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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch and thought provoking
Having read all of Stephen Leather's thrillers and particularly enjoyed the "Spider Shepherd" tales, I am an established fan but I can honestly say that Rough Justice is as good as anything the author has written. Rough Justice works on a number of levels, it is a thriller that deals with the very grey areas between justice and revenge and also asks some uncomfortable...
Published on 15 July 2010 by Nick Brett

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointing
Having enjoyed previous Spider Shepherd books I was hopeful that Stephen Leather would be an alternative to Lee Child. This book was so disappointing however that I have been put off him completely. This book is like reading a long, repetative rant by an extreme right wing Daily Mail reader. Goodbye Spider, it's back to Jack Reacher for me.
Published on 13 Aug 2012 by Stella.K.Davy


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch and thought provoking, 15 July 2010
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Having read all of Stephen Leather's thrillers and particularly enjoyed the "Spider Shepherd" tales, I am an established fan but I can honestly say that Rough Justice is as good as anything the author has written. Rough Justice works on a number of levels, it is a thriller that deals with the very grey areas between justice and revenge and also asks some uncomfortable questions.

Here we have Spider going undercover to expose some rogue Police officers who are taking justice into their own hands set within an environment that is perhaps overly politically correct and overly protective of the bad guys rather then the victims. Spider gets his own exposure to this in a scenario that is scarily (and sadly) true. In balance to this we also have Spider considering taking things into his own hands as a result of a terrorist attack....

This moves at pace but the author does a great job of giving all the characters real personalities amid excellent research. The banter and process of the Police team that Spider works with felt spot on, as did their varying attitudes and frustrations. I sense that Stephen Leather is no fan of the "Nanny State" (a theme repeated in his other recent book, Nightfall), and it would be hard to argue with him based on the themes in this book. But this is a thriller and it works very well at that level, you get a sense of the tension and the pressures of working undercover and the difficulty of maintaining two identities. As a reader you are likely to change your mind about what is acceptable and what is not, or at the very least you will pause to think about your views of right and wrong.

There are some significant changes in this novel as well, and a possible change of direction for Spider, it's an interesting one although it may well take future books into a direction already quite well populated and away from the unique(ish) undercover scenario we have become used to. And there are still some things to be resolved........

A great thriller from an author at the top of his game. Recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's done it again!, 5 July 2010
I am a big Stephen Leather fan and have followed Dan "Spider" Shephard from his first appearence in Hard Landing. My favourite book in this series so far has been Soft Target, which was my first ever book by this author and it had me gripped from the start.
I was worried that this book was covering very similar ground and was just a re-jig of a story already done... However I was pleased to see I was wrong and it was a different path to that book. I wont go over the plot in too much detail as I don't want to give any spoilers but suffice to say it takes some interesting twists and continues the prose very nicely.

I was really dis-appointed when Mike "Joker" Cramer was killed off in a previous series of books and I hope Mr Leather doesn't make the same mistake again..!? The ending of this leads nicely into a different path for the characters and could really refresh the series.

My only gripe is having a chapter of Nightfall at the back of the book... Why!? I have that book and really enjoyed it but don't see the point of this other than a marketing ploy?

But apart from that another top read 5 stars - keep them coming!!

Mr Leather I know you read these reviews, I know the Shephard series is popular but I also loved one offs like the tunnel rats and birthday girl, are there any "ones offs" due out and also when is the next Nightingale book due out??
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sign of slowing down., 2 April 2011
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You'd think that a seventh book with the same character would get boring. Stephen Leather is too good a writer to let that happen.

Spider has to investigate a group of vigilante cops, calling into question his morals and his career. Leather raises some fascinating issues. Should it be an eye for an eye, and should the police have greater powers, to name just two. Leather presents both sides of the argument expertly and combines these issues with the usual action and humour found in his previous books.

