Life through my myopic eyes.

Fair Game by Stephen Leather…Spider’s Web


Fair Game, published in 2011 by Hodder & Stoughton, and written by Stephen Leather is just what an action thriller should be; Fast paced, gritty, violent, hard and feature a main protagonist that your readers can root for.

This is only the second book I’ve read by Stephen Leather and it has convinced me that I need to read all his books. Having read his latest book in the Jack Nightingale series, I was already hotly anticipating the next in that series and I’m trying to go back and read Nightingale’s entire saga in preparation for the next instalment.

I am now a Dan ‘Spider’ Shepard fan.

Fair Game, touted as the eighth in the Spider Shepard series by Amazon, starts out hard and never lets up. I have written about Leather before in a review I did on his last Jack Nightingale series (check the afore highlighted Nightingale link) and I am no less impressed with Leather’s creation of Spider Shepard.

As with the Nightingale book, Leather’s ear for dialogue and accents and topical language is still top-notch. Each character is brought to living, breathing life via their conversations. The overleaf for the book states that Spider is going after Somalian pirates, which he does,  but the book also deals with the IRA and Al Qaeda.

This international cast of criminal characters is impressive and they are interwoven brilliantly by Mr Leather as he ties up all the separate elements to cast his Spider’s web.

The book begins with an IRA cell who are preparing to transport a bomb to its final destination. A group of IRA enforcers break into the bomb area and announce that one of their number is a traitor and working with the British forces. Once the traitor is identified one of the enforcers turns his gun on his enforcer comrades and executes them.

This is Spider’s initial entrance to this story and he does not fail to impress.

Shepard is a professional working for MI5 the spiritual cousin to MI6. Shepard is the “real” James Bond here. Rather than working as a super spook though, he is a super undercover operator who is also licensed to kill. This he does. Spider is fast, brutal and professional, he is also relentless. This combination makes him impervious to any feelings of guilt he may have connected with his taking of life.

The story goes on to show us Spider’s home life and his son Liam and his au pair Katra. We also meet Shepard’s boss Charlotte ‘Charlie’  Button and we meet Spider’s IRA equivalent Lisa O’Hara who is on a bloody mission to track him down and make him pay for his death-dealing in Ireland.

We also meet Crazy Boy a Somalian wide boy who is a pirate, terrorist, drug dealer and addicted Khat and Xbox Manhunt player. Crazy Boy’s pirates take up the vast majority of the plot. They take a yacht which was on its way to the new owner. The transport crew on the boat include the Prime Minister’s God-daughter and Crazy boy’s Somalian crew abuse them while waiting for the ransom to be paid.

Real Somalian pirates.

Crazy Boy also arranges to “take” a container transport ship (usually ignored by pirates) as part of his dealing with a middle-man for the Al Qaeda.

Shepard gets his hand dirty working against the odds to sort out all the problems he is handed by Charlie. He is also working against Lisa O’Hara who is getting ever closer to killing Spider.

This is how a spy thriller should be written. I have not read a book with such vivid characters. Stephen Leather’s ear for the speech patterns of his characters is spot on and I’ve said before (as well as earlier in this article) that this serves to make them come alive. Where most authors miss the nuances of their character’s speech, Leather nails it firmly and solidly.

As the winter days grow ever shorter and the nights grow longer, treat yourself to an exhilarating ride with Spider Shepard and Stephen Leather.

I will.

*On a side note, after I wrote my review on Stephen’s Nightmare, he actually tweeted the review and started following me on twitter, moreover he thanked me for the review. Not many writers do that, I know I’ve written a ‘couple’ of reviews now. He is a class act and proof that talent and hard work will out.*

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Book Review, Books, Writing

10 Responses »

  1. I note that Mr. Leather has two-word naming convention going for this series. Still, given your review I think I’ll give one a go, Mike. Thanks.

  2. I’ve not read any of his books but I actually got this for Christmas last year, just haven’t got around to reading it yet. Will have to make the effort. Nice review Mike.

Trackbacks

  1. Sock Puppets…Trolls With a Hand Up Their Butt? | MikesFilmTalk
  2. The Fireman by Stephen Leather…Vintage Leather | MikesFilmTalk
  3. The Birthday Girl by Stephen Leather: Not Just an Arms Race | MikesFilmTalk
  4. The Chinaman by Stephen Leather: A rose by any Other Name… | MikesFilmTalk
  5. Dead Men by Stephen Leather: Shepherd Number 5 | MikesFilmTalk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,951 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 140,490 hits

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Inspiring Blogger Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

The Sister Abigail Show

Activist, Author, Nutritional Consultant, Raw Food Chef

Charlottesweb

Sherlock, Star Trek Fan Fiction. Original Stories Too

Storiform.com

Writing Popular Fiction

Cornelius' Life Story

This blog is about me, growing up in Africa and now in The states pursuing a degree.

MovieScience101

Everything you need to know about science in movies

lionaroundwriting

Let us make an exchange - I provide stories, you enjoy them.

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

SIGNAL+

Hacking the Spec-Fic 'Verse

Journelle Frivolous

A Storyteller & Impolite Lady

Benedict Cumberbatch

Blog for Benedict Cumberbatch fans

pgcps mess - Reform Sasscer without delay.

Fight corruption in PGCPS. Innovate, Change and Transform - Create Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

Vonj productions

Inspiration received and put forth for the good of the people

LeonnaDenisa

Hakunamatata (^o^)/

Confessions Of A Hollywood Nobody

Every journey begins with a single... word

Pulsar Passages

What you see here is "come what may".

meganelizabethmorales

You're insane? We're all insane! Bwahahahaha!

Paul Laight

Writer. Filmmaker. Semi-Pro Comedian. Wageslave

C A M S H I E

Witness The Truth: Spot Your Greatness

Prowler Needs a Jump

Films of every stripe

COURAGE TIMES THREE

A fine WordPress.com site

All Food Cooking Recipes

The Original European Cooking Recipes. All Cooking Recipes. All Continental Recipes. All Mexican Recipes. Italian Recipes.

FY HI!

A particular remarkable and usually surprising bit of information

Words n' Clouds

News told by words, news shown in clouds

Abby Mabb

Snarly female. Occasional book reviewer.

Dream, Play, Write!

Today, make a commitment to your writing.

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

behindtheglamorsblog

This World Is Not Perfect Like You Still Imagine

Craig Lumen

Characters

Travel Magazine New Zealnd

For the Love of travel is New Zealand’s premium Travel Magazine

VentaForce

Network Marketing Engineering Powered By Sankalp

Indo Africa Times

Reed to succeed in Africa !!!

Subterranean Cinema - Redux

the return of Don Alex

storyofthekitchn

FOOD & DRINK

Its me...pleasure!

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Eat Diamonds for Breakfast

and shine all day.

YONA PHOT©

Street photography, Travel Photography, Exploration Photography

Top of the Bottom Pile

My favorite part of the bottom is the top.

RyanOnFire.com

Speaking my sports mind at an incredible rate.

Healthcare Professional Development Institute - HCPDI

Healthcare Job Skills Training| Online, Face-to-face, & Blended| Continuing Professional Education (CPD)| Certificates of Completion| Associate of Healthcare Certificates|

环游K场

纵贯音乐大世界 K-Xpress

Celia Fitzgerald

"As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment in time." - John Mason

Closer to the Edge

"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out" Alfred Hitchcock

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 12,951 other followers

%d bloggers like this: