Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wow, This Email Made My Day!

I have just received the following email from a reader and it's had me smiling all day! I'm so pleased that my work has had such a positive effect on someone! And to pleased that he took the time to write to me!

I would just like to thank you for what you have done to me over the last 7 years. I left school in 1985 having never read a book before and had no interest in reading at all. What happened to me in 2003 was quite remarkable and changed my life for ever. It was all down to you. I was on holiday in Majorca and bloody bored. So bored watching the wife reading and really enjoying one of her girly books, that I decided it was time, time to get myself a book. So I went down to one of the local shops and tried to find something that would interest me. The book that court my eye was “The Stretch” Bloody hell I was blown away it was brilliant, loved every minute of it. So much so that I stayed in and baby sat while the wife and friends that we went on holiday with went out for a meal just so I could read. Since that day I have read almost all the books you have written and as far as I can see not one dud. The latest one that I have read was “Nightfall” and yet again brilliant. Different to what I was used to with you but an amazing read. There where parts in it that I felt I just can’t read just in case I actually did summon the Devil. Thanks Stephen you have changed my life and I will always be grateful for that. I will never be bored again and that is all down to you. I have sent you a friend request and would be so made up if you were to accept me but if you don’t I won’t take it to hart and will keep reading your books. Keep them coming and thanks.

Warm regards

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mr Chang Has $17.5 million For Me!!!!!

I just got this by email - I'm rich again!


I am Raymond Chang,an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine,
that bears the same last name as yours, died as the result of a
heart-related condition on March 12th 2005. His heart condition
was due to the death of all the members of his family in the
tsunami disaster on the 26th December 2004 in Sumatra Indonesia.

My late Client has a deposit of seventeen point five Million Dollars
(uS$17,500,000.00 Million left behind.

I contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind
by my late client.

Best regards,
Barr Raymond Chang,
Attorney at Law.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Three of my books are in the KIndle Top 5

Three of my books are now in the top 5 of the UK Kindle Top 100.

Once Bitten is still Number 1, The Basement is at Number 3 and Hard Landing has just moved up to Number 5.

It would be so cool to have the top 3. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yeah! $21,000,000 coming my way!

How are you today,

Hope you are having a worderful weekend.

Please I am looking for a reliable and honest
person who is capable of doing this great business
with me .

My name is Barrister Antony Marquis.I am a consultant
to a renowned politician who resigns as a minister and
currently facing possibly damaging personal political
allegations that put his political career in jeopardy.

In the light of the above circumstances,My client have
instructed me to assist him transfer the sum of $21,000.000.
00 USD (twenty one million dollars) out of his offshore bank
account here in London to a foreign country as quickly as possible
for business establishment.

My client intent,is to invest these fund into REAL ESTATE BUSINESS
INVESTMENT or any other LUCRATIVE BUSINESS in the area related
to your field or discipline.

To avoid possible squabble,please note that this proposal is subject
to fluidity and as such your role, position and dividents are all

You will be given 25 % of the total investment fund if you can assist
in transferring this fund out to your country.

Please get in touch with me for acquaintanceship if you are interested as
i am made to understand by my client that time is of the essence.

Kindly drop your phone number in your response for contact.

Awaiting your prompt response.

I Remain obliged.

Barrister Antony Marquis

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I have the two top-selling books in Kindle UK!

Once Bitten is now Number 1 in the Kindle UK Top 100 and The Basement has just joined it at Number 2! Hodder and Stoughton has cut the price of my first Spider Shepherd book (to 49p) and it has been at Number 7 for four days now!

My science fiction story, Dreamer's Cat, is still in the Top 20, so I now have four books in the Top 20, which I think is pretty good going! I hope it stays that way until Christmas because on Christmas Day there are going to be a lot of people getting Kindles from Santa and hopefully they'll all be out looking to buy cheap books!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Yeah!!!! I've just won £500,000! I'm so lucky!

This just in!

The Mobil Petroleum Lottery

Mobil Center,
SE1 18NA London,
United Kingdom.

Attention: Lucky Winner


The Mobil Petroleum Lottery Company - London wishes to congratulate you on your success as one of our Ten ( 10 ) Star Oil Lottery Prize Winner in this Years 2010 Lottery that was conducted over the internet with our automated e-mail selecting machine.

You have been declared a Lucky Winner of £500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Pound Sterling)

How to claim your Winning Prize:

Contact the Financial Claims Manager Dr. Eric Donald, for verification and payment via his E-mail Address: Phone Number:
+447031972778 with the under listed information as soon as possible.


Full Name:




Zip Code:





Mobile Phone Number:

Home Phone Number:

Fax Number (If Any):

Reference No: ILP/HW 2314/08
Ticket Number: 566 79543465 B448067890302
Serial Number: 7775-325
Lucky Number 7-13-44-37-56

Mrs. Rosemary Johnson
Director of Promotions.
Copyright © 2010 Mobil LOTTERY AWARD PROMOTION

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back At The Top Of The Kindle 100!

Once Bitten became the best-selling eBook on Kindle UK again last night, and The Basement is at Number 3. Sadly Dreamer's Cat has slipped out of the Top 10. Fingers crossed it'll come back. It would be so cool to have the Top 3 position in the chart.

What is really strange is that Once Bitten and The Basement moved up the chart after I raised the price. Go figure!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Made it! Three of my books in the Kindle Top 10

Made it! This morning all three of my Kindle books were in the Kindle UK Top 10! Once Bitten, my vampire story, was at Number 2, The basement, my serial killer story, was at number 4, and my science fiction story Dreamer's Cat squeezed in at number 10. I think that's pretty good going for three books that I put online just five weeks ago. It has to be said, though, that at 99 cents (72p) they are very cheap!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three eBooks in the UK Kindle Top 20!

My three eBooks, Once Bitten, The Basement and Dreamer's Cat are all in the Kindle Top 20!

Once Bitten is at Number 4, The Basement is at Number 5 and Dreamer's Cat is at Number 12. I'm really hoping that I can get all three into the Top 10!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dreamer's Cat Tops Kindle UK Science Fiction Top 100

There was a spurt of sales of the Kindle download of Dreamer's Cat yesterday and it now heads the UK Kindle Science Fiction list!

