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Short Range

The 16th Spider Shepherd Thriller
Narrated by: Paul Thornley
Series: Dan Shepherd, Book 16
Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The explosive new thriller in the Spider Shepherd series

Dan 'Spider' Shepherd's career path - soldier, policeman, MI5 officer - has always put a strain on his family. So he is far from happy to learn that MI5 is using teenagers as informants. Parents are being kept in the dark and Shepherd fears that the children are being exploited. 

As an undercover specialist, Shepherd is tasked with protecting a 15-year-old schoolboy who is being used to gather evidence against violent drug dealers and a right-wing terrorist group. But when the boy's life is threatened, Shepherd has no choice but to step in and take the heat. 

And while Shepherd's problems mount up at work, he has even greater problems closer to home. His son Liam has fallen foul of the Serbian Mafia and if Shepherd doesn't intervene, Liam will die. 

©2019 Stephen Leather (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic Reviews

Praise for Stephen Leather: "A master of the thriller genre." (Irish Times)

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Villa Girl
  • 07-31-19

Not the usual standard

I pre-ordered this book AND bought it on Kindle so needless to say I am a MASSIVE Spider Shepherd fan. That’s why I was so disappointed with Short Range.

Without giving away any spoilers, the reason I am disappointed is the format and structure of of the story. As is so often the case there were couple of parallel stories going on but in Short Range around 2/3 of the way through the book we just lurch into one of the sub-plots (which to me was ridiculous anyway - a lazy plot device) and everything focuses on this. A number of events happen which were silly, unrealistic and not what I expect from Stephen Leather - and then we go back for the last hour to wrap up all the loose ends. The event which happens at the very start of the book is pretty much irrelevant to the rest of this story, although I can see it being followed up in the next book.

There were things I liked. Jimmy Sharpe features once again, and I liked the references to characters in ‘The Bag Carrier’ (a Stand Alone cop book also by Leather) Parts of the book were classic Leather but the book overall was too fragmented and I wonder if cranking out so many books every year is starting to effect the quality?

I would read / listen to this again, because it’s part of a huge series of books spanning many years, and I am invested in the characters, but this is not one of his best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John Burrow
  • 08-14-19

shame

Looks like going through the motions with this, perhaps Spider is past his sell-by date .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • iw 78
  • 09-17-19

Bad accent

The Scottish accent used in this is awful. Cringe worthy pretty much from start to finish.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • trilla1337
  • 09-15-19

A rare miss

I usually love the Shepherd books, despite their sometimes stretching of my suspension of disbelief.

This one was just ridiculous - far fetched and seemed incredibly rushed at the end.

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  • Alec
  • 09-08-19

Spider at his best !

Seems like ages since Spider has been properly involved in a book: I'll check to see what I've missed though. He is back with a vengeance and the author and narrator make the story come alive through several of Spider's cases and one of his own. Super book !

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  • kevin
  • 08-31-19

Hmmmm

Stuck with this series for some years but I think Spider and I will be parting. I have given this 5 stars otherewise it will be buried but frankly it is a 2. Laboured and lacking credibility, the love angle is toe curling and I fast forwarded through most of it as it is a standard formula like others in the series. The author has written much better books.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-27-19

Much better than the last one

The last spider book was boring, leather had a bee in his bonnet about muslims and it affected his writing, with several characters having the same tedious rant unchallenged by the usually sensible spider. This new book is a move back to form, although not the most thrilling spider book it ticks a lot of the right boxes. It's clearly a grudging effort from leather, and I suspect the speech from one of the characters that:
"We have to be seen to be even handed, we all know who the terrorists reslly are, but we have to make a song and dance about right wing terrorism so that we can show we're being even handed"
is a telling admission from Leather as to why the content of the book is what it is. Anyway, I enjoyed this one a lot. There were a few loose ends I would have liked to have see. tied up, but I'm interested to see what Spider gets up to next time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-15-19

Brilliant

I am really not sure why there is so much negativity about this story.

OK, maybe Liam was a little naive to think that he could resolve the situation easily, but to be fair he didn't know that the guy was a gangster and a thief.

Very easy to criticise other people's efforts at a story.

Overall, very enjoyable. I look forward to the next installment.

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  • wayne
  • 08-15-19

Typically Steven Leather

I wait patiently for the latest Dan Shepherd, then when it arrives I binge and it's over in less than a day, I wish I could read it slowly so I can savour it for longer, I can't. I can't wait for the next chapter everything else goes on hold, then I'm gutted when I reach the end. Write faster write longer write more, ok I'm selfish just keep doing what your doing Mr Leather, I love it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-19

Top book... but

The story of this book is the best in the series. There is some inaccuracies, with past books but the narrator and plot line to this book make up for that.