The ending is a belter. Stephen, how could you?! Will we see the Spider unleash hell in book eight? I hope so......
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime and Punishment, Leather Style, 28 Jan 2014
By 
Rough Justice is a brilliant read. It offers the entertainment and distraction that I like to find in a thriller, but it also had me thinking about a number of issues and really stretched my opinions until they were out of shape.
The subject under investigation is justice itself and the book demonstrates just how complex and thorny a topic it is. Mr Leather pushes the boundaries with the clever juxtaposition of the various strands of the plot. In each of these elements there is a need for justice and in none of them is the outcome either straightforward or the same.
Shepherd is working undercover as a member of an elite police unit. He’s mixing with hard people who have strong beliefs. The investigation is aimed at uncovering a gang of law-enforcers who have decided to take the law into their own hands. We get to follow the gang as they mop up the streets and take serious villains from the streets. Their methods are unorthodox these days, but could be viewed as ‘an-eye-for-an-eye’. Rather importantly, they seem to be succeeding where the law appears to fail time and time again. They’re brutal, efficient and it’s difficult not to feel sympathy with what they’re aiming to achieve – difficult for Shepherd and difficult for me as a reader. To add to the elements here, the issues of racism are raised at a number of levels and examined in ways that aren’t easily or frequently aired.
Added to this, Shepherd finds himself in a position of assisting the Major as he seeks closure for himself and his brother after a number of off-duty soldiers are gunned down by Irish terrorists.
Further fuel is thrown onto the fire when Shepherd’s son is found with a clip of a beating on his phone; because Shepherd reports this to the school, a chain of events is set into motion that leave his home and family at risk. It needs to be dealt with, but the police seem powerless to take it on. Worse still, it’s not long before Shepherd is made to feel like he’s the villain of the piece by one particularly PC PC. Said PC talks sense and brings a liberal mind to the tale, but somehow manages to come out rather badly in doing so.
The development of each aspect is taken at the perfect pace. They link together and bounce off each other perfectly to make the whole even greater than the sum of its parts.
I particularly enjoyed the characters. They come across as very real people in very difficult situations and are presented in ways that blur black and white throughout. Stephen Leather does a fantastic job of zooming in and out in order to build a level of sympathy with the majority of the people who inhabit the book and manages to do this without ever giving the sense that he’s out there pulling the strings and manipulating events, something that I found rather impressive.
At the time of reading, the verdict on the Mark Duggan police shooting came through. The conclusion of the courts clearly doesn’t satisfy everyone, nor could it possibly. What the coverage of the story has shown is how powerful the police are and what amazingly difficult situations they have to cope with. Having grown up with some of the old-fashioned policing that is oft referred to in crime novels of late, I’ve rarely been a police sympathiser, but I think this book came close to helping me understand something of the impact the power of being a police officer must have and it was interesting to take a look at the world from such a different point of view.
I also read this immediately after Ian Rankin’s ‘Saints Of The Shadow Bible’, a novel which also deals with issues of justice and police stretching it to try and make it work. The books are both great, very different and complement each other really well.
For Rough Justice, the 5 stars were never in doubt. Any fewer and it would have been a crime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 18 Mar 2011
This review is from: Rough Justice (The 7th Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Paperback)
just finished this book, and dont really know what to say, I've read all the others but this one has to be my favourite, excellently written and i have to agree with a previous reviewer, this book will make you stop and think about your own beliefs that are written about in the book, the only problem i had with this book is the ending, without saying to much but why did you have to do it, hopefully dan will have the last laugh though,
Keep it going stephen cant wait for the next one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rough justice is amazing, 13 Feb 2011
This review is from: Rough Justice (The 7th Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Paperback)
You must read this book. I have to confess to being a bit of a book worm, but I have read all of the Dan Shepard books,and this is probably my favourite! It completely grips you from the begining right up to the last page!! Get this book!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rough Justice, 10 Feb 2011
OOOOOOOOer Mr Leather!! What an EXCELLENT book - I find myself feeling very gushing towards this book and without shame! What a daring man to go where others would fear to tread - I have to admit to gnawing at my knuckles at some of the sensitive and topical subjects dealt within this book and thinking 'how on earth have you got away with this' then leaving my knuckles in order to grin - I am in awe!

A few sub-plots skillfully thrown in alongside the main story line. Bang up to date politically, re; the criminal justice system, political correctness etc - and more importantly it doesn't make the book 'heavy' or detract from the story.

The only point I would have to make is that SOCA do now have powers of arrest which came about via the SOCA Act around 2006/7 ish - although I believe it is up to the 'powers that be' which officers' are to be given the same powers as Police Officers - I would expect field officers...

How many emotive subjects does this man manage to touch upon in one book!!! - most of which we, ourselves would love to rant and rave about regardless of what creed, colour, sex we are. He does all this without causing any offence to the reader using different characters' relaying their thoughts and opinions about the criminal justice, policing, sentencing and political correctness to name a few - and one will wonder why police officers roll out of bed in the morning and do their job.

Vigilante cops imparting out their own forms of justice on criminals in an 'eye for and eye' way. You will initially find yourself forgetting that what they are doing is unlawful and very wrong as you become so engrossed in the story and find yourself empathising with them, that is until they become too extreme then you don't need the reminder.

'Shepherd' finds himself confronted with crossing 'the thing blue line' on a personal level in at least two of the sub-plots. The question is could you? Would you? Only in a book.

There were a couple of pages towards to the end and the closure of the Vigilante cops, where I thought the conversation between 'Spider' and one of the cops was yawn worthy and I couldn't match it with 'Spider's' character.

The book ends with a cliff hanger involving one of the characters that often makes an appearance.

You will find yourself thinking about subjects raised, long after you put the book down and would have to be a very lucky person if you do not relate to any of them.

Before I go and reach for my soap box - this book is well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected present!, 8 Jan 2011
This was a surprise present and I really enjoyed this fast paced thriller.I read it in just two days as the story kept me gripped right up to the last page.Several themes within the main story and some powerful issues are revealed particularly about our crazy justice system. Dan(Spider)Shepherd is a great character,rough on the outside but a caring family man when he needs to be.This was not my first Stephen Leather book and it will certainly not be my last,he's got me hooked!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - the best one yet, 6 Aug 2010
By 
CK (Gloucester) - See all my reviews
I am a huge fan of the Spider Shepherd books and couldn't wait for this to come out (a real pain when it comes out when you are holiday and you have to wait till you get home to read it!!)

The book was brilliant, the best "spider" one yet, a complete page turner and the stories within the main story were brilliant. Nothing is ever predictable, as the end proved and this was totally compelling from beginning to end. I was up till 2am reading and (hate to say this) but had to take a sickie to finish it!

I cannot wait for the next one to see what direction this will go in, just a shame we have to wait so long :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phew i have died and gone to heaven, 30 July 2010
I have just read Rough Justice in two days and thought it was his best ever so far. It is so true in many ways and i was cheering as he commented on our wonderful "PC" world and how totally the justice system is failing us all. Brilliant....
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Rough Justice (The 7th Spider Shepherd Thriller)
Rough Justice (The 7th Spider Shepherd Thriller) by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 11 Nov 2010)
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