It's also climbed into the Kindle Top 50 fiction list, so I'm well chuffed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Once Bitten Is Number One On KIndle UK

I did it! Last night Once Bitten became the best-selling book on Kindle UK! I went to bed at number four behind that pesky Swede and his trilogy and I woke up at Number One! How cool is that?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Once Bitten Hits Number 5 on Kindle UK!!!!

Wow, on Sunday night Once Bitten got to Number 5 in the Kindle UK paid-for Top 100. Amazing when you consider that there are 650,000 plus books on Kindle!

The Basement and Once Bitten in the Kindle Top 10!

Once Bitten, my LA vampire story, is Number 7 in the Kindle UK Top 100 list. And right behind it at Number 8 is The Basement. They've both been in the Top 100 for more than ten days. All done by word of mouth on the Kindle forum! Thanks guys!!

Money From Africa! Yippee!! I'm Gonna Be Rich!!!!!!

This just in:

Mr.Abdoul ldirssa
Burkina Faso (BOA)
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso


I am the head of Accounts and Audit Department of Bank of Africa,Ouagadougou . I decided to contact you after a careful thought that you may be capable of handling this business transaction which i explained below; In my department i discovered an abandoned sum of $6.5m US dollars (Six million, five hundred thousand US dollars). In an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in 2003 in a plane crash.Since we got information about his death,

we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that his supposed next of kin(his son and wife) died alongside with him at the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim .

It is therefore upon this discovery that I have now decided to make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin (I want to present you as his busines asociate )to the deceased for safety and subsequen disbursement since nobody is coming for it and I don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill. The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that if such money remained Unclaimed after seven years, the money will be transferred into the Bank treasury as unclaimed fund.

The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.I agree that 40% of this money will be for you as foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10 % will be set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 50% would be for me and I will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.

Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to your account as arranged,you must apply first to the bank as next of kin of the deceased customer. Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of the application.I will not fail to bring to your notice that this transaction is hitch free and that you should not entertain any atom of fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.I expect that you contact me immediately as soon as you receive this letter with the information bellow.
Your full name...........
Your address............
Telephone ...............
Age .....................
Sex ....................
Ocupation ...............
Hoping to hear from you immediately.
Yours faithfully,
Mr.Abdoul ldirssa
Accounts & Audit Department ,
Bank of Africa

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Books In The Kindle Thriller Top 10!

Just took this snapshot of the Kindle UK's list of top-selling thrillers. Two of them are mine! The Basement (number 4) and Once Bitten (number 2). How cool is that!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Once Bitten Gets To Number 7 on Kindle!

My vampire story Once Bitten has just overtaken The Basement is now at Number 7 on the Kindle UK Top 100. The Basement got a bad review which has dragged it down to Number 12, but as of now I have two books in the Kindle Top 20!

In the US, The Basement has just picked up three four-star reviews, which is great! It isn't in the charts (yet) though!

I love this - he never blinks! (Well, only a few times!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Books In The Kindle Top 100!

Three weeks ago I put three of my unpublished books on Kindle - The Basement, Once Bitten and Dreamer's Cat. Today there are all in the Kindle UK Top 100, which I think is pretty good going considering there are more than 650,000 books on Kindle!

What's fascinating is that they are selling much, much better in the UK than in the US Kindle store.

So far I have sold 850 copies in the UK and only 90 in the US!

And the feedback I'm getting on American Kindle forums is that American readers are wary of cheap books! They assume that if it's cheap it isn't good.

But in the UK, Kindle readers love to search out bargains.

So maybe the best strategy is to sell the books cheap on Kindle in the UK and at a higher price in the US. How weird is that?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Basement is Number 9 on Kindle UK

Unbelievable. The Basement hit Number 9 on the UK Kindle list - that includes fiction and non-fiction! And that's with no advertising, no publicity, no nothing. I think the fact that it's only 72p has a lot to do with it's success, though it is a great read even if I do say so myself!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Basement Makes The Top 20 On Kindle!

After just over two weeks on Kindle, my EBook The Basement has made the Top 20 of all the books sold on Kindle in the UK. How cool is that? And in the Kindle fiction chart it's at number 16.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Basement Soars On Kindle!

The Basement on KIndle

After just two weeks on Kindle, The Basement is the 27th best selling book on, fiction and non-fiction. How cool is that? And it's the Number 20 book in fiction. Four days in the Top 100 already!

Maybe because it's only 72p!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bargain Basement Kindle Prices

If anyone wants to download my three EBooks from Amazon for their Kindle, now's the time! I've cut the price of all three to 99 cents.

They are The Basement, Dreamer's Cat and Once Bitten.

I wanted to give them away free but Amazon won't allow writers to do that, they say we have to charge a minimum of 99 cents.

They allow publishers to give away books for free but not writers, which doesn't seem fair!

I made the changes just now, it might take a day or two to work through the system....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Revamping My Website

I haven't done a major revamp of my website for more than ten years and it's starting to look a bit stale. I'm looking at ways of beefing it up with the guys at The problem is, I'm not sure what to do! I've looked at loads of websites belonging to well known authors and frankly they're all a bit uninspiring and most of them have very cluttered homepages.

We'll see.

Anyway, here's an early thought...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rough Justice Promotional Video

This is a promotional video produced by Hodder and Stoughton to be shown at mainline train stations when the Rough Justice paperback is published next month!

