Live Fire – Stephen Leather

Live Fire

If you are looking for a guaranteed fast paced, page turning thriller/espionage/action adventure, then Stephen Leather would be a good bet. I have read a few of his books over the years, I think this one was the fourth or fifth and while it wasn’t my favourite, it was still very enjoyable.

Dan “Spider” Shepherd is ex SAS, now employed as an undercover agent with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). He has just finished a successful assignment infiltrating a group who have been apprehended in the middle of a bank robbery.

Although wanting to spend some much needed quality time with his son, another assignment beckons. He finds himself in Thailand, tasked again with befriending known bank robbers, two English brothers, Mickey and Mark Moore. The Moore brothers live a lavish lifestyle in Thailand, returning to the UK periodically to top up their funds with well planned robberies.

While this is going on, there is a more immediate threat lurking in the UK. Beheading and car bombs are killing people in what is only the beginning of the plans a fanatical terrorist group have for the “infidels”. Through his activities in Thailand, Shepherd stumbles across vital intelligence. Even if it means risking his cover, he must act.

This is the sixth book to feature Dan Shepherd – I haven’t read them all and this story stands well on it’s own – it is not necessary to have read any of the others. There are basically two separate cases Shepherd is unintentionally working on. Both were decent stories in their own right. There was one quite graphic scene of violence which I thought added authenticity to the story but some readers might not like. The ending was pretty good, if a little tidy.

For anybody looking to read Stephen Leather for the first time, I would recommend Hungry Ghost. It is set in China/Hong Kong and is a great read.

Published: 2009
Pages: 480
Challenges: 2009 Pub challenge

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