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4.4 out of 5 stars323
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2013
This is yet another great read from the pen(Apple Mac)of Stephen Leather. Dan Shepherd is now into his 10th story and in my mind at his best. This is a fast paced easy to read and follow book. The only problem you will find is putting it down. This like all the other Spider Shepherd stories is responsible for me getting some very late nights and very tired days at work. This is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone. I just hope there is more of Mr Shepherd to come.
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on 20 June 2014
I enjoyed the book, had several treads that pulled together gradually during the plot. There was a good climax of all the stories coming together and locking in. It forced you to make morale choices about what the characters did.

I also found the author to have done a lot of research on the military, crime and police networks. so if you like action and thriller this is your book. It kinda feels real, it has modern social references too which creates an atmosphere and mood. Makes you think about society to a degree as well
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on 4 August 2013
As always with this series, I was hooked early and read it quickly.

The plotting is efficient and the two story lines kept me gripped though there was not a genuine sense of jeopardy. Regular readers of this series know what to expect and this doesn't disappoint.

The moral ambiguities that Spider has to juggle with are now an established aspect of these books and I enjoyed the way that the reader is made to think about the difficult decisions that have to be made. This book opens with Spider undercover and trying to stop a group of racists from targeting a muslim fanatic. This is set against Spider's temptation to use foul play to gain revenge against a Taliban fighter from years ago later in the book.

I'd recommend reading Kill Zone first as it adds to the all round depth of this story though it'll cosy you an extra 60p or so.
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on 1 August 2013
I really enjoyed the two parallel stories running through the book, and the final bringing of them together. The suspense was great, the stories expertly convoluted and as always a real shame to get to the end,

What does frustrate me with Mr Leather's books is the need for proof reading and/or effective editing. This one was no exception. I really doubt a Taliban leader 'christened' his daughter anything. Nor that the said Taliban leader had a milky pupil as mentioned twice. A milky iris sure enough. Then towards the end the use of 'their' instead of 'there'.

To me, this distracts from the story as the grammar nerd inside me cringes. Please Mr Leather, hire some-one better.
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on 29 July 2013
Stephen Leather is not James Joyce or Oscar Wilde and he doesn't claim to be. He is however a writer of easy modern thrillers and in creating Dan "Spider" Shepherd he's come up with a winning formula for a modern hero.
On this outing he's minding a Russian Oligarch with a price on his head, tracking down a Taliban adversary with some old mates including one who's turned into an alky and another who's turned Pattaya based drug baron.
As he always does Steve's hit the mark with True Colours, if you want a good honest blokey thriller, this is the book for you.
If you'd like to lift the lid a bit more on what goes on in Thailand try Last Seen in Bangkok
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on 28 September 2013
I really enjoyed this book, possibly because the constant referrals to his relationship with his son have been minimised and the rucksack was only mentioned in passing, a great step forward in my humble opinion. The way the story developed though was good but the grand finale with his old sniper nemesis was a tad beyond belief as his buddies change of heart was amazing to say the least. The other storyline with the Russian Oligarch did bild and end quite nicely though. I hope Stephen Leather continues to develop the Russian themes and the Lex Harper role in future novels.
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on 30 October 2013
The Spider novels just never disappoint. The worst thing about them is the realisation that you've reached the last page & are going to have to wait until the next one is published. This one is right up there with the best of them with well drawn characters, some very likeable, some downright dastardly! You always know you're in for a good read with Stephen Leather with plenty of excitement & you certainly get that at the end of this one. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I just don't know how he unfailingly comes up with such good plots. Can't WAIT for the next one!
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on 3 December 2013
I have read all of the Dan Shepherd series and have seen Spider becoming more hardened and unfeeling. This latest one left out almost all references to his home life. He is shown as relentless and with little compassion, I think that his character has changed over time, but then considering what he does for a living maybe that is not surprising.
I still enjoyed it though, it had a good story-line to keep me turning the pages.
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on 2 August 2013
Spider seems to have regained a bit of the edge, but I still find something missing. Not sure he would have been so easily accepted into the Russian team.

A typically good topic by Stephen.

Some good characters that I'm sure we'll be hearing more of, such as Lex.

As usual looking forward to the next one, but would also like a return of Mike Cramer, and yes, I know, I'm being greedy!
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on 15 December 2013
I've belittled the Spider Shepard short stories, in previous reviews, but very sneaky Mr. Leather has integrated them into full length novel which binds them all together in a gripping, all action story. The short stories are like flash backs and add depth and information to the sub plot. Sorry Stephen for my previous reviews, this really pulls everything together. A great read, highly recommended.
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