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

Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2021

'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: 07/01/2021

'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.

The Long Shot

The Long Shot

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2020

The plan is so complex, the target so well protected that the three snipers have to rehearse the killing in the seclusion of the Arizona desert.Cole Howard of the FBI knows he has only days to prevent the audacious assassination. But he doesn't know who the target is. Or where the crack marksmen will strike.Former SAS sergeant Mike Cramer is also on the trail, infiltrating the Irish community in New York as he tracks down Mary Hennessy, the ruthless killer who tore his life apart.Unless Cramer and Howard agree to co-operate, the world will witness the most spectacular terrorist coup of all time ...

Hungry Ghost

Hungry Ghost

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/10/2020

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

Takedown

Takedown

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

A heart-pounding new standalone thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Stephen Leather. 'He has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real, and this is no exception' (Daily Mail on First Response) When a British Special Forces soldier goes rogue, carrying out an attack at a US army base in Syria leading to the death of two men, ex-MI5 controller Charlotte Button is hired to work out what his plan is and to take him down before he can carry it out. Charlotte puts her best man on the case - hitman Lex Harper. It's up to Lex to assemble a crack team and get to the soldier before he carries out what could be a massive terrorist attack. But Charlotte might require Lex's help with a more personal problem too . . . As ex-MI5, Charlotte holds information on thousands of the agency's dirty operations, and keeps a store of those secrets in three flash drives hidden in separate safety deposit vaults. Now someone is taking extraordinary measures to recover the secrets through Hatton Garden-style robberies. So far two vaults have been raided, and two flash drives have gone. If the third is stolen, Charlotte's life will be in jeopardy. While it's down to Lex to prevent a potential terrorist attack on British soil, Charlotte must work out who is after her and what they want.

The Chinaman

The Chinaman

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/10/2020

Stephen Leather's BESTSELLING breakthrough thriller. The Chinaman understood death. Jungle-skilled, silent and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless when his two eldest daughters had been raped and killed by Thai pirates. Now all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business. Until the day his wife and youngest daughter were destroyed by an IRA bomb in a Knightsbridge department store. Then, simply but persistently, he began to ask the authorities who were the men responsible, what was being done. And was turned away, fobbed off, treated as a nuisance. Which was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge. And went back to war.

Dark Forces

Dark Forces

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/10/2020

When you're caught between two evils, only the most decisive will survive . . . A violent South London gang will be destroyed if Dan 'Spider' Shepherd can gather enough evidence against them while posing as a ruthless hitman. What he doesn't know is that his work as an undercover agent for MI5 is about to intersect with the biggest terrorist operation ever carried out on British soil. Only weeks before Shepherd witnessed a highly skilled IS sniper escape from a targeted missile strike in Syria. But never in his wildest dreams did he expect to next come across the shooter in a grimy East London flat. Spider's going to have to proceed with extreme caution if he is to prevent the death of hundreds of people, but at the same time, when the crucial moment comes he knows he will have to act decisively. The clock is ticking and only he stands between us and Armageddon . . . 'Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it' - Sun What readers are saying about DARK FORCES 'Palpable excitement' - 5 STARS 'I would recommend the Spider series to anyone who can read. They are THAT good!' - 5 STARS 'Possibly Stephen Leather's best yet' - 5 STARS ' Brilliantly written and highly recommended' - 5 STARS 'Just brilliant' - 5 STARS

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2020

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

Dead Men

Dead Men

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2020

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.

The Double Tap

The Double Tap

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2020

The assassin: the world's most successful contract killer. An anonymous professional with a unique calling card - one bullet in the head and one in the chest for each and every target. The Judas goat: an ex-member of the SAS, Mike Cramer is the perfect sacrificial bait. When the FBI discover the next name on the assassin's hitlist, Cramer is set up to take his place. The wild card: Cramer's past has caught up with him. Ex-IRA extremist Dermot Lynch blames Cramer for his lover's death - and he's out for revenge. As Cramer trains for the most dangerous mission of his career, Lynch hunts down his sworn enemy. And the unknown assassin silently closes in on his target. The players are in position for the final deadly game . . . *********** 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

Nightfall

Nightfall

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2020

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.

Nightshade

Nightshade

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2020

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.

The Runner

The Runner

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/07/2020

***'Thought-provoking, high-octane chase thriller with style' - Financial Times*** ***'Leather once again delivers high-octane thrill-a-minute action that reads like a pitch for a Netflix series' - Irish Independent*** The explosive new stand-alone thriller from the author of the Spider Shepherd series Sally Page is an MI5 'footie', a junior Secret Service Agent who maintains 'legends': fake identities or footprints used by real spies. Her day consists of maintaining flats and houses where the legends allegedly live, doing online shopping, using payment, loyalty and travel cards and going on social media in their names - anything to give the impression to hostile surveillance that the legends are living, breathing individuals. One day she goes out for coffee leaving the safe house from which she and her fellow footies operate. When she comes back they have all been murdered and she barely escapes with her own life. She is on the run: but from whom she has no idea. Worse, her bosses at MI5 seem powerless to help her. To live, she will have to use all the lies and false identities she has so carefully created while discovering the truth . . .

Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/07/2020

'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.

The Runner

The Runner

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2020

***'Thought-provoking, high-octane chase thriller with style' - Financial Times*** ***'Leather once again delivers high-octane thrill-a-minute action that reads like a pitch for a Netflix series' - Irish Independent*** The explosive new stand-alone thriller from the author of the Spider Shepherd series Sally Page is an MI5 'footie', a junior Secret Service Agent who maintains 'legends': fake identities or footprints used by real spies. Her day consists of maintaining flats and houses where the legends allegedly live, doing online shopping, using payment, loyalty and travel cards and going on social media in their names - anything to give the impression to hostile surveillance that the legends are living, breathing individuals. One day she goes out for coffee leaving the safe house from which she and her fellow footies operate. When she comes back they have all been murdered and she barely escapes with her own life. She is on the run: but from whom she has no idea. Worse, her bosses at MI5 seem powerless to help her. To live, she will have to use all the lies and false identities she has so carefully created while discovering the truth . . .

Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/07/2020

'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.