Customer Reviews

105
4.7 out of 5 stars
HOT BLOOD (The 4th Spider Shepherd Thriller)
Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
Price:£8.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The cover had a sticker on saying 'better then McNab or your money back', and the publishers get to keep their money because this is very good.

Featuring his character Spider Shepherd, the author takes him away from his usual line of work to help rescue an old friend from a hostage situation in Iraq.

This is the author's best work in a long time and plays very much in the Andy McNab space. A strong story with a range of interesting characters and it avoids most of the traditional traps these stories fall into, there is no shadowy traitor, the CIA and MI5 are not the bad guys etc etc. That is not to say there is not a considerable edge to this because there is, it is tight and well paced and a number of storylines are skilfully weaved into one.

Great stuff, this is a top notch thriller.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2008
I got given Hot Blood and Cold Kill at Christmas and have read them both in the last 48 hours. Hot Blood, the 4th in the Spider Shepherd series, sees him battling with his newish boss, a psych evaluation, UK arms dealers and the rescue of an old colleague in Iraq.

It's superbly plotted, with enough detail about the characters, including the minor ones, to bring them to life on the page. And Leather really can write, as the story moves at a cracking pace and it's very hard to put the book down at all.

There's the growth of the moral ambiguity that was there in Cold Kill - at what point is it acceptable to break UK laws, overseas laws, use violence, torture and murder to achieve ones ends, whether as a hero or a villain? And although you may or may not agree with the choices the hero makes, its development makes for a more interesting story, and again adds credibility to the characters and plot.

Leather's depictions of Iraq and Baghdad ring true with what we see on the television documentaries and it sounds like he's been there and researched it thoroughly.

If I had one complaint, it's that the central American character that facilitates much covert activity and is all to ready to torture or kill is perhaps too cliched as the representation of what one might hate about US foreign policy. But it provides a foil for Shepherd to make physical and ethical choices for or against and as such serves his purpose.

All in all, thoroughly readable and I'm about to buy the rest of the series on Amazon....
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2008
I've read all of the other Dan Sheppard titles, and this one hit's the spot in true Stephen Leather style. I won't give away the plot, but suffice to say, I can't wait for the next to be released. While writing this review, I would also like to recommend another good read, 'The Constantine Legacy' by Andrew Towning.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
In HOT BLOOD, Stephen Leather's fourth book in the Dan "Spider" Shepherd series, Spider, an Ex-SAS trooper now a Detective Constable with a ultra hush-hush undercover unit within London's Metropolitan Police tasked with missions otherwise impossible,leaves the relative safety of the UK on an unauthorized leave of absence from his day job to take the point position on a mission into Baghdad's most anti-Western sector.

Back in his Army days when Shepherd was chasing the Taliban in Afghanistan, Dan's life was saved by fellow trooper Geordie Mitchell. Now, while working for a private security company in the Iraqi capital, Mitchell is kidnapped by Islamic insurgents. In a video broadcast to the world, Mitchell's captors display their hostage and threaten his execution in two weeks if their demands aren't met. With virtually no leads as to Geordie's exact whereabouts or the identity of his abductors, Spider and three other former Sassmen, led by their old boss SAS Major Allan Gannon, must extricate Mitchell from his dodgy predicament before his throat is literally put to the knife.

It's only been in the third and fourth installments of the series, i.e. this volume and COLD KILL, that the Spider character has matured in the sense that he's being pitted against the Islamic jihadists that are causing so much grief across international borders in the name of Allah rather than the self-serving criminals of his home country out for just money. With this wider world view, Shepherd is made more interesting and the plots as a whole more relevant to a wider readership. It also means that Spider might get out more in the wake of his wife's death three years previous and perhaps, as here, even get lucky. I hope the author maintains this direction in future books.

For the reader, a consequence of the plot, likely intended by Leather, is a mental debate as to the methods by which the West should fight the jihadists that would see us destroyed. Does one "play by the rules" as Spider's conscience urges, or do whatever's necessary, no matter how cold blooded and brutal, as Yank CIA officer Yokely is more than happy to demonstrate during his "information retrieval" interrogations? Because, as Yokely explains the futility of American and British forces in Iraq:

"Maximum terror, minimum risk. It's a hell of a lot easier to recruit a guy to plant IEDs than it is to recruit a suicide-bomber. I tell you, they can fight like this for ever. It doesn't matter how many troops we send, how much equipment we give them, we can't win. Because the enemy is untargetable. Overwhelming firepower is all well and good, but in Iraq we've got nothing to shoot at ... Imagine the havoc devices like that would wreak on our freeways. Or in New York City. Or London."

My sentiments exactly.

The only minor criticism I have with HOT BLOOD is the home-grown, British terrorist plot that Dan and his police unit are infiltrating when old SAS loyalties summon him away to rescue Geordie. In his absence, the investigation lapses and is eventually given somewhat short-shrift by Leather, who presumably thought there was no need to further pad the storyline with ancillary action. Perhaps it might have been better had he not introduced that subplot at all, but left it to develop into the primary plot of a later book. But who am I to nit pick? If first-rate thrillers were easy to write, everybody would be doing it, including me perhaps.

I was especially delighted with the red-headed, freckled, South African mercenary character that the author introduces at the bottom of page 269 of the Hodder and Stoughton paperback edition. Hey, Stephen, perhaps you could build a whole new series around him, you think? A new action hero replete with Babes and hi-tech gadgets for the 21st century. Think of the movie deals!
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2007
The 4th Dan Sheppard mystery and once again, he doesn't fail to disappoint. Exotic locations and plenty of characters and sub-plots to keep our brain in gear, this is classic "Leather" and it should take no more than 3 days to complete the read. The problem with Leather's books are they're read too fast and am left wanting for the next one. Perhaps 2 books a year might be in order (joke!).
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2013
This is another top notch Dan (Spider) Shepherd thriller which is different from the others as Dan is not in an intelligence operation but on a rescue mission. I for one could not put it down!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2013
Having read reviews, I decided to try a Spider Shepherd book, so started with the first in the series. It was so good that I bought all the others in the series. they are un-put-down-able!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2013
very good read, with an interesting story line with realistic situation. Covers more than just the main characters situations with look forward to reading the next in series.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
Excellent book, Kindle special, so easy to download and read, there is nothing I can fault in any Stephen Leather novel.
Spider Shepherd Excellent series
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
I keep thinking the Spider Shepherd series will pall; but it never does! Another cracking story! I strongly recommend this book and the series in general.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
HARD LANDING (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller)
HARD LANDING (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 16 Aug. 2004)
£7.99

COLD KILL (The 3rd Spider Shepherd Thriller)
COLD KILL (The 3rd Spider Shepherd Thriller) by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 10 Aug. 2006)
£6.74

Soft Target: The 2nd Spider Shepherd Thriller
Soft Target: The 2nd Spider Shepherd Thriller by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 15 Aug. 2005)
£7.19
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.