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Leather, Stephen - 'Live Fire'
Paperback: 474 pages (Aug. 2009) Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton ISBN: 0340921757

Dan "Spider" Shepherd, former SAS soldier, is now an undercover agent with the Serious Organised Crime Agency. He is on the trail of a ruthless and very professional gang of ex-Army Iraq veterans, led by the Moore brothers, who are funding their extravagant existence in the sun with a life of bank robberies in the UK. Spider is sent to Pattaya in Thailand to infiltrate the gang.

While Spider is occupied with the job of learning the crime scene in Thailand (ie the sex and bar industry that the Moore brothers and associates frequent) there are other things afoot in the UK. A gang of British born Muslim jihadists led by a disenchanted English ex-soldier from Iraq are blowing up bombs in Soho, have executed a judge in a barbaric manner on TV and are planning a missile attack on a BA Jumbo Jet at Heathrow.

Spider infiltrates the Moores' gang in Thailand and becomes an accepted member where he learns they want to get into a highly protected money depot, in the south of England and escape with millions of pounds. On a trip to buy weapons for the raid, Spider learns vital details about the terrorist attack on Heathrow. He needs to locate the terrorists quickly, but as he is undercover in criminal gang in Thailand, he needs to keep the confidence of the other gang members. He feels his loyalties are torn between following through on the raid in England and stopping the terrorist attack.

The suspenseful last 20 pages or so, of this book are very exciting as Spider has a fantastic race against time. I've read a lot of Stephen Leather's books and he never writes a bad one, but this is easily the best yet. It is quite a long book but a very exciting read nevertheless and I couldn't put it down. I look forward to reading further adventures of Stephen Leather in the years to come.

Terry Halligan, England
September 2009

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 20/09/2009 15:21