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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
March 2016 Book of the Month. Completely and brilliantly captivating, it all feels scarily real! Over several hours, in central London, at various locations, hostages are taken and held by men wearing explosive vests. As the emergency services respond, Supt Mo Kamran finds himself in command of the incident. The action starts immediately and doesn't let up. Time and events speed by, every second, every word matters. Stephen Leather keeps piling blazing suspense on top of biting tension, I felt on edge as clever, clever writing flashes between locations, people and their thoughts, feelings, views and beliefs. Every character is relevant, you are introduced to an awful lot of them, but it works, oh how it works. This is provocative stuff, it is all too believable and I had to keep reminding myself that I was reading fiction. Because it is so busy, I didn't have time to stop and think, I just read and read, totally consumed. When the ending arrived, I almost felt out of breath, and exclaimed in admiration at this truly fabulous read. ~ Liz Robinson
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.
August 2014 eBook of the Month. A Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd thriller. He is a great character, an old-fashioned gung-ho hero with knowledge of modern procedures and weapons. This is his eleventh adventure. It all revolves around the Bin Laden killing and a possible conspiracy involving the Brits. Tortures might reveal secrets best kept secret so Spider is called in to intervene, but he too is in trouble. This is a compelling read with the outcome uncertain right up until the last pages; great stuff.
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 ...
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.
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.
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?
His last book, Hard Landing, saw undercover policeman Dan Shepherd in trouble in prison. Now he is an assassin in a very tough and dangerous world. The action is good, the storyline is good, at times riveting and the further developments, the quirky and personal complications, endear one to the on-going hero. In fact, the whole thing is good.Comparison: Lee Child, Robert Crais, Harlan Coben.Similar this month: Karin Slaughter, Michael Cordy.
As a big player in the 90s London underworld, Terry Greene has always made a priority of 'taking care of business' personally. Preston Snow was out of line. So the up-close-and-personal visit was in no way out of character. It was a messy hit. But the job was done. More messy however, was the aftermath. Fingered by one of his own crew, Terry finds himself taking the fall and is put away for life. The only person he can trust in the entire world is his estranged wife, Sam. She must now take over the reins of his organisation, find the snitch and - in theory - get Terry off the hook. But after a shaky start, she quickly starts to get her own ideas . . . *********** 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
Andrea Hayes was one of the IRA's most deadly killers. But when a misplaced bomb ripped apart a group of passing kids, she left all that behind her. Now, years later, she lives a quiet, suburban life with her husband and young daughter, and her days of violence seem a distant memory. But then her daughter is kidnapped by persons unknown, and the past comes knocking at her door . . . ********* 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
Two murders, thousands of miles apart: one in London, one in Bangkok. The bodies are brutally mutilated, an ace of spades impaled upon their chests. In Washington, a US senator receives photographs of the corpses. And realises that his past has come back to haunt him. Nick Wright is the detective trying to solve the mystery of the double killing. His hunt for a motive takes him to the Vietnam, where the American tunnel rats fought the dirtiest battle of the war against the Viet Cong. But his search places him in grave danger with a killer determined to protect the secrets of the tunnels. At whatever cost . . . ************ 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
Chris Hutchison is a man on the run. Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Hutch escapes from a British maximum-security prison and starts a new life in Hong Kong. But a ghost from his past catches up with him and gives him a choice: help a former terrorist break out of a Bangkok prison - or face life behind bars once more. Meanwhile, the DEA wants to nail the vicious drug warlord responsible for flooding the States with cheap heroin. And decides to use Hutch as a pawn in a deadly game. Hutch's bid for freedom takes him into the lawless killing fields of the Golden Triangle, where the scene is set for one final act of betrayal . . . *********** PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER 'A master of the thriller genre' Irish Times 'A writer at the top of his game' Sunday Express 'As tough as British thrillers get . . . gripping' Irish Independent
Why does a wealthy Scottish financier set up a drugs deal with the IRA? Jeopardise his career, endanger his family and lover by tangling with the East End underworld and a ruthless mercenary? The motive is simple: revenge for a cold-blooded act of murder. His adversary is a dangerous gangland boss whose connections stretch from the Highlands to London and beyond. More than a match for a newcomer, especially when that newcomer's plans contain a fatal flaw which will be discovered only when it is much too late . . . ********* 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
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
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 ...
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
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.
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