Leather is a prolific author, with 14 novels and another nine in the Spider
Shepherd series. He has just penned another Spider Shepherd action thriller
with the title True Colours (ISBN 978-1-444-73657-1, Hodder and
The standout authors for me in the Thriller/Action genre are Stephen
Leather, Christopher G Moore (Vinnie Calvino), Lee Childs (Jack Reacher) and
Jake Needham. All of these authors possess the ability to see and record
small details, such as describing the worn off paint on a set of stairs in a
tenement building, and it is these details that make their characters so
believable. They are also able to handle several plots and sub-plots and
then bring them together at the end in a very credible way. True Colours
does not deviate from this successful formula.
Real people are included in the plot(s) to again give the book a sense of
reality, rather than fiction. Abramovich, the Russian owner of the Chelsea
Football Club and the poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko being
Leather has Spider Shepherd in Afghanistan, London, Cyprus and the author
gives the reader an insight as to how mega-rich tycoons live, even to the
point of having designers come to sketch the next private jet. A jet which
will make the more usual Lear Jet look like a Toyota taxi. One unsolved
problem was how to hang a chandelier in a plane!
The book is set in today’s world and accurately describes the collapse of
the Soviet era and the rise of the oligarchs. And an even more salient
point, just ‘how’ the oligarchs managed to amass such fortunes.
Leather’s Spider Shepherd is a killer with ethics, sounding initially as an
oxymoron, but as you get further through the book, you can side with Spider
Shepherd and understand where he is coming from. You also learn where his
boss Charlotte Button is coming from, and it isn’t the same place.
Spider gives the reader many points to ponder, but the one that impressed me
most was, “Killing someone is easy, it’s getting away with it that’s
difficult.” With modern detective aids such as DNA testing, the criminal
element has to be very wary.
At B. 360 in Bookazine, I believe that this book is underpriced. It is one
that holds your attention all the way through, with no fluff or padding to
fill the pages. You will want to know more so you can also learn further
details about Stephen Leather and Spider at www. danspidershepherd.com,
where Shepherd says, “I’m an armed robber, a gunrunner, a drugs dealer, a
hitman and a terrorist. Sometimes all in one week. I could be your best
friend, or your worst nightmare. I could be holding a gun to your face one
moment, and in the shadows the next. I could be buying you drinks or giving
you enough rope to hang yourself with...and you’d never know...I’m Dan
Shepherd. My friends call me ‘Spider’ and I’m a man on a mission.”