He lied to Charlotte, took it on himself to reveal his identity to someone being pursued by al Qaeda and he blew the cover of a couple of other undercover officers one of whom ended up dead and the other shot. And he badmouths the US Navy SEALs, especially the ones who killed Bin Laden because they are cowboys more interested in revenge than justice. Which is a pretty ironic point of view is assassinating someone on his own authority, or setting up someone who has crossed him to be killed by rival mobsters. My favorite parts of these books, which are extremely well written, with compelling character development, is reading Spider's public pronouncements about rule of law and political correctness, then watching him carefully plan and carry out a cold-blooded assassination of some IRA terrorist with no introspection. He's is cognitive dissonance in action.
Overall very good read, another good installment of the series. After the rather savage 8th book where Dan took on sea pirates, this installment is more spy-oriented with a good mix of counter-terrorism thrown in: again you can only appreciate the fact that SL takes again some efforts in trying to bring something new in this book, and went to the efforts of doing good research (you learn a great deal of spy stuff in this one). One point which may cause a bit of debate (though you can bet this is what SL is hoping for) is the involvement of Dan into actual real event like the Seal's intervention to seize former #1 terrorist at the start of the book (I don't want to disclose too much), and Dan ends up criticising how the intervention went, which of course can create quite a stir for US readers. However, isn't MI5 and SAS doing just about the same towards end of the book? (look out for Gannon's intervention at the end of the book). On this point I don't think SL is anti-American as his characters also takes usual stabs at British institutions (or other countries): his books are again good entertainment, not to be used for political debate, so the no-hold barrels views of some of the characters are a given in such books, which is I find actually good fun to read. I was not immediatly drawn in the book as it takes a while to figure out exactly which is going to be the real key story of the book, and also due to the fact that Dan takes a seemingly withdrawn role, as he is acting as a MI5 handler. Notes for those familiar with the series: though this book deals extensively with terrorism threat and the taken of a major terrorist (where Seals are involved), it is surprising not to see a return of the character Yokely (hopefully he will reappear in a later installment). Sharpe is back in this book working alongside Dan for another act of undercover arm dealing (yes, nothing apparently new here... but the operation takes an interesting turn). Finally small note that we hear very little of Dan's son on this book, Dan's private life is here kept to the strict minimum.
I have read every book in this series and love them all. I discovered them through a lukewarm review of a Lee Child book, and I am so grateful to that reviewer for mentioning this series, as it is so so so good. I love that it is British, with Brutish dry humour, and the Spider Shepherd character is fabulous - has a son and is more believable than Jack Reacher - and the books are generally less nauseating and just as thrilling and gripping as the Lee Child ones. Just to warn any sensitive readers, this particular book in the series does have one gruesome bit, but it is shorter and less nauseating than many a Jack Reacher book scene. I like both, I hasten to add. My advice is to start from the first spider shepherd book and read them in order. Not that each book is not self-contained -- they ARE -- I just think they are all so good and that one might get even more out of each by reading them in order. To my mind, Stephen Leather just gets better and better with each book, and the first was fabulous too. Highly recommended. Very entertaining series. I have not read his other books (other than this series) so can't comment on them, only the Spider Shepherd series.
Read Leather's Spider Shepherd's series in order --- you need the background on the characters. Leather does not spend a lot of time giving back history, but it is helpful to the reader to know what happened in the previous books.
Leather writes for the BBC - super mystery / adventure books. The plots, and they are often complicated, are taken from the nightly news. This is book 9 in the series and I've just completed book eleven. The books are a quick write and with the POV (point of view) switching from character to character, as well as from setting to setting makes it a pure joy to read..
Wow ! Stephen Leather keeps the drama, action and suspense coming and coming. Looking forward to much more adventures. I am not a huge fan of British novels because of word meaning differences but the are great reads!
Stephen leather is really one of the best of thriller writers from England. He really should have all of his books printed in bookstores throughout America. Clancy, Griffin, Grisham, Baldacci, great writers, but Learher should be right up there with them. Thank you Amazon and associates for having Mr. Learher's books available.