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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
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...
Published on 1 Aug 2012 by Nick Brett

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Falling Behind
A disappointing effort almost totally lacking in pace the only real excitement is right at the end. I had hoped Shepherd, the main character, was shedding his touchy feely attitudes, sadly he seems to still be suffering from the delusion that the people trying to kill you have rights. Muslim terrorism, or any other sort of terrorism for that matter, is a cancer and even...
Published 23 months ago by MP Collins


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 1 Aug 2012
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Tale of Terrorism, 2 Aug 2012
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ACB (swansea) - See all my reviews
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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. Spider Shepherd is again superbly portrayed by the author as are Chaudhry and Malik whose characters are well-developed, with the reader easily warming to them and their predicament. Plenty of characters, action and current topics to chew on in this enjoyable, easy read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, 28 July 2014
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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Brill
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 14 Jun 2014
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Enjoyed book good read can relate to story I like this author will purchase again hope this helps other customers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very real, 7 Jun 2014
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The plot, as with all Leather's books, trips along at a good pace. It's a well written, well researched thriller, with a situation that could be only too real. After a couple of less well written stories, Leather has returned to form
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great episode, 5 Jun 2014
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I have only very recently discovered the Spider Shepherd books, and boy, have I made up for lost time! I have read all ten in the series, plus the short stories and have pre-ordered number 11. These are well written thrillers and rattle along at a great pace. If you like action and a decent hero I thoroughly recommend the Spider Shepherd thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great thriller in the series, 14 May 2014
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Loved it!
Dan Shepherd is my hero as he always saves the day. Good to know MI5 spies are alive and active!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars once again, outstanding., 2 May 2014
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Once again, another outstanding book from Stephen Leather. Absorbing, adrenaline filled, fast paced action from start to finish. Starting No10 right now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spider Shepherd Series, 24 April 2014
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I have enjoyed all this series of books, and look forward to the next one. I would recommend the whole series.
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False Friends (The 9th Spider Shepherd Thriller)
False Friends (The 9th Spider Shepherd Thriller) by Stephen Leather (Paperback - 6 Dec 2012)
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