As Shepherd and his Serious Organised Crime Agency colleagues plot the downfall of the Moore brothers, a more sinister threat stalks the streets of London. A group of home-grown Islamic fundamentalists embark on a campaign of terror the like of which Britain has never seen. Car bombs and beheadings are only the prelude. And Shepherd is the only man who can stop them.
©2009 Stephen Leather; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd
I'm a liberal minded person, enjoying philosophical discussion and dilemas. I read about 45% Crime/Thrillers, 45% Fantasy, 10% Other.
True to form, Stephen Leather dishes up the old formula, and sure enough, it's still just as enjoyable. Leather is not a literary genius, but that doesn't matter here. The 'Spider' books are good fun, and an interesting reflection on some of the issues faced by the British government. This story, however, has a refreshing change of location, something I hope the author explores further in future Shepherd storoies, although the current formula of alternating between Britain and foreeign locations for the story backdrop, seems quite successful. I'd hate every story to be based abroad. These stories are great yarns, and should be treated as such, but don't be surprised if you find yourself mulling philosophically over one topic or another.
The dual plot structure that Stephen Leather has used in the past, works well to provide an unexpected climax, and you'll find your self becoming more and more tense as the book progresses. I'm particularly pleased that the author has not tried to play with the 'Spider' formula, and that you can settle down with a mug of your favourite hot or cold tipple and be thouraghly entertained!
Paul Thornly has done a good job of returning all character traits to the way they were in the first three books in the 'Spider' series. There were two previous readers for ISIS publishing, but on the whole they have all kept the characters consistantly the same from book to book, with one or two annoying differences.The first reader in the series, Martyn Read, suddenly, out of the blue, changed the voice of Major Gannon in the fourth book. He went from someone sounding like a well to do Major in the three previous books, to a more relaxed laid back sole in the fourth. Now, don't get me wrong, either way works, but only if you stick to the personality you choose, the whole way through the series. Paul Thornly has done that. Martin Read, in my opinion, apart from the dreadful voice character change, was the better reader. Having said that, I'm very happy with Paul Thornly, and certainly wouldn't want to see him changed. He has altered 'Spider' from a middle class private school educated sounding accent, to a home counties state educated voice, but I've dealt with that, and wouldn't want it changed yet again. Paul isn't my favourite reader in the world, but he's above average, and is good with accents and dialects. Cornelius Garrett was bought in to read the fifth book in the series, and although he was great at the Northern Irish accent, he gave the same voice personality to virtually all his Northern Irish characters, male of female. The lead suspect, who was a female, sounded more male than the seductive femaile she was supposed to be.
Anyway, all in all, leave Paul Thornley where he is, as he's doing a great job!
Spider Shepherd is not a tear jerker kind of character really, so as far as heart wrenching emotions go, you find find them here. Hard choices are the name of the game for this series, and that has not changed. Now if tension is what floats your boat, then there's plenty of that here.
A personal plea to Stephen Leather, please don't stop writing about Spider, even if you have to move him through some career changes in the process. There is a winning formula here, and we look forward to each episode.
"Give it a go!"
Narrator Paul Thornley is brilliant as usual in his reading of this audiobook by Stephen Leather.
He reads with such skill as he distinguishes between the characters, several of whom have cockney accents, plus other characters including Russian, Asian and Northern, all of whom are realistic and spontaneous.
This is a continuation of the saga of Dan 'Spider' Sheppherd as he infiltrates a gang of robbers holed up in Thailand, with a parallel plot about the preparation of a terrorist event in the UK.
Maybe there's a bit too much description about weapons which would have become tedious without the lively narration, but it's an entertaining and exciting storyline. Give it a go!
"Great story telling"
This is the second Dan "Spider" Shepherd book I have listened to. Spider works undercover for SOCA and sometimes has to build relationships with criminals at the expense of his personal relationships. I like the character, the plot and the action. I want the next chapter (book 7) but unfortunately Audible does not have it. Paul Thornley is a superb narrator and his accents are believable.
I thoroughly recommend.
"Another Great Story"
A really gripping story with believable characters. The Dan Shepherd series is fantastic. I am on to the next in the series now.
Couldn't stop listening at times and had to force myself to turn it off a great plot and great characters
"Decent throughout, ending felt unfulfilling"
The narrator made the book come to life and made it incredibly interesting to listen to. In most cases, an interesting event was foreshadowed, making it hard to stop listening to it.
Being brutally honest, there weren't really any incredible memorable moments. It was consistently good throughout, but not really a select part that jumps out as memorable.
You've got to give it to the man, his accents are pretty spot on. His voice is a lot nicer than the one that reads in my head... :(
If I had the time, yes. With the exception of a few chapters that were a bit slow paced and drawn out, it kept interest throughout and make me want to listen to it in one go.
Overall I thought it was solid; a decent story line, interesting characters and the atmosphere is well presented with a good blend of humour and seriousness.
With all that said, I really did not like the ending at all. It felt incredibly rushed; there was a huge buildup to these two key events, and they were both just finalised with an incredibly cliche "and the hero saves the day at the very last second". Very unfulfilling and a lot of parts were glossed over - I wish the book was better paced to make the ending better.
I would say the ending ruined the book, but the rest of it was very enjoyable so as long as a disappointing ending isn't a huge deal breaker for you, it's a good listen.
"The best Dan shepherd book so far!!"
This has to be the best Dan shepherd book so far in the series, with such a great performance from Paul thornly,
"gripping, well written. Best in series so far."
good narration, reader made the story sound real. Good ending that means next book is a must have read
"Another cracker from Stephen Leather. more please."
one of the best. please keep them coming. Dan Shepherd is the man. more please.
"Spoiled by the ending"
This book as well read by Paul thornley,happy listen to him again.
I felt that the story was good up the last chapter, it then became very unrealistic, I know it's fiction but it got like two school boys in the playground..
Shame, if anybody reads this review before listening the book. I would be interested to read their review
Paul Thornley is an excellent narrator.
Really easy listening, he makes each character interesting, and believable.
Stephen Leather/Dan Shepherd series are definitely a new favourite. Would recommend.
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