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30 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels I’ve read for a long time, 10 May 2004
By 
Darren Simons (Middlesex, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
This was the second Stephen Leather book I read (the first being The Bombmaker) and this was just as good if not better. The story tells of two brutal murders, one in London and one in Bangkok. A US senator receives photos of the mutilated bodies and immediately knows the significance of both the murders and his relevance to it.
The murder investigation takes detective Nick Wright to Vietnam and the infamous tunnels where decades earlier American tunnel rats found against the Viet Cong. The story tells of a lifetime vendetta and is superbly written – every page is gripping and it’s impossible to put this one down. The amount of detail in this book is fantastic and yet does not get boring. You really get a feel for the type of war that was fought in the tunnels by reading this book.
If any book can be made into a movie, this is a perfect candidate in my view.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another top- notch thriller from the master of the genre!, 4 Oct 2000
By 
Alfred J. Pau (Gibraltar) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
An excellent thriller perhaps Leather's best! The tension is continuous, the characters are well developed and the plot teases the reader with the possibilities of the identity of the killer and the motive behind the killings. Written in short chapters one of Leather's trademarks, the reader's interests are always maintained. One mention should be given to the descriptive claustrophobic atmosphere set in the tunnels, gripping stuff. For a fast-paced page turner, that you don't want to end, read Stephen leather.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT, 20 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
If you have ever read any Stephen Leather books you will know how good he can be and this is as gripping as it gets .If you have never read his books then this is the one that will get you hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underground with creepy-crawlies, 26 Mar 2008
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
I thought that I was current in my reading of Stephen Leather thrillers until I ran across THE TUNNEL RATS originally published way back in 1997. Sorry, Stephen, I guess I just lost focus somewhere between then and now.

As the book opens in an unspecified "then", eight Americans emerge from a network of underground tunnels beneath the jungle shortly before B-52s start to carpet bomb. One man is dead, one seriously injured, and all seven of the living seriously spooked.

Fast forward to now. The body of a man viciously tortured to death, with an ace of spades impaled onto his chest with a knife, is discovered nailed to the wall of an abandoned railway tunnel in London. It's British Transport Police jurisdiction, and BTP officers Nick Wright and Tommy Reid are put on the case.

In Washington, D.C., Senator Dean Burrow, soon to be nominated to replace an ailing Vice-President, gets a UPS package containing a photograph of the London murder victim. Subsequently, Dean gets a second picture, this one of another man identically killed in Bangkok. The Senator, with a lot to lose if closeted skeletons are discovered, dispatches a trusted aide to tidy things up. The latter employs an ex-Special Forces killer who's scary-good at his skills.

The paths of Nick, the murderer, the hired killer, four-foot snakes, 6-inch centipedes, half-inch ants, and shiny black scorpions eventually cross in the abandoned Viet Cong tunnel network northwest of Saigon. Oh, and did I mention that Wright is severely claustrophobic?

I'm awarding four stars to an otherwise riveting read because the potential for a too-good-to-pass-up "gotcha" ending is completely ignored. By page 200 of this 500-page book, I suspected the identity of the murderer; a fact later confirmed with over 150 pages to go. Even the chance for a "double gotcha" via the role of the hired killer is waived by the author. The reader is left to see only how the underground action between known antagonists plays out. Mind you, however, this is much better than good enough since the description of the tunnels and their unusual nature as a stage set make for an edge-of-your-seat read. Especially if you're a claustrophobe with an active imagination.

As an aside, those Stephen Leather aficionados who've kept up with his current Dan Shepherd series will be interested to see the relationship between this hero and his young son, Liam, perhaps start to conceptually evolve with the relationship between Nick and his boy, Sean.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it - my favourite Stephen Leather book - so far!, 23 Sep 2010
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This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
I could not put this book down, I have read most of his books and this is my favourite. I actually felt as if I was in the tunnels, very descriptive and quite scary. Excellent story and I liked the main Police characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From railway tunnels to Cu Chi tunnels, 26 Jan 2008
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
From 1997, this is more drawn out than some of the more recent and tighter plots from Leather, but still a good read. An ordinary an inept British transport cop takes on a Battersea railway murder case and ensues a mystery dating to events in the Saigon tunnels during the Vietnam/U.S. war. A US senator protecting his past sends a hit man into the mix to tidy things up, and the plot takes us to Bangkok and then a finale deep in the tunnels. The ending seemed abrupt but works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars East meets West and the story comes alive, 22 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
The book was recommended to me, so I took the chance and bought it. It takes you from England to the the Far East with graphic detail of murder and crimes from a forgotten past. Mix it with an American political plot and you have an exciting story, that will make you not want to put the book down. So put your feet up and switch the answer machine on and read the book. I have recently ordered more of Stephen Leather's books, hope they are of the same calibre
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillian plot but it's the suspense that keeps you reading., 11 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) (Paperback)
This was recommended to me whilst holidaying in Greece two years ago. Until then I hadn't heard of Stephen Leather and now he is firmly one of my favorites. The suspense generated by the story is awesome especially in the later stages. If you've not read any Stephen Leather before, this is a good one to get you hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The tunnel rats, 26 May 2014
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Another great book from Stephen Leather not a book for folk who suffer from claustrophobia though such is the quality of the writing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 April 2014
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A top class read from start to finish, across three continents, a thrilling in site into aspects of the Vietnam war, and the work of the British police and Transport police, Stephen Leather does not know how to write a bad book, again top read
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The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books)
The Tunnel Rats (Coronet books) by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 2 July 1998)
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