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

Stephen Leather
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

The ninth all-action thriller in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. The 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, it's obvious there was a traitor on the inside. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students, Malik and Chaudhry - former Islamic fundamentalists recruited by MI5 - they become targets themselves. Dan 'Spider' Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover with al-Qaeda closing in. But Spider is not used to playing the handler. And with the line between mentor and friend beginning to blur, and a terrorist plot putting thousands of lives at stake, can he protect everyone before it's too late?

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Product Description


Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it. (Sun)

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

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2270 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0340924993
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340924993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340924990
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,767 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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
38 of 41 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Spider then this won't disappoint 31 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Overall I liked this book, however, there were a couple of points that had me saying to myself 'not likely'. For example, the book starts with the US Seal's raid on Bin Laden's hideout. Shepherd goes a long as an observer as, in this version of events, the info of Bin Laden's whereabouts came from the British. This was the most important raid by the Seals yet they had space for a Brit passenger. Once there Shepherd starts criticising the marines for killing indiscriminately. There is a debate to be had here over the raid, but while it was going on struck me as unlikely. There is little of Liam in this book but we are told again that Shepherd goes running in boots with a rucksack full of bricks. The book covers two parallel investigations, one being the concerning the Muslims who provided the intel on Bin Laden's whereabouts the other on arms dealers. Both are developed separately and handled well. Shepherd himself does seem to have discovered a softer approach to law enforcement but still does the business when all the right boxes are ticked. Some have complained that the book was padded with contemporary observations of how Muslims are fitting in within the UK but I felt this was just scene setting. The book ends in a spectacular fashion as you expect with these books, whether you think such things would fall into place so easily is another matter. And the book was not too long!
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14 of 16 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back 28 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Books can be difficult or they can be like hanging out with an old friend. Stephen Leather has a writing style that always guarantees the latter to the case. All his books are great fun and easy to get into. Perfect for loading into a bag or sticking on your kindle app. Easy to read for an hour or two, even easier to read for a few minutes and then return to. I like Spider, you know what you are getting with him and it never disappoints.
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