Bangkok Bob - The Cover

We're working on the cover for Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon. Here's an early draft and I think it looks brilliant! You might recognise the moody guy in shades from the cover of Confessions Of A Bangkok Private Eye!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Complaining Online to DHL

Please wait for a DHL Chat Specialist to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Monty'

Monty: Hi. Thank you for contacting DHL Live Chat. How may I help you?
you: Can you look at Waybill number 2107488386 for me please
Monty: I will be glad to assist you. Please be on hold for 3 minutes while I pull up the records.
you: Five days is not acceptable is it?
Monty: Thank you for being on hold.
you: Why has the package not been delivered after five days?
you: Are you there, Monty?
Monty: Thank you for being on hold.
you: What?
you: Why do you keep thanking me?
Monty: According to the records, the package was sent to an incorrect facility on 26th-Oct-2010 at 9:29 AM because of sorting error; however, later it was sent to the proper destination.
you: According to your tracking record it has not been delivered yet.
you: Are you saying it was delivered today?
you: Monty?
you: Are you there?
you: Hello??????????
Monty: Currently, the shipment is in transit and expected to be delivered on 27th-Oct-2010 by the end of business, barring any unforeseeable delays.
you: That is not acceptable, is it?
you: Six days from Bangkok to Dublin?
you: Or is that normal for DHL?
you: Dublin is a small city.
you: How can it spend all day in transit?
you: Are you there Monty?
you: Monty????????????????????????????????????
you: Hello?
Monty: I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
you: I want more than an apology, Monty.
you: Six days is not acceptable, is it?
Monty: I do understand your concern regarding the package.
you: Do you want me to be a happy customer, Monty?
you: Because at the moment I am not a happy customer.
you: I am starting to wish that I had used FedEx and not DHL.
you: Why is it taking six days to deliver my package?
you: Regular post rarely takes six days.
you: Hello?????????????????????????
Monty: I regret the inconvenience caused.
you: Monty, are you a computer?
you: Or a human being?
you: Am I talking to a machine?
you: Hello???????????????????
you: I need more than regret, Monty. I paid for a speedy service but you haven't provided that.
Monty: I suggest you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 for further assistance in this regard.
you: It has taken DHL longer to deliver my package than it would have taken by regular mail.
you: You won't deal with this yourself? I have to phone?
you: What use are you then, Monty?
you: You are a machine, right? I am talking to a computer?
you: You are not a human being?
Monty: As this is non-US shipment.
you: You are a machine pretending to be a human being, right?
you: You are not really Monty, you are an IBM mainframe, right?
you: Are you saying that people should only use DHL for US shipments? I did not know that.
you: You should tell people that you do not deliver to non US countries.
you: FedEX deliver everywhere and they are usually very quick.
you: Six days from Thailand to Ireland is not acceptable,
you: That is slower than regular mail.
you: Why has it taken five days and you still have not delivered my package?
Monty: We do not have an option to forward a message to the respective department.
you: The contents are important - that is why I used a courier service.
you: Monty, you are a computer, right?
you: Please, you can tell me.
you: You are not a human being, are you?
Monty: I request you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 to expedite the shipment.
you: Answer my question, Monty.
you: Are you a machine?
you: Am I wasting my time talking to a computer?
you: Because you talk like a machine?
you: It is now 11.30pm Monty. They do not answer the phone.
you: Do you understand?
you: Helllo????????????????????????????????????????
you: Monty??????????????????????????????
you: I sent a very important package to Dublin using DHL and it has not arrived./ Why will you not help me?
you: It has taken five days already and it is still not there.
you: Your Thailand staff do not answer the phone because it is 11.30pm
you: But it is 5.30pm in Ireland.
you: Why will they not deliver the package now?
you: You are not helping me, Monty.
you: This is not Customer Service.
you: This is Customer Dis-service.
you: It is not acceptable for you to take five days and to fail to deliver my package, which contains important papers.
Monty: The shipment is at the destination service center and DHL will make every possible effort's to deliver the package on 27th-Oct-2010 by the end of business, barring any unforeseeable delays.
you: That is not good enough.
you: That means you will have taken six days to deliver my package.
you: Regular mail between Thailand and Ireland soes not take six days.
you: What compensation are you going to offer me, Monty?
you: Because the 'service' that DHL has offered me is not acceptable.
Monty: I suggest you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 to file a service failure on this shipment.
you: So there has been a service failure? You admit that?
you: And I did already tell you that the Thai office is not answering the phone. It is now 11.55pm here.
you: Monrty?
you: Are you there?
you: Hello?????????????????????????????????
Monty: Yes, I request you to contact our Thailand Customer support to refund the service charges.
you: And they will refund my money in full?
you: Will they?
you: Will they, Monty?
Monty: Yes, they will refund the charges.
you: Thank you so much.
you: Good night.
Monty: You're welcome. Thank you for using DHL services. Have a nice day. Good bye.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dreamer's Cat Is On KIndle

I've just put Dreamer's Cat on Kindle. It's one of my favourite books, and while I wrote it almost twenty years ago it hasn't dated because it's science fiction! It's a virtual reality murder mystery and I still think it's one of the best books that I've written.

You can see it on KIndle by clicking here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Basement On KIndle

I've just published my story The Basement on KIndle. Let's see if it sells. I do think that the Kindle is going to have a major effect on the way that people read and buy books in the future. More on that later!

The Basement is about the hunt for a serial killer in New York, and it has a great twist at the end!


Once Bitten Is Now On Kindle

I've just put my eBook Once Bitten on Kindle. It's a great story, about an English psychologist on the trail of vampires in Los Angeles.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Money From Teddy Williams!

This guy Teddy Williams offers me money several times a year, always entertaining! I think he's Nigerian. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are Nigerians....


On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Eng. Jьоrgen Krьоgger. I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was
returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL. I wish to notify you that late Eng. Jьrgen
Krьgger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$30, 100.000.00) to you in the
Codicil and last testament to his WILL.

This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with
you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Eng. Jьrgen Krьgger until his
death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to
give out. His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time. Late Engr. Jurgen Krugger died on the 13th day of December,
2004 at the age of 80 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities
and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to
enable me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.Note:You are advise to contact me with my personal email
I await your prompt response.
Yours in Service,

BARRISTER TEDDY WILLIAMS ESQ.PRINCIPAL PARTNERS: Barrister Aidan Walsh.Esq Markus Wolfgang,Smith Esq


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FIve Star Reviews For Rough Justice

The last three reviews of Rough Justice have all been five stars, which cheered me up no end!

My editor loves the new Spider Shepherd book, Fair Game, which I've just delivered, so all is good. Now I'm just about to start on the third Jack Nightingale book - it's called Nightmare and even though I haven't written it yet I know it's going to be brilliant! The ending is a shocker!

Anyway, here's the Amazon reviews -

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!, 20 Oct 2010
By Russ Mayhew - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
What a brilliant book! Stephen Leather has done it again! Despite having read all the Dan Shephard novels I just couldn't it down, it is so believable! It has been said that Spider's character has a limited shelf life but this great novel dispells all that. BRILLIANT, BUY IT!

