I was lucky and received an advance copy of this, the 11th Spider Shepherd thriller.
Stephen Leather once again provides an intelligent thriller that cranks up the tension while exploring some uncomfortable themes. As an author he allows his characters to grow and evolve and tries not to just repeat the same types of storyline.
For me White Lies is about loyalty and how far you are prepared to go to achieve your aims. When an intelligence agent is identified and interrogated by terrorists on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, Spider joins a local assault team to rescue him and things go horribly wrong…
Sufficient scene setting is in place that we understand and care about the variety of characters here and as readers we are conflicted by both ‘sides’ doing what they have to in order to get answers, one side we will cheer and obviously be outraged by the other – it’s quite a subtle way to get you to not look at things in terms of black and white. Stephen Leather’s books are all about shades of grey.
This is also a book where Spider’s boss, Charlie Button really comes into her own. Along with Spider she had moved into the intelligence services a couple of books back, but now we see her in her element, confident, tough, and willing to cross the line for her people. She has become a force to be reckoned with. Great to also see more of characters from previous books including the mysterious Richard Yokely.
I am an obvious fan of the series but this is another great entry.