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False Friends (The 9th Spider Shepherd Thriller)

False Friends (The 9th Spider Shepherd Thriller) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Leather
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Praise for Stephen Leather's novels (:)

'This is an aggressively topical novel but a genuinely thrilling one, too.' (Daily Telegraph )

As tough as British thrillers get . . . gripping (Irish Independent)

'In brisk newsman's style he explores complex contemporary issues while keeping the action fast and bloody.' (Economist)

Book Description

THE TOP FIVE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER: the ninth Spider Shepherd thriller from Stephen Leather, known for his heart-pounding, page-turning, topical action.

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More About the Author

Stephen Leather is one of the UK's most successful thriller writers, an eBook and Sunday Times bestseller and author of the critically acclaimed Dan "Spider' Shepherd series and the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective novels.

Before becoming a novelist he was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He is one of the country's most successful eBook authors and his eBooks have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. In 2011 alone he sold more than 500,000 eBooks and was voted by The Bookseller magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world.

Born in Manchester, he began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series and two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were filmed for TV. You can find out more from his website and you can follow him on Twitter at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 1 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stephen Leather is fairly unusual in this genre, he has allowed his character "Spider" Shepherd to develop and evolve through the books and has balanced the action with realistic and satisfying characterisation. The books also reflect a changing society, environment and culture so the books feel up to date and fresh.

In False Friends, Spider is babysitting two Pakistani informers who not only helped identify the location of Bin Laden but also are being primed for the next big UK terrorist `spectacular'. At the same time he is doing a favour for his friends back in the Met, playing an arms dealer but with some bad guys with a very topical link.

All the Spider Shepherd books are a pleasure and this one is no different. The author knows how to pull together plot lines and how to engage the reader in an environment that is either exciting or very familiar. I liked the Pakistani informers especially, they were given real depth and character. Their attitudes, motives and passions felt real and utterly believable. Devout, from good families but with a view that terrorism is wrong balanced with the attitudes and language of young men of their age. And a sense of being British but also devout Muslims which was a refreshing change.

There are a few themes running through this topical thriller, hidden agendas, trust and that of living a lie. Even Shepherd's boss, Charlie Button has evolved as a character and now reflects a more hard-nosed approach and you sense that she and Shepherd do not quite have the relationship they once had, and Shepherd's viewpoint that is very much black and white is not shared by others around him who play in the grey areas.

So, again we have an intelligent, topical thriller populated with `real' people and characters. I think it is a brilliant series and this fits in perfectly.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Tale of Terrorism 2 Aug 2012
By ACB (swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stephen Leather has written another fast-paced action thriller involving Dan 'Spider' Shepherd of MI5. A Navy Seal helicopter invasion of a compound in Abittabad leads to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and his son. Shepherd is a reluctant observer who was under the impression that it was a capture operation, not a shoot to kill. The information on the location of the al-Qaeda leader was provided to MI5 by two Muslim students, Chaudhry and Malik, who had been seconded to a training programme in Pakistan and had met Bin Laden. Strict, honest Muslims with a conscience, they have a revulsive attitude to violence, particularly amongst British Muslims. Fearing al-Qaeda revenge, Shepherd is their handler under an alias. He is responsible for their well-being using surveillance when necessary. Khalid is their mentor in England. An al-Qaeda operative, he is grooming them for a major terrorist attack on an as yet unkown target. He demands total loyalty from his operatives. They are naturally anxious but ready for the call, (as long as Shepherd is rapidly on their case to intervene).

Meanwhile, Charlie Button, Shepherd's boss at MI5, has him seconded to the Met., under orders from number 10, meeting up with old colleagues Jimmy 'Razor' Sharpe and DCS Sam Hargrove to infiltrate a right-wing group, the English Defence League, whose fanatical leaders are based in Birmingham and planning a mass act of terrorism requiring high-tech. guns and ammunition. Spider and Razor go undercover as suppliers.

The novel moves at pace and is written with a topical slant. Politics, al-Qaeda activity and threat, potential mass murder (akin to the Oslo slaughter), racial mixing, undercover agents, taken with views on honesty versus lies, ethics and morals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 14 Jun 2014
By grick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed book good read can relate to story I like this author will purchase again hope this helps other customers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very real 7 Jun 2014
By Taxing
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The plot, as with all Leather's books, trips along at a good pace. It's a well written, well researched thriller, with a situation that could be only too real. After a couple of less well written stories, Leather has returned to form
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great episode 5 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have only very recently discovered the Spider Shepherd books, and boy, have I made up for lost time! I have read all ten in the series, plus the short stories and have pre-ordered number 11. These are well written thrillers and rattle along at a great pace. If you like action and a decent hero I thoroughly recommend the Spider Shepherd thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great thriller in the series 14 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved it!
Dan Shepherd is my hero as he always saves the day. Good to know MI5 spies are alive and active!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars once again, outstanding. 2 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once again, another outstanding book from Stephen Leather. Absorbing, adrenaline filled, fast paced action from start to finish. Starting No10 right now.
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