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 22 Sep 2010
By Mr. R. Carty - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
The book is superb from start to finish, typical Leather book, you can't put it down and sticks in your head until you pick it up again

5.0 out of 5 stars Rough Justice, 19 Sep 2010
By Merlin - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the first Stephen Leather novel, which I have read. I must say, I am finding it tremendous. Fast flowing action, with plenty [but not too much] description. A definite "can't put down" book, for me. I will most certainly be reading more from this author.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nightfall Review On Amazon

A very strange review has just gone up on for Nightfall, from a guy who claims to have enjoyed 'dozens' of my books but hated Nightfall. Here's what he wrote -

Scooby Doo where are you?, 15 Oct 2010

By Geoff H

This review is from: Nightfall (Paperback)
I must have read a dozen of his books and have always found them absorbing and exciting. However this latest book has none of his usual style and has a "Scooby Doo" type plot which is ludicrous and almost laughable. Like other reviewers I bought the book on the strength of his other novels, but will be more careful in future

Now here's what I don't get.

This is the only review that Geoff H has ever posted on Amazon.

He's never reviewed a single book. Except Nightfall.

The only review he's ever bothered to write is Nightfall and he gives it one star. Why hasn't he reviewed books that he's enjoyed?

There is an on-going problem with fake reviews on Amazon. A lot of the time friends and relatives post five star reviews of books written by people they know. And there are lots of cases of people posting one star malicious reviews.

I don't know if Geoff H is real or not, but posting just one review always seems suspect to me.

I wonder if I could ask my readers out there for a favour?

If you did enjoy Nightfall could you please drop by and say so.

Pretty please?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Money From Mercy!

This just in! It really is my lucky week!!

My Dearest,

I am writing this mail to you With due respect trust and humanity, i appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business , honestly i am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, i will really like to have a good relationship with you and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you, i decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation,

My name is Miss Mercy Batista Tagme Na Waie a 25 years old female from the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the daughter of Late General Batista Tagme Na Waie. My late father was the chief of staff of the army of Guinea-Bissau. On March 1, 2009, My late father was killed in a bomb attack when the military's headquarters were attacked. What led to the cold blood killing is still unclear but I know that my father life was the target. You can read more about my father in the bbc link below.

I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File which contained important documents. Now I am presently staying in the refugee camp Mission here in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term relationship and investment assistance. My Father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 8.5 USD Million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin.

I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that being a refugee, my status and according to the law does not authorize me to carry out the operation and again according to the instruction my late Father pass to them that i most present a foreign partner who will stand on my behalf as a trustee. However, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf.

Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while I will relocate to your country and settle down with you and complete my studies while you will help me and invest the fund. As you indicated your interest to help me I will give you the account number and the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about foreign investment. Please all communications should be through this email address only for confidential purposes.

Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.

Yours sincerely,
Mercy Batista Tagme.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Done But Still To Be Dusted!

Whew, just this minute finished the new Spider Shepherd book. 142,396 words, a new record! I think the only book that I've done that was longer was The Vets, which was 200,000. I just wish I was paid by the word and not by the book :-)

Most of the Spider books come in at about 135,000 words but the new one just kept on going. Obviously I am well pleased with it but I am exhausted.

By the time I got off the container ship last month I had written 95,000 words so I have done 47,000 words in the last month.

This has been a very productive year for me - I wrote 108,000 words of the Jack Nightingale book, 63,000 words on Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon (still to be published), and 30,000 words in three Inspector Zhang stories (of which more later!) plus an 8,000 word story for the Best of South East Asian Erotica published by Monsoon Books in Singapore. It's called Banging Bill's Wife and is a bit racy :-0

That makes my total word count for 2010 so far to be 351,000 words!

Like I said, I'm exhausted......

Friday, October 8, 2010

More Money From Africa! I Am So Blessed!!!!


Greeting to you!!!
I know that this email will come to you as a surprise and I hope that you will
not expose or betray this trust and confident that I’m about to repose on you
for mutual benefits of our families. I am the manager of bill and exchange at
the foreign remittance department of Bank of Africa Burkina Faso.

I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($8.2USD) eight million
two hundred thousand United States dollars to your account within fourteen
banking days. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of ($8.2USD) eight
million two hundred thousand United States dollars. In an account that belongs
to one of our foreign customer who died without any nomination of the next of
kin to the bank, Since we got information about his death, we have been
expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot
release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the
deceased as indicated in our banking policies but unfortunately for years now
non of his relations has applied for the claim..

It is therefore upon this discovery that I decided to make this business
proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to
the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for
it and I don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the
fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of
kin to a foreigner. I have agreed that 40 % of this money will be for you as
foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10 % will be
set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 60 % would be for me.
There after I will visit your country for disbursement according to the
percentages indicated.

Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, you
must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased
indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and
fax number for easy and effective communication.

Upon the receipt of your reply, at
I will give you full details on how the business will be executed. Please kindly
contact me as soon as you receive this proposal.

Come up with the information's stated below:

1. Your full name: ............
2. Your contact cell phone number: .....................
3. Your age: ....................
4. Your sex: .................
5. Your occupations ..............
6. Your country and city:...............

Yours Faithfully,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Money From Africa!!!

With Due Respect,

I am Mr. Suleman Bello. am working with African development bank as The Manager of Auditing Department in ouagadougou burkina Faso. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($25.200) Twenty-five Million Two hundred thousand United States Dollars to your bank account within Fourteen (14) banking days.Please this is a life time opportunity for both of us and I know that both of us are going to benefit from this business.

the account belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in a plan crash. Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we can not release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died along with him at the plan crash leaving nobody behind to come for the claim.

It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you so that the money could be released to you as the next of kin for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and i don’t want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

Upon the receipt of your reply,I will give you the full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned sum as your own share while 50% will be for me, and the other 10% will be for the expenses that may arise in this transaction.I am expecting your urgent response to enable me inform you on how the business will be executed. Please keep this proposal as a top secret and delete if you are not interested,

My Regards to your family,
Mr.Suleman Bello.
Bill and exchange manager,
African Development bank ADB.

New Nightingale Cover - Midnight

This is the cover for the hardback and trade paperback of Midnight, the new Jack Nightingale book. It should be in the shops in January next year.

