embark on a campaign of terror the like of which Britain has never seen. Car bombs and beheadings are only the prelude of what they have planned. And Shepherd is the only man who can stop them.

The Hunting

The Hunting

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'I doubt if a more exciting and muscular book will come along this year' Peterborough Telegraph Money can't buy everything But it can buy revenge Can a doctor take lives instead of saving them? British doctor Raj Patel puts his own life on the line to treat the injured in war-torn Syria. His medical skills help casualties survive against all the odds. But Raj needs to rely on a completely different set of skills when he is taken hostage in a dangerous case of mistaken identity. Billionaire big-game hunter Jon van der Sandt is driven by revenge - his family have been killed by jihadist terrorists and he wants his vengeance up close and personal. He has hired ex Special Forces hard men to snatch the ISIS killers from the desert and transport them halfway across the world to the vast wilderness of his American estate. But they grab Raj by mistake, and once the killing begins it's too late to plead mistaken identity. To survive, he'll have to become as ruthless a killer as the man who is hunting him.

The Hunting

The Hunting

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2021

'I doubt if a more exciting and muscular book will come along this year' Peterborough Telegraph Money can't buy everything But it can buy revenge Can a doctor take lives instead of saving them? British doctor Raj Patel puts his own life on the line to treat the injured in war-torn Syria. His medical skills help casualties survive against all the odds. But Raj needs to rely on a completely different set of skills when he is taken hostage in a dangerous case of mistaken identity. Billionaire big-game hunter Jon van der Sandt is driven by revenge - his family have been killed by jihadist terrorists and he wants his vengeance up close and personal. He has hired ex Special Forces hard men to snatch the ISIS killers from the desert and transport them halfway across the world to the vast wilderness of his American estate. But they grab Raj by mistake, and once the killing begins it's too late to plead mistaken identity. To survive, he'll have to become as ruthless a killer as the man who is hunting him.

Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/12/2020

'Leather's latest full-throttle thriller could hardly be more topical . . . it hurtles off the page, grabbing the reader by the throat' Daily Mail 'This cracking Spider Shepherd thriller zips along like a sniper's bullet' The Sun Should we bring them back? There are thousands of jihadi brides in refugee camps in the Middle East. Some of them were once British before they were stripped of their citizenship. Were they brainwashed or simply naive when they set out for Syria as teenagers? And, if they were allowed to return, would they pose a threat to our country? Spider Shepherd is about to be sent on an extraordinary mission to the Syrian border by his MI5 boss. There he will have to decide which of the women he meets is still a threat, and if not, which of them has information useful to the Secret Service and can be allowed back. His are life or death decisions. But there is one bride he must take back to the UK whatever her circumstances. She is the wife of a notorious ISIS bombmaker, Salam Jaraf. Jaraf is an asylum seeker who has information on terrorist cells in Britain. But the bombmaker will only tell MI5 what he knows if his wife and son are brought to him. However, it soon becomes obvious that hostile forces are following Spider and Mrs Jaraf across Turkey. Bringing this woman back from the warzone will become one of the most dangerous missions Spider has ever undertaken.

Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/12/2020

'Leather's latest full-throttle thriller could hardly be more topical . . . it hurtles off the page, grabbing the reader by the throat' Daily Mail 'This cracking Spider Shepherd thriller zips along like a sniper's bullet' The Sun Should we bring them back? There are thousands of jihadi brides in refugee camps in the Middle East. Some of them were once British before they were stripped of their citizenship. Were they brainwashed or simply naive when they set out for Syria as teenagers? And, if they were allowed to return, would they pose a threat to our country? Spider Shepherd is about to be sent on an extraordinary mission to the Syrian border by his MI5 boss. There he will have to decide which of the women he meets is still a threat, and if not, which of them has information useful to the Secret Service and can be allowed back. His are life or death decisions. But there is one bride he must take back to the UK whatever her circumstances. She is the wife of a notorious ISIS bombmaker, Salam Jaraf. Jaraf is an asylum seeker who has information on terrorist cells in Britain. But the bombmaker will only tell MI5 what he knows if his wife and son are brought to him. However, it soon becomes obvious that hostile forces are following Spider and Mrs Jaraf across Turkey. Bringing this woman back from the warzone will become one of the most dangerous missions Spider has ever undertaken.