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323 of 338 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A revelation!
I initially bought the Kindle book because it was such a bargain at 49p but was not sure I would like it as it is not my usual kind of book. I started to read it and was totally hooked from the start. The story builds up quite slowly but this is not a negative point as the suspense is just right. The characters are very well defined and the you can almost feel the...
Published on 14 Dec 2010 by Booklover

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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story O.K. Format Not.
Reading this on Kindle, I was really confused by the way the chapters ran into one another; this meant that at times there didn't seem to be any connection between sentences~in fact at first I wondered if the book had downloaded correctly. I did get used to this disjointed approach but it spoilt a fairly good story. Can`t really complain as book only cost pennies but...
Published on 12 Dec 2010 by N. Cawsey


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323 of 338 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A revelation!, 14 Dec 2010
By 
Booklover (Worcester UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
I initially bought the Kindle book because it was such a bargain at 49p but was not sure I would like it as it is not my usual kind of book. I started to read it and was totally hooked from the start. The story builds up quite slowly but this is not a negative point as the suspense is just right. The characters are very well defined and the you can almost feel the atmosphere of the prison. The 'baddies' are truly bad and you just know they are going to get their come uppance. Spider Shepherd is a tricky lead character as he is not all 'good' and you get the sense of a complicated past which I expect we discover more of in later books.

I am a total convert and can't wait for the rest to be Kindleised (hopefully at a reasonable price too).
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205 of 221 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New literary Tough Guy hits the ground running, 14 Feb 2007
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
HARD LANDING was the first in the Stephen Leather's series of thrillers starring Dan "Spider" Shepherd, an ex-SAS trooper now assigned to an elite Metropolitan police unit tabbed for deep undercover operations when the usual enforcement methods can't nab the bad guys. Dan's nickname came to be while on an SAS survival training mission and he won a bet on who could eat the most disgusting thing. One normally doesn't see "tarantula" on the menu even in the greasiest curry house.

HARD LANDING was followed by SOFT TARGET and COLD KILL, all three of which I've unintentionally read in reverse order. I'd recommend reading the first book first since, if nothing else, the series is a character development exercise for the protagonist.

Here, Spider is tossed into one of Her Majesty's maximum security prisons after establishing his cover as an armed desperado on an airport warehouse hold-up gone bad. Dan's mission is to nail big-time drug trafficker Gerald Carpenter, currently in the same lock-up awaiting trial. Carpenter is somehow communicating with the outside and masterminding the quashing of evidence and killing of witnesses that would otherwise convict him. Fearing Gerald will ultimately go free, Shepherd's job is to identify the leak and thus ensure Carpenter's conviction.

Spider's job prevents him from having a normal home life with his wife Sue and son Liam, a fact that causes the inevitable friction with the former and neglect of the latter and which is exacerbated by a tragedy that occurs while Dan is behind bars. I previously mentioned in my review of SOFT TARGET (dated 11/4/06 and entitled "A whopping cell phone bill, no doubt") that the author perhaps dwelled too much on Spider's spotty relationship with his son, which caused me to knock off a star from that otherwise splendid tale. With Shepherd, I'm looking for hard-boiled action not agonized soul-searching. (My other favorite fictional Tough Guy, Lee Child's Jack Reacher, never ever moons about engaging in self-castigating guilt trips.) I gave COLD KILL five stars (dated 6/29 06 and entitled "How hardball do we play it?") because it maximized the action and minimized the hand-wringing, and I'm giving HARD LANDING a full allocation of points for the same reason.

Until commencing with the Dan Shepherd series, Leather had pretty much eschewed an ongoing hero beyond a couple of books. With Spider, Stephen has struck gold, and I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth installment, HOT BLOOD.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story O.K. Format Not., 12 Dec 2010
By 
N. Cawsey (Bristol, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
Reading this on Kindle, I was really confused by the way the chapters ran into one another; this meant that at times there didn't seem to be any connection between sentences~in fact at first I wondered if the book had downloaded correctly. I did get used to this disjointed approach but it spoilt a fairly good story. Can`t really complain as book only cost pennies but still feel it should be formatted correctly.
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63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, 3 Aug 2006
By 
This is typical Stephen Leather. Fast, well written, absorbing plot and difficult to put down! Even my wife, who is not a great reader couldn't resist this one! Thoroughly recommended as are all his other novels.
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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Landing, 15 Feb 2011
By 
S. Williams (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
Hard Landing: The First Spider Shepherd Thriller (A Dan Shepherd Mystery) I'm very surprised at the number of people that have given this book a 5 star rating. It was mildly entertaining, enough for me to finish reading it, but was very cliched and full of stereotypes. It wasn't especially well written and the characters were one dimensional. The end seemed so rushed, it was almost as if the author had got bored himself. I know it only cost 49p but that shouldn't impact upon the rating. Like I said, I read the book to the end so it was OK but not as great as a 5 star rating would imply.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its going to be a great series...., 8 July 2012
This review is from: Hard Landing (Audio Cassette)
A solid book with good attention and description to detail of very unfamiliar situations and environments, which made it a most enjoyable read.

Ex SAS Spider Shepherd plays an undercover cop in a CAT A prison carrying out a delicate operation of finding out certain information about a fellow inmate, who is a rich and highly influential drugs dealer. The plot is good and the action surrounding it is consistent throughout the book.

The only criticism is that the highly influential drugs dealer reminded me of the character "Grouty" from the TV show Porridge, which spoilt it a little.

I have given 4 stars, based on the fact that this is a very fast paced, easy to follow and keeps your interest levels engaged until the end. I did warm to Spider Shepherd despite his hard SAS background and will now read the other books in the series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, formatting ok...ish, 30 Jan 2011
This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
A tale that Alistair McLean would have been proud of. A steady build to an excellent SAS-style climax, followed by another, just when you thought it was all over! Definitely enough in it to make you want to read the next in the series, even though the price rockets.

Then we come to the Kindle effect. Nowhere near as bad as some, Conrad Jones' Slow Burn being a disgraceful example but thew ordsrunningtogether can be frustrating. It cost less than 1, so presumably it doesn't rate proper formatting. Get it right, Kindle!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 15 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. J. G. Cantrell (Plumieux,France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
The story is easy to follow and for some light reading it is ideal,this type of book helps me relax for the night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
I had never heard of this author before but really enjoyed the book and will read more of his work
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me!, 19 April 2011
By 
Ian Gilmore (Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Landing (The 1st Spider Shepherd Thriller) (Kindle Edition)
Sorry, but this ebook really didn't engage me at all. I've given it 2 stars - but only just. I did finish it, although it was hard going. The plot is full of holes, and the pace of the book is bizarre - very very slow for ages, then the last few pages read like a condensed book. Some of the characterisation is good, although I found the main character pretty unappealing (which is OK sometimes.)

Also the formatting for Kindle was extremely poor - at various stages you suddenly find 2, 3 or occasionally 4 words all running into one ("allrunningintoone") - I know at 49p you can't grumble but it is nonetheless offputting.
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