HOT BLOOD (The 4th Spider Shepherd Thriller) Mass Market Paperback – 20 Sep 2007
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A brilliant read. (News of the World)
The sheer impetus of his storytelling is damned hard to resist. (Daily Express)
Authentic stuff. (The Observer)
The master of the gritty action thriller is back with the fourth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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....
it really is a brilliantly written set of books so far, and I can't wait to start the 5th one.
highly recommended to anyone that enjoys a good cop based thriller ... or anyone who hasn't read something of this type before.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very short review of a very readable book. As developed in the previous three stories, Shepherd, ex-SAS in an earlier life, undercover policeman, and latterly a civil servant... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roy Brocklebank
The book was very good and kept the reader guessing all the way throughPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was absolutely riveting....The story is so up to date and scary.There is so much of Dan and his moral dilemma about killing it makes him so real... Read morePublished 2 months ago by karen
If you like Stephen leather other books you like this it's good readingPublished 3 months ago by robert mccusker