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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)

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  • Villa Girl
  • 31-07-2019

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • John Burrow
  • 14-08-2019

shame

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 03-05-2021

short range by Stephen leather

fantastic book, Stephen leather at his best! I have read all the Dan Shepherd series and it never fails to please.

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  • andy homer
  • 26-03-2021

gripping from the start

another literary masterpiece from Stephen Leather, I found it hard to put it down !

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  • brett thorp
  • 25-02-2021

A lot better than the last view

I love the spider shepherd series that have felt the last couple of books I've been slightly bland this one I found a lot better lot more entertaining good twists

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  • Pleased customer
  • 07-01-2021

Usual top notch entertainment

Great as ever, with Paul Thornley being my favourite narrator, but can so one please get the poor man a sandwich, as we could hear his tummy gurgling throughout.

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  • Glen Johnstone
  • 30-09-2020

Jaw dropping moments

This takes Spider to a dark place challenging his belief system and his professionalism. Showing other characters in a fantastic light and I believe creates a springboard for many mire stories to come yet.

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  • ian staff
  • 10-07-2020

what a book

what an unexpected twist to the ending.
please tell me there's going to be further Dan shepherd books

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  • Travelling Listener
  • 24-01-2020

Spider continues to deliver

Spider Shepherd continues to deliver in this latest book.
Slightly wary after reading other reviews, but felt this book has all the value and drama of the others.

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  • T. R. Walker
  • 14-12-2019

Another Shocking Page Turner

Forget the damp reviews - this is yet another classic. There's something very intoxicating about the Dan Shepherd series - the background research is immense I'm sure but one of the many delights is how that never intrudes on a powerful storyline. This latest installment still has the humane fallible approach of Spider Shepherd and balanced with explicit violence and tension. And unlike other authors of a similar genre Mr Leather chucks in a generous amount of humour for good measure. I especially enjoyed the continued interplay with Spider and Razor. Thornley is still the voice of Stephen Leather thankfully - but it may be the improved audio quality but I could hear lots of background noises like stomach rumbling? Not off putting - makes it more grounded as Dan Shepherd novels always are. Buy it if you're not too squeamish.

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