I've just hit 130,000 words on the new Spider Shepherd book. Should be done very soon!

Money From Kenya!!!!!

Hello Dear,

Honestly I am glad that you honour my mail, how are you today? My name is Rachel Kipkalya Kone, from Kenya 24 years old the daughter of the former Kenyan road minister late Mr Kipkalya Kones who died on Tuesday 10th June 2008 along the Cessna 210 plane crash which was heading to Kericho in a remote area called Kajong'a, in western Kenya as You can read more on the crash below:

Although this mail might appear to you surprising because we haven't meet before but please consider it as a divine wish and accept it with a better understanding,I believe you will listen to what i have to say and consider me to be like your own sister or a close friend in need. sincerely i am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart due to the condition i find myself after the passing away of my parents, Nothwithstanding the whole tragic made me feel mallested and rejected without any cause simply because my mum had died earlier and i am from a polygamous family. Thereafter the funeral of my dad, my stepmother and my uncle with their african mentality that a woamn does not share out of his father's own properties conspired and sold off my father's properties worth milions of dollar to an italian expertrate and shared the money among themselves living me with nothing.

On an attempt one morning opening my father's briefcase, I found an important documents with which he had deposited some money in my name as the beneficiary at the African development bank, Burkina Faso. I travelled down to Burkina Faso to withdraw some of the money but the Bank branch manager whom I met in person highlited me on my father's instruction to the bank concerning the money and how it should be withdrawn that only on the account that i am married or i should present to the bank an honest,responsible and worthy trustee whom will assist me in reclaiming the fund and transfer it into his account for an investment as i finish up my education. In my search for a reliable person i have found you a worthy person i can count on you. I believe that you will not betray my trust on you but rather take me as your own sister or close friend because right now i am suffering terribuly here in Burkina faso in the refugee camp as i have no body to rescue me
from this strange situation in a foreign land. I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and i was convinced that you will be the true one to rescue me from this trouble,I have the money confirmed in the bank $7.2 million in their records as unclaimed bill in my father account and i have the death and the deposit certificates of the fund, Standing as proof of my geneuity. I shall compensate you with 20% of the whole money in as much as you could help me make the transfer of this money into your account successfully. I wait upon your positive response showing your interest and ability to carry out this transaction and in the light of the above i shall appreciate your urgent message indicating your willingness to help me with all your mind to achieve this successfully. Thanks and God bless you as iwait for your positive reply soon.

Miss Rachel Kipkalya

Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Stretch......

I'm just passed 123,000 words on the new Dan Shepherd book. Whew. I'm in Bangkok which isn't the best place to write because mosquitoes bite me at night and my daughter is too good a distraction in the evening. Writing or hanging out with Sam? No contest, I much prefer spending time with her.... On the plus side my cat Peanut Butter sits by my side while I'm writing throughout the night. She's a soi cat who we rescued when someone started putting poison out for her and is very affectionate...

I'd hoped to finish the book at 120,000 words but as always there are too many loose ends to tie up and it's going to be closer to 130,000 words. It feels good and even I'm excited by the ending!

I think the title will be Fair Game, though Fine Line is also a possibility.

Okay, gotta get back to the grindstone, I have nine Somali pirates and an Irish terrorist to kill and then save London from a major terrorist incident!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jokes From The Edinburgh Fringe....

Top ten best jokes judged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

1) Tim Vine - "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again."

2) David Gibson - "I'm currently dating a couple of anorexics. Two birds, one stone."

3) Emo Philips - "I picked up a hitchhiker. You've got to when you hit them."

4) Jack Whitehall - "I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say 'bought', I actually stole it off a short, fat ginger kid."

5) Gary Delaney - "As a kid I was made to walk the plank. We couldn't afford a dog."

6) John Bishop - "Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day."

7) Bo Burnham - "What do you call a kid with no arms and an eyepatch? Names."

8) Gary Delaney - "Dave drowned. So at the funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well, it's what he would have wanted."

9) Robert White - "For Vanessa Feltz, life is like a box of chocolates: empty."

10) Gareth Richards - "Wooden spoons are great. You can either use them to prepare food, or, if you can't be bothered with that, just write a number on one and walk into a pub…"

And the worst…

Sara Pascoe - "Why did the chicken commit suicide? To get to the other side."

Sean Hughes - "You know city-centre beat officers... Well are they police who rap?"

John Luke Roberts - "I made a Battenberg where the two colours ran alongside each other. I called it apartheid sponge."

Emo Philips - "I like to play chess with bald men in the park although it's hard to find 32 of them."

Bec Hill - "Some of my best friends are vegan. They were going to come today but they didn't have the energy to climb up the stairs."

Dan Antopolski - "How many Spaniards does it take to change a lightbulb? Juan."

Doc Brown - "I was born into the music industry. My dad worked in Our Price."

I Need Help With A Title!

Hi All. I'm stuck trying to come up with a title for my latest book and wondered if anyone out there has any ideas!

The problem is that I write my books in pairs with matching titles. So far I have Hard Landing/Soft Target, Cold Kill/Hot Blood, Dead Men/Live Fire. All good. But my last book was called Rough Justice (I know, Jack Higgins used it recently but it was the perfect title for a story about police corruption).

Now here's my problem. I need a title to pair with Rough Justice. In the book my hero (Dan Shepherd) goes undercover on a container ship being targetted by Somali pirates, and there's a sub plot about two IRA assassins on his trail.

All I can some up with is Smooth Sailing but that's too weak, no sense of menace etc. Does anyone out there have any ideas?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Container Ship Hydra Arriving At Southampton (September 9, 2010)

Back to Southampton after 18 days on board the container ship Hydra.

I had a great time and wrote 55,000 words of the new Spider Shepherd book!

I was questioned for an hour by two detectives from Hampshire Police, but that's another story!

Leaving The Suez Canal (September 2, 2010)

Engine Room Of The Container Ship Hydra

This was amazing, the engine is the size of two double decker busses!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sailing Into The Suez Canal (September 2, 2010)

It was awesome sailing through the Suez Canal on board one of the world's largest container ships!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sailing in convoy in the Gulf of Aden (to avoid pirates!) August 29, 2010

Two convoys each protected by warships pass in the Gulf of Aden. We went right between them. We were too big and too fast to be worried about pirates!

