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Live Fire

Dan Shepherd, Book 6
Narrated by: Paul Thornley
Series: Dan Shepherd, Book 6
Length: 14 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (396 ratings)

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Summary

Mickey and Mark Moore are hard men who live by their own code and leaders of a gang that has made millions at gunpoint. But when Dan "Spider" Shepherd is sent to infiltrate the tightly-knit team of bank robbers, he discovers that he has more in common with them then he first thought..

As Shepherd and his Serious Organised Crime Agency colleagues plot the downfall of the Moore brothers, a more sinister threat stalks the streets of London. A group of home-grown Islamic fundamentalists embark on a campaign of terror the like of which Britain has never seen. Car bombs and beheadings are only the prelude. And Shepherd is the only man who can stop them.

©2009 Stephen Leather (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Bournemouth, United Kingdom
  • 20-10-11

Great story telling

This is the second Dan "Spider" Shepherd book I have listened to. Spider works undercover for SOCA and sometimes has to build relationships with criminals at the expense of his personal relationships. I like the character, the plot and the action. I want the next chapter (book 7) but unfortunately Audible does not have it. Paul Thornley is a superb narrator and his accents are believable.
I thoroughly recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • Wallington, United Kingdom
  • 19-08-10

Give it a go!

Narrator Paul Thornley is brilliant as usual in his reading of this audiobook by Stephen Leather.
He reads with such skill as he distinguishes between the characters, several of whom have cockney accents, plus other characters including Russian, Asian and Northern, all of whom are realistic and spontaneous.
This is a continuation of the saga of Dan 'Spider' Sheppherd as he infiltrates a gang of robbers holed up in Thailand, with a parallel plot about the preparation of a terrorist event in the UK.
Maybe there's a bit too much description about weapons which would have become tedious without the lively narration, but it's an entertaining and exciting storyline. Give it a go!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Mikey
  • poole, United Kingdom
  • 13-01-15

Thailand's "The Business"

If you could sum up Live Fire in three words, what would they be?

Similar to "the Business" Movie

What was one of the most memorable moments of Live Fire?

Where James dies at the end.

Only joking. There is no James. I can't say as I don't want to spoil for other listeners!

Which character – as performed by Paul Thornley – was your favourite?

Dan 'spider' Shepherd, of course!

Any additional comments?

Great book, great listen. Definitely similar to the movie with Danny Dyer, millionaire gangsters living in exotic villas out in Thailand.

8/10. Superbly read by Thornley; my favourite narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Live Fire

Storyline flows nicely and is easy to pick-up where you left off. Paul Thornley's narrations just get better and better.

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Gripping

As always Stephen Leather holds in in suspense right to the last minute, and Paul Thornley is a fantastic narrator.
Brilliant!!

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grear listsn

always gripping the Dan Shepard books, narrated brilliantly this time by Paul thornley. enjoy thanks

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Sensible change of narrator

I’ve been listening to Spider stories for a while. They’re always entertaining although, as with many series they begin to feel a little formulaic if you listen to too many in a row.

For this particular novel, I was delighted with the narrator change. I like Martin Reed but found his accents maddening. Thornley’s accents are more consistent and less caricatured.

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brilliant

brilliant story, best Narrator in the series, another great book from Mr Leather, these books keep me hooked from the first word.

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Improbable ending

I had previously enjoyed all the other 5 books in this series. This was the first that I did not really enjoy. The new narrator Paul Thornley is ok, but not the huge improvement that other reviewers had advised. The story bowls along at a fair pace before reaching (to my mind) a very dubious and improbable conclusion. Most other reviewers seemed to really dig it; so, it appears, that I am in a minority.

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Yet another gripping tale

Another gripping tale beautifully read. Paul Thornley has just the right amount of menace in his voice. I’ve lost count of the number of Stephen Leather books that I have read, but most of them are excellent. Whilst all of his books that I have read so far are in excess of 10 hours long they all seem to go in the blink of an eye as the stories are so compelling.

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  • Jim McKinney
  • 04-06-19

Wait... didn’t I already read this story 6 times?

Ok, nobody expects these sophomoric books to be exactly unique, but you would think the author could at least come up with an original idea at this point. Every book in the series has the exact same plot interspersed with unending moralizing by the all perfect Spider Shepherd. I will admit that Stephen Leather is a good story teller. I keep coming back because I am ever hopeful that he will mature as a writer. His books are all mind candy at best, and worthless pulp the rest of the time. We have the virtuous hero who whines incessantly in every book about the guilt he feels at betraying the bad guys he is under cover with. We’re told that he knows they’re bad but it’s not right to betray them. In this case the bad guys are a bunch of thugs that want to abuse women every waking minute of their day. They rob banks because that’s not real peoples money and it’s insured (even a five year old can see through this nonsense). They beat the crap out of people they pass judgement on and leave them for dead, but really they’re not really bad guys. What absolute drivel.

