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The Long Shot - Stephen Leather

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Author: Stephen Leather / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      15.02.2009 23:02
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      A must read for thriller fans

      The Book
      The Long Shot is set in contemporary times and is a fiction thriller.

      The Author
      Stephen Leather

      The first book I read by Stephen leather was Tango One which was non stop action. This made me take an interest in this author, leading me to purchase this book.

      Stephen Leather has had many jobs in his time, before he embarked on a full time writing career in 1992. What I think helps him to be able to write the way he does, was his decade spent in journalism.

      The Plot

      A family trip flying over the Arizona Desert leads to a major discovery for FBI Agent Cole Howard, three snipers have been spotted rehearsing for a killing.
      But with this discovery, comes problems, Agent Howard doesn't know who the target is, or where the snipers are going to be, to carry out their plan.

      Angry and full of vengeance at the woman who destroyed his life is Joker also known as former SAS sergeant Mike Cramer. Under a false identify he is in New York with one plan, to infiltrate the Irish community and get to that woman - Mary Hennessy.

      If the snipers world shocking assassination plan is to be stopped, Howard and Cramer must join forces, to thwart this most deadly plan......

      My Opinion
      Set in the third person, you hit the ground running with this book, by page five I could not put this down, it's a real page turner. Stephen Leather writes with flare and finesse, and with his snappy prose you get dragged in and you just have to know more. There is a lot of suspense built into the book which allows all the characters ample 'getting to know you' time.

      I can't go into much detail about the characters as some of their experiences are crucial to the story line itself.
      The two main characters are:
      FBI Agent Howard Cole - An ex alcoholic, who feels overshadowed by his father in law. He is desperate to prove his own self worth.
      Mike Cramer (Joker) - Not the typical SAS man you expect. Suffering at the hands of killer Mary Hennessy, his life has been left in pieces and he is just merely existing.

      The characters he created were, for me very strong and well detailed. They are very realistic and it is extremely easy to identify with them, I found myself with a great deal of empathy especially for Mike Cramer who has had such a tough time.
      I feel he would have done very well if he had written a series of novels about Howard and Cramer, because I was left wanting to see them become even more developed. I would go as far as to say, he would have had the success of John Harvey with his Resnick series had he decided to pursue this.

      You don't get a whole load of information about the sub characters in the book. However he still gives you enough details to help you identify with them, and to make you feel like you understand them which was good.

      The book is broken up nicely with very short periods of calm and background detail of the characters. Leather follows scene setting in a uniformed approach, whilst continuing to add in a sense of rising tension.
      He doesn't over do the detail, he keeps it graphic but in a short and concise manner which I really enjoyed. I find if authors over do the detailing, it makes me want to skip through some of the pages because you can lose that sense of continuity of rising tension.
      If you are anything like me, when you read this book you will feel as if you are standing next to the characters, watching as the drama unfolds.

      The one thing I don't like in thrillers is predictability. This book is anything but predictable, the closest I came to guessing that something would happen was right before the paragraph where it did, and even then it still took on a few extra twists and turns.

      Do they ever find out who the target is? Well you'll just have to pick this book up and read it to see....

      Conclusion
      This is one I wouldn't recommend you read just before going to bed, otherwise you may find you are still reading it when your alarm clock goes off!

      If you want a fast paced, adrenaline packed read, this is one for you.

      Published by: Hodder
      Price: £6.99 (paperback)
      ISBN : 978 0 340 63237 6
      Pages: 567

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    • Product Details

      One of Stephen Leather's most prolific sellers, for the first time, in the new jacket style.