Walking from stern to bow of container ship Hydra in a 30pmh wind!

The captain said it was ok but only afterwards did I realise it was a Force 8 gale! I asked him why he'd let me go and he shrugged and said he figured if it was too windy I'd come back inside!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Abandoning a ship at sea!

This was a drill we did on the Hydra after we'd been at sea for a few days, just before we entered pirate waters!

Back In The UK After 18 Days At Sea!

I'm just arriving back at Southampton after 18 days aboard the cargo ship Hydra. I wrote 55,000 words of the new Spider Shepherd book, which is based around Somali pirates. Here's a video of me on the dockside at Tangiers. I'll post lots more videos over the next few days!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just got this - Mats/Matz needs my help!

Hello I guess you did receive my short note i did some little traveling that got me into mess to the extent that i misplace all my belongings;my passport,my money and my traveling documents,i came here to Africa Nigeria for a program i need to attend urgently and on my way back to the airport i was robbed and i got all my valuables am seeking your sincere help as soon as possible as i need to return back home with the next available flight which happens to leave in few hours,Am now in the Nigerian state embassy where a consular is trying to help me solve my problems but i need some money to do this,please i will need you to borrow me some amount of money till i return back home?The money i need is abit much but i can easily refund back with interest first thing when i get back home but if you cant come up with all the fund needed please let me know the initial amount you can help me with(The money i need is 2500 usd to foot all this bills,according to
the consular i will be getting a new passport,few documents and a return ticket back home),if you are willing to assist me please help me locate a western union money transfer or a good bank that operate western union and wire the fund to my stated information below.

Receivers Name:Mats Lindberg
Address: NO 24,ago palace road,adekunle close
City: Isolo Lagos
Zip Code: 23401
Country: Nigeria

After the fund is been sent,please provide me with details to receive the fund,mtcn number,the stated amount been sent,senders first name and second name,text question and answers,the stated address where the fund is been sent.Please email me back to let me know if your receive my urgent message am under a serious pressure now as everything is kind of complicating,i will be waiting to hear back from you.

You may have a wonderful day...I will have one...Matz

Great Reviews On Amazon!

Just had some great reviews go up on Amazon, which has cheered me up. I'm 37,000 words into the new Spider Shepherd book and feeling the pressure! I join my cargo boat in Malaysia on Saturday and hope to be writing at full speed while I'm at sea!

I'm also writing a travel piece for the Daily Mail about people who holiday on cargo ships!

Stephen Leather - Rough Justice, 18 Aug 2010
By Mr. Gordon Mclaren - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
Delivered on launch day and wasn't disappointed. Have read all Stephen Leather's books and this like the others gets your attention from the first page and keeps you highly engaged to the very last. One of the best thriller writers in the business, though feel his earlier works such as The Chinaman and The Double Tap were his finest to date.

Excellent Contemporary Novel, 17 Aug 2010
By merlin57 - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
I have read everything Stephen Leather has written. I very much enjoyed his earlier novels which were mostly set in the Far East and obviously benefited from his knowledge of the countries in question.
The Dan Shepherd series has occasionally struck me as being rather generic, though generally superior to other authors working in this area. What sets them apart for me is the character of Shepherd, who is far more developed than is normal in this type of book. His family situation continually causes him to question whether he is making the right decisions, and he frequently finds himself in a quandary as to who exactly the "Bad Guys" are. This is particularly evident here, where Shepherd's sympathies (and, one senses, Leather's)are often with the people he is trying to hunt down.
This is a powerful and well-crafted book, for me the best of the series,which gives quite a chilling portrayal of contemporary Britain and the ease with which the country has surrendered to those whose values would threaten it. As one who left the UK in 2004, Leather's books provide me with an often frightening update on what has happened since.

My copy of the book includes the first 2 chapters of "Nightfall" which marks another departure for the author and the introduction of an impressive new character opeating in a different world entirely.....I suggest you buy that one too!

rough justice, 16 Aug 2010
By namnori116 - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
Great read, typical Leather, just when you wonder where he can take Spider, he produces another blinder. A must for for all Leather/Spider fans.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Rough Justice Review

Got a great review for Rough Justice in the Lancashire Evening Post, a newspaper I very nearly worked for years ago!

By Pam Norfolk
Published on Mon Aug 09 08:00:00 BST 2010

When you feel the justice system has failed, what do you do?

Shrug your shoulders and accept it ... or take arms and deal out your own version of ‘rough justice.’

Former journalist Stephen Leather is never afraid to tackle the big issues of the day and if his fast-paced, hard-nosed Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd novels enter controversial waters, he is always prepared to go against the flow.

Vigilantism comes under Leather’s discerning eye in Spider’s latest undercover outing with London’s Serious Organised Crime Agency and, as usual, trouble and rebellion are never far away.

Because Spider is not happy about being asked to spy on other cops, even if technically they are villains, and when Spider is not happy, anything can happen...

Over the past year, a dozen or so Yardie gangsters have returned to Jamaica after being tortured and beaten to a pulp but, mysteriously, they never made a word of complaint to the police.

A convicted paedophile has been found strangled under a railways arch, a drug dealer has been set up for murder and some ruthless housebreakers have suffered horrific hand injuries.

All the clues point to Paddington Green’s Territorial Support Group, a special police unit whose remit is to react to violent situations and help reduce crime by supporting local bobbies.

Spider’s boss, Charlotte Button, is convinced that a vigilante group of disillusioned cops is responsible for the attacks and wants Spider to weed them out.

It’s a tough call for Spider because he too is becoming increasingly angry with a criminal justice system that puts pensioners in prison for not paying their council tax while ‘letting murderers and rapists roam the streets.’

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, five British soldiers are mown down in a Chinese restaurant by two Real IRA assassins and one of the victims is the nephew of Spider’s old boss from his days as an SAS trooper.

Major Gannon thinks he knows the identity of the killers and he needs Spider to help him track them down and dispense another round of lethal rough justice.

It’s a dangerous, illegal mission that will threaten Spider’s family and could spell the end of his career...

Rough Justice is a top drawer thriller with blood-soaked action, terrifyingly real villains, spine-tingling menace and a pulsating plot with serious ethical issues at its heart.

Another class act from Mr Leather...