And then we are expected to believe that the hero is the best undercover cop in the world, what with his almost photographic memory. Really? Is that a thing? No it’s really just a lazy literary device to save Mr Leather the hassle of actually writing compelling fiction. I wonder if the author has ever even met a real undercover officer before. Deeply embedded with a gang of womanizing thugs and yet the pure Spider seems to be too chaste to play the role of an underworld tough guy. In the real world Spider would have been executed two days into his assignment.

The world is full of terrorists, a lot of whom happen to be Muslim. It’s fine that Mr Leather doesn’t take the easy path of making all Muslims the scape goats. Nevertheless he never raises these characters above silly stereotypes. All of the Muslim Terrorists in his books are deeply committed good people fighting for what they believe. The fact that they are wantonly killing tons of innocent women and children is just s distraction for these books. They are simply misguided and they are very angry at the US because you see the only real terrorists in these books is the USA. CIA agent Richard Yoakley is the embodiment of evil, far worse that the Muslim terrorists he is fighting against. Funny thing is how every time Richard appears in these books he ends up saving hundreds of lives with the information he “extracts” from his subjects. In actuality there is one other group of real terrorists and thats the IRA, of course to hear Spider talk they are all supported by the US so I guess the USA is still the great Satan.

It’s a shame... good storytelling ability totally wasted by a lazy author that spends way too much time preaching and moralizing about stuff he clearly doesn’t understand. Perhaps he should have a talk with a few actual SAS troopers, nah that would ruin his formula.

Weak plot, weak characters, lack of understanding about actual international events and dynamics, and a hero that is the absolute worst father in the world. All we hear is that He loves Liam more than anything in this world, well except maybe for his job. He clearly seems to love that more than his son. Such a virtuous man. Clearly I need to listen to him preach about how the filth of this world are just misunderstood .... oh well the narrator for this book was excellent. I have sat through enough of these books and I can’t go on. If you enjoy them more power to you. But trust me there are far better stories out there, and most are above a third grade reading level to boot.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-18

justice

nice to see that the not so bad guys got away with it for a change.

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  • Simon
  • 28-04-12

More of the same, but oh how we love it!

What did you love best about Live Fire?

True to form, Stephen Leather dishes up the old formula, and sure enough, it's still just as enjoyable. Leather is not a literary genius, but that doesn't matter here. The 'Spider' books are good fun, and an interesting reflection on some of the issues faced by the British government. This story, however, has a refreshing change of location, something I hope the author explores further in future Shepherd storoies, although the current formula of alternating between Britain and foreeign locations for the story backdrop, seems quite successful. I'd hate every story to be based abroad. These stories are great yarns, and should be treated as such, but don't be surprised if you find yourself mulling philosophically over one topic or another.

What did you like best about this story?

The dual plot structure that Stephen Leather has used in the past, works well to provide an unexpected climax, and you'll find your self becoming more and more tense as the book progresses. I'm particularly pleased that the author has not tried to play with the 'Spider' formula, and that you can settle down with a mug of your favourite hot or cold tipple and be thouraghly entertained!

Which character – as performed by Paul Thornley – was your favorite?

Paul Thornly has done a good job of returning all character traits to the way they were in the first three books in the 'Spider' series. There were two previous readers for ISIS publishing, but on the whole they have all kept the characters consistantly the same from book to book, with one or two annoying differences.The first reader in the series, Martyn Read, suddenly, out of the blue, changed the voice of Major Gannon in the fourth book. He went from someone sounding like a well to do Major in the three previous books, to a more relaxed laid back sole in the fourth. Now, don't get me wrong, either way works, but only if you stick to the personality you choose, the whole way through the series. Paul Thornly has done that. Martin Read, in my opinion, apart from the dreadful voice character change, was the better reader. Having said that, I'm very happy with Paul Thornly, and certainly wouldn't want to see him changed. He has altered 'Spider' from a middle class private school educated sounding accent, to a home counties state educated voice, but I've dealt with that, and wouldn't want it changed yet again. Paul isn't my favourite reader in the world, but he's above average, and is good with accents and dialects. Cornelius Garrett was bought in to read the fifth book in the series, and although he was great at the Northern Irish accent, he gave the same voice personality to virtually all his Northern Irish characters, male of female. The lead suspect, who was a female, sounded more male than the seductive femaile she was supposed to be.

Anyway, all in all, leave Paul Thornley where he is, as he's doing a great job!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Spider Shepherd is not a tear jerker kind of character really, so as far as heart wrenching emotions go, you find find them here. Hard choices are the name of the game for this series, and that has not changed. Now if tension is what floats your boat, then there's plenty of that here.

Any additional comments?

A personal plea to Stephen Leather, please don't stop writing about Spider, even if you have to move him through some career changes in the process. There is a winning formula here, and we look forward to each episode.