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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

Light Touch

Light Touch

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/01/2018

Working undercover is all about trust - getting the target to trust you and then betraying them in order to bring them to justice. But what do you do when you believe an undercover cop has crossed the line and aligned herself with the international drugs smuggler she was supposed to be targeting? When Lisa Wilson stops passing on intelligence about her target, MI5 sends in Dan 'Spider' Shepherd to check that she's on the straight and narrow. Now the lives of two undercover operatives are on the line. *********** Praise for Stephen Leather '[Leather] has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real' Daily Mail 'Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it' - Sun

The Shout

The Shout

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/01/2018

He hunts. He kills. He burns Vicky Lewis is a force to be reckoned with: not yet thirty and already crew manager in the London Fire Brigade, she's destined for great things. But when she enters a burning building to save a man's life and leaves it with catastrophic injuries, all that changes. She's shunted over to the Fire Investigation Unit, where she's forced to team up with cantankerous veteran Des Farmer, aka the Grouch. When Vicky stumbles across the Grouch's off-the-books investigation into the fiery deaths of a series of young, blonde women, she decides to join him in his search for the truth. The answer is close - perhaps too close. Vicky's already been burnt once, and now she's playing with fire . . . 'The sheer impetus of his storytelling is damned hard to resist' Sunday Express

The Shout

The Shout

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/01/2018

He hunts. He kills. He burns Vicky Lewis is a force to be reckoned with: not yet thirty and already crew manager in the London Fire Brigade, she's destined for great things. But when she enters a burning building to save a man's life and leaves it with catastrophic injuries, all that changes. She's shunted over to the Fire Investigation Unit, where she's forced to team up with cantankerous veteran Des Farmer, aka the Grouch. When Vicky stumbles across the Grouch's off-the-books investigation into the fiery deaths of a series of young, blonde women, she decides to join him in his search for the truth. The answer is close - perhaps too close. Vicky's already been burnt once, and now she's playing with fire . . . ************ 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 Foreigner: the bestselling thriller now starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan

The Foreigner: the bestselling thriller now starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/10/2017

Stephen Leather's BESTSELLING breakthrough thriller, previously published as THE CHINAMAN - perfect for fans of Lee Child and James Patterson. He 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, denied justice, he decided on revenge. And went back to war. Praise for Stephen Leather 'Explores complex contemporary issues while keeping the action fast and bloody' Economist 'Action and scalpel-sharp suspense' Daily Telegraph 'The sheer impetus of his story-telling is damned hard to resist' Sunday Express

Takedown

Takedown

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2017

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.

Takedown

Takedown

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/07/2017

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.

Light Touch

Light Touch

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/07/2017

Working undercover is all about trust - getting the target to trust you and then betraying them in order to bring them to justice. But what do you do when you believe an undercover cop has crossed the line and aligned herself with the international drugs smuggler she was supposed to be targeting? When a deep-undercover cop stops passing on intelligence about her target, MI5 sends in Dan 'Spider' Shepherd to check that she is on the straight and narrow. Now two lives are on the line - and Shepherd discovers that the real danger is closer to home than he realised. As Spider finds his loyalties being tested to the limit, an SAS killer is on a revenge mission in London and only Spider can stop him. '[Leather] has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real' Daily Mail 'Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it' - Sun

Light Touch

Light Touch

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/07/2017

Working undercover is all about trust - getting the target to trust you and then betraying them in order to bring them to justice. But what do you do when you believe an undercover cop has crossed the line and aligned herself with the international drugs smuggler she was supposed to be targeting? When a deep-undercover cop stops passing on intelligence about her target, MI5 sends in Dan 'Spider' Shepherd to check that she is on the straight and narrow. Now two lives are on the line - and Shepherd discovers that the real danger is closer to home than he realised. As Spider finds his loyalties being tested to the limit, an SAS killer is on a revenge mission in London and only Spider can stop him. '[Leather] has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real' Daily Mail 'Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it' - Sun

Dark Forces The 13th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Dark Forces The 13th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/01/2017

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

Dark Forces The 13th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Dark Forces The 13th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/01/2017

When you're caught between two evils, only the most decisive will survive. The thirteenth book in action supremo Stephen Leather's Spider Shepherd series is his most pulse-pounding yet . . . 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 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

Takedown

Takedown

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/01/2017

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 take him down. 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.

Takedown

Takedown

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/01/2017

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.

First Response

First Response

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/08/2016

From the bestselling author of the Spider Shepherd and Jack Nightingale series comes First Response, the utterly addictive new thriller by Stephen Leather. London is under siege. Nine men in suicide vests primed to explode hold hostages in nine different locations around the city, and are ready to die for their cause. Their mission: to force the government to release jihadist prisoners from Belmarsh Prison. Their deadline: 6 p.m. Today. But the bombers are cleanskins, terrorists with no obvious link to any group, and who do not appear on any anti-terror watch list. What has brought them together on this one day to act in this way? Mo Kamran is the Superintendent in charge of the Special Crime and Operations branch of the Met. As the disaster unfolds and the SAS, armed police, and other emergency services rush to the scenes, he is tasked with preventing the biggest terrorist outrage the capital has ever known. But nothing is what it seems. And only Kamran has the big picture. Will anyone believe him? A chillingly plausible and pulse-pounding depiction of how London might be held to ransom in a concerted terrorist attack: this is thriller writing at its very best.

First Response

First Response

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/08/2016

From the bestselling author of the Spider Shepherd and Jack Nightingale series comes First Response, the utterly addictive new thriller by Stephen Leather. London is under siege. Nine men in suicide vests primed to explode hold hostages in nine different locations around the city, and are ready to die for their cause. Their mission: to force the government to release jihadist prisoners from Belmarsh Prison. Their deadline: 6 p.m. Today. But the bombers are cleanskins, terrorists with no obvious link to any group, and who do not appear on any anti-terror watch list. What has brought them together on this one day to act in this way? Mo Kamran is the Superintendent in charge of the Special Crime and Operations branch of the Met. As the disaster unfolds and the SAS, armed police, and other emergency services rush to the scenes, he is tasked with preventing the biggest terrorist outrage the capital has ever known. But nothing is what it seems. And only Kamran has the big picture. Will anyone believe him? A chillingly plausible and pulse-pounding depiction of how London might be held to ransom in a concerted terrorist attack: this is thriller writing at its very best.

Black Ops The 12th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Black Ops The 12th Spider Shepherd Thriller

Author: Stephen Leather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

In what could be his highest-profile mission ever, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is called in to prevent the assassination of a head of state on British soil. As an MI5 agent, Spider is used to going undercover, but when he's asked to assume the identity of the contract killer hired to take out President Vladimir Putin, he knows he'll become a wanted man. And things are about to get more complicated: Spider is told that his MI5 controller and close friend Charlotte Button has been running an off-the-books assassination operation, taking vengeance on the men who killed her husband. Spider owes his life to Button - but this discovery will stretch his loyalty to the limit...

Spider Shepherd Collection 8-10

Spider Shepherd Collection 8-10

Author: Stephen Leather Format: eBook Release Date: 16/07/2015

'Let Spider draw you into his web - you won't regret it' SunThe 8th, 9th and 10th thrillers in Stephen Leather's bestselling Spider Shepherd series, available in one all-action collection, including FAIR GAME, FALSE FRIENDS and TRUE COLOURS.Fair GameWhen 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. 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. False FriendsThe most wanted man in the world is dead. Now those loyal to him seek revenge. When Navy Seals track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, al-Qaeda realise they have a traitor in their midst. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students, Malik and Chaudhry, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover. True ColoursThe 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.