(Hodder & Stoughton, hardback, £19.99)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two New Nightfall Reviews On Amazon

Two new reviews have just gone up on Amazon, a four star (from Kenny G) and a five star (from Simon Hartley)!

Interesting Change!, 4 Aug 2010
By Kenny G (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightfall: v. 1 (Paperback)
As someone who has read more or less everything Stephen Leather has published to date, reading this book was quite a strange experience. There is no doubt that it is a brave move to write something so removed from his usual themes, and in all fairness I think he's done a pretty good job. I certainly enjoyed the book and read it in a couple of days.

I don't see why it is necessary to criticize this book just on the grounds that it's different from the SAS/Hong Kong/Spider Shepherd stuff. If you don't like this sort of book then don't buy it.

In summary, not my favourite Stephen Leather book, but entertaining and well worth a read nonetheless.

And -

Nightfall - fantastic read!, 1 Aug 2010
By Simon Hartley - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightfall (Paperback)
Nightfall ............ Stephen Leather does it again, fantastic read just couldn't put it down ... more please Stephen!

I'm pleased that Kenny and Simon enjoyed the book, and agree with Kenny that it doesn't make sense to criticise Nightfall because it is different from my regular thrillers.

I really don't understand the reviewers on Amazon who have given Nightfall one-star because they don't like books on the occult! That's like a restaurant reviewer giving a French restaurant a bad review just because they don't like French food!

Anyway, for these readers who only want Spider Shepherd, Rough Justice is on sale now and I think it's the best Spider Shepherd book so far!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Great Exam With Trick Questions!

Just got this in an email - hilarious!

New High School Exit Exam, you only need 4 correct to pass -

(Passing requires 4 correct answers)

1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Remember, you need 4 correct answers to pass.

Check your answers below ....


1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

3) From which animal do we get cat gut? Sheep and Horses

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert

8) What color is a purple finch ? Crimson

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (of course)

What do you mean, you failed? Me, too.

Pass this on to some brilliant friends, so they may feel useless too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eurocrime Reviews Rough Justice

A great review of Rough Justice, the new Spider Shepherd book, has just gone up on Eurocrime - their website is at

Here's the review -

Leather, Stephen - 'Rough Justice'
Hardback: 544 pages (July 2010) Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton ISBN: 0340924934

Earlier this year when I reviewed the author's previous thriller, NIGHTFALL, in which he introduced his new hero "Jack Nightingale", I assumed that he was going to replace Leather's other hero figure, Dan (Spider) Shepherd who had featured in six previous books, but how wrong I was. Now in his 22nd book, ROUGH JUSTICE, which is again about Spider, Leather has written one of the strongest and most outstanding books of his career to date. Another real scorcher, in fact. So it looks like Leather is giving himself the task of writing two series books a year. I wonder whether he can keep up such a pace and do promotional book tours as well?!

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), have been asked by the Home Secretary to investigate a spate of vigilante crimes which have been occurring mainly in and around London. A number of criminals that have escaped conviction for legal technicalities are suspected of being given rough justice by a team of elite police officers who belong to a Territorial Support Group (TSG) - these are the police units that are sent in, usually in blue vans, to break up demonstrations or to support other non specialist police.

Spider, is asked for his next assignment to become a member of a TSG unit and to this end he is given a false identity as a policeman transferred from a different constabulary to Paddington, West London. He is equipped with a complete kit of warrant card, bank account and ancillary ID in his new name of "Terry Halligan" (very weird - but I promise you no payment changed hands!) and is given a flat in North London. He joins the squad and finds a real comradeship develops in working with them on a day to day basis. He feels very torn between identifying the criminals and supporting his new colleagues. A real crisis of conscience in fact, which must be resolved if he is to follow this through.

The story has an elaborate, modern, but very believable, multi-layered plot with the main strand being the investigation of the TSG policemen. There are three additional sub-plot lines occurring. Firstly, one of Spider's former SAS commanders wants revenge for the death of his son in Northern Ireland and he asks Spider to help him. Secondly, Spider discovers that his own son, Liam, has an illegal video on his mobile that could get him into trouble with the police and this causes Spider a lot of worry. The third plot line covers a colleague of Spider's in SOCA, who has to infiltrate a right wing extremist organisation, which has some crossover to the TSG story.

All in all this is quite a long book but the pages just flew by. The main plot had echoes of the Death Wish films with the late Charles Bronson. As usual with Leather's books, I read this book in about two days, it was so gripping I just could not put it down and I believe I'll probably include it in my five best reads of 2010. A very entertaining, easy read - though some of the scenes in it are very graphic - and I look forward to reading his future books in both series.

Terry Halligan, England
July 2010

I'm glad that Terry liked it, and that he spotted that I'd used his name! He has given me some great reviews in the past and I though he'd get a kick out of Spider using his name as his alias!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just Had Another Good Review Go Up On Amazon!

Here it is, from one of Amazon's Top 100 Reviewers! He really got what the book was about, which was gratifying.

4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch and thought provoking, 15 July 2010

By N. Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)

Having read all of Stephen leather's thriller and particularly enjoyed the "Spider Shepherd" tales, I am an established fan but I can honestly say that Rough Justice is as good as anything the author has written. Rough Justice works on a number of levels, it is a thriller that deals with the very grey areas between justice and revenge and also asks some uncomfortable questions.

Here we have Spider going undercover to expose some rogue Police officers who are taking justice into their own hands set within an environment that is perhaps overly politically correct and overly protective of the bad guys rather then the victims. Spider gets his own exposure to this in a scenario that is scarily (and sadly) true. In balance to this we also have Spider considering taking things into his own hands as a result of a terrorist attack....

This moves at pace but the author does a great job of giving all the characters real personalities amid excellent research. The banter and process of the Police team that Spider works with felt spot on, as did their varying attitudes and frustrations. I sense that Stephen Leather is no fan of the "Nanny State" (a theme repeated in his other recent book, Nightfall), and it would be hard to argue with him based on the themes in this book. But this is a thriller and it works very well at that level, you get a sense of the tension and the pressures of working undercover and the difficulty of maintaining two identities. As a reader you are likely to change your mind about what is acceptable and what is not, or at the very least you will pause to think about your views of right and wrong.

There are some significant changes in this novel as well, and a possible change of direction for Spider, it's an interesting one although it may well take future books into a direction already quite well populated and away from the unique(ish) undercover scenario we have become used to. And there are still some things to be resolved........

A great thriller from an author at the top of his game. Recommended.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All At Sea

The Dan Shepherd book for next year is based on Somali pirates, the bad guys who are making a fortune seizing ships around the Gulf of Aden. I'm never one to duck the necessary research, so next month I set sail on a cargo ship sailing from China to Southampton. I join it in Malaysia and will be on board around the Gulf of Aden, through the Suez Canal and then home to the UK. Eighteen days in all. It's not exactly a cruise ship, but as I chose to go with a French crew I am guaranteed wine with my meals! That's a picture of it above.

The plan is to write the book on board and hopefully the lack of distractions will help, though I am a lousy sailor and have already stocked up with eighteen days worth of seasickness tablets.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My New Portrait!

I moaned so much about the portrait that Chris Coles did of me to illustrate the book of crime stories that I'm contributing to, he did another one! Here it is...

And here's the one he did earlier!

Millions From Hong Kong! Yippee!!!!

This just in from Hong Kong -

Dear Friend,

It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me,
Please forgive this unusual manner to contact you, but this particular letter/email is of exceptional
and very private nature, as by virtue of my vantage position in Hang Seng Bank Ltd -Hong Kong
i have a lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to share with you. There is no way for me to
know whether I will be properly understood, but it is my duty to write and reach out to you, TRUSTING
that you will give this proposal a positive consideration.

I am Mr. William Leung Wing Cheung, the Executive Director and Head of Personal Banking of Hang Seng
Bank Limited, Hong-Kong with responsibility for the Bank’s financial services to individual customers which
cover deposits, loans, trust, private banking, insurance and the Bank’s branch network. I will need you to
assist me in executing a business project from our bank worth US$25.5 Million. These funds were deposited
with our bank by a customer of our bank who is a national {citizen} of your country/region, who
unfortunately died in the December 2004 Asia Tsunami disaster.

For more on this natural disaster click on these links:-

The deceased account has been declared dormant since 2006 and these funds will be
confiscated/declared unserviceable and turned over to the Hong Kong government if the deceased
business associates or next-of-kin did not claim this money; since all efforts to trace any living relative
of the deceased proved abortive, i have decided that i will have you claim this money as the deceased
business associate/or next-of-kin, since you are from the same country/region and perhaps have some
similarities in certain areas.

Everything concerning this transaction shall be LEGALLY done without hitch, as i was the deceased
account Officer and all the relevant documents of this deposit were kept under my care.

I will in the course of this transaction sends to you all of my legal and valid Identities {I.D} and also our
bank web site, where you can see my pictures and resumes for your reference.

Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue, as i hope that
you are a sincere, honest, matured person and above all TRUSTWORTHY. Once the funds have
been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share it in a ratio of 30% for you,65% for
me and my associates in the bank and the reminder 5% to take care of contingencies.

I will prefer you reach me on my private email address below :{ and
finally after that I shall furnish you with more information about this operation. I am counting on your
anticipated co-operation for a successful and hitch free business transaction between us, that will be
mutually beneficial, for a start oblige me these information:-

1.Your Full name{s}:-

2.Current contact address:-

3.Your present Occupation:-

4.Your age:-

5.Contact phone numbers {Office and Mobile{cell}:-

{6}Your PRIVATE/CONFIDENTIAL e-mail address, if it is different.

Please if you are not interested delete this email and do not hurt me because I am putting my career and
the life of my family at stake with this venture. Although nothing ventured is nothing gained, as it is said,
the taste of the pudding is in the eating, do give this proposal SERIOUS AND POSITIVE CONSIDERATION,
but mindful of the fact also that it is HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Your earliest response to this letter will be highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Mr. William Leung Wing Cheung,
{Executive Director/Head Personal Banking}
Hang Seng Bank Limited
Hong Kong.{Asia}


Friday, July 9, 2010

Portrait Of Me

Bangkok-based artist Chris Coles has just sent me this - a portrait of me that will be used as an illustration for a book of short stories that I'm contributing to...

Should I be flattered? Actually it's better than my passport photograph!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paperback Cover For Rough Justice

Hodder have just sent me the paperback cover for Rough Justice, which will be out in November!

Here's what the hardback looks like.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First Amazon Review of Rough Justice!

The first review of Rough Justice has gone up on Amazon - and it's five stars. Whew! There is another review showing (four stars) but it's actually for Live Fire!

Anyway, here's the first review, hopefully the first of many -

He's done it again!, 5 July 2010

By Mooky

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)

I am a big Stephen Leather fan and have followed Dan "Spider" Shephard from his first appearence in Hard Landing. My favourite book in this series so far has been Soft Target, which was my first ever book by this author and it had me gripped from the start.

I was worried that this book was covering very similar ground and was just a re-jig of a story already done... However I was pleased to see I was wrong and it was a different path to that book. I wont go over the plot in too much detail as I don't want to give any spoilers but suffice to say it takes some interesting twists and continues the prose very nicely.

I was really dis-appointed when Mike "Joker" Cramer was killed off in a previous series of books and I hope Mr Leather doesn't make the same mistake again..!? The ending of this leads nicely into a different path for the characters and could really refresh the series.

My only gripe is having a chapter of Nightfall at the back of the book... Why!? I have that book and really enjoyed it but don't see the point of this other than a marketing ploy?

But apart from that another top read 5 stars - keep them coming!!

Mr Leather I know you read these reviews, I know the Shephard series is popular but I also loved one offs like the tunnel rats and birthday girl, are there any "ones offs" due out and also when is the next Nightingale book due out??

Mooky is right, there are similarities between Soft Target and Rough Justice - rogue cops - but the story is very different. And I also hope the change in Shepherd's career will refresh the series. I certainly won't be killing him off.

I am thinking about doing a one-off thriller as Mooky suggests. I love the Shepherd series but I also enjoy the challenge of starting a story from scratch! They are hard work but very satisfying, and The Tunnel Rats is one of my favourite books.

The chapter of Nightfall is at the back of Rough Justice as a way of introducing the character to readers who didn't buy the book when it came out this year!