Related to: 'Dead Men'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Runner

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder Paperbacks

Tall Order

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder & Stoughton

Light Touch

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder & Stoughton

The Spider Shepherd Collection 8-10

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

'Let Spider draw you into his web - you won't regret it' SunThe 8th, 9th and 10th thrillers in Stephen Leather's bestselling Spider Shepherd series, available in one all-action collection, including FAIR GAME, FALSE FRIENDS and TRUE COLOURS.Fair GameWhen Somali pirates seize the crew of a yacht off the coast of Africa, they bite off more than they can chew. One of the hostages has friends in high places and Spider Shepherd is put on the case. But as Shepherd closes in on his quarry he realises that there's much more at stake than the lives of the hostages and that the pirates are involved in a terrorist plot that will strike at the heart of London. False FriendsThe most wanted man in the world is dead. Now those loyal to him seek revenge. When Navy Seals track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, al-Qaeda realise they have a traitor in their midst. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students, Malik and Chaudhry, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover. True ColoursThe Russian oligarchs are the world's new elite. They treat the world as their plaything, travelling without borders and living lives of unimaginable luxury without fear or restraint. But when an assassin starts killing off some of the world's richest men, an oligarch with friends in high places seeks the protection of MI5. And Spider Shepherd is placed in the firing line.

Hodder & Stoughton

False Friends

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder & Stoughton

Cursed - ebook

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

An exciting short story, part of the Jack Nightingale series by bestselling author Stephen Leather - thrillers with an occult twist.Jack Nightingale - lives in the shadows, fights in the dark. Ex-cop turned private eye Jack Nightingale is used to dealing with tricky situations. He's faced down the powers of hell a couple of times, too. In this new short story, he's called in to help a policeman who's lying at death's door. The doctors can't work out what's wrong. But the dying man's colleagues swear blind that he was cursed by a gypsy during the Dale Farm clearance. And Nightingale could be his only hope. Jack Nightingale is the hero of Stephen Leather's supernatural detective novels. There are five books in the critically acclaimed series: NIGHTFALL, MIDNIGHT, NIGHTMARE, NIGHTSHADE and LASTNIGHT.

Hodder & Stoughton

Fair Game

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The eighth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Kidnapping is one of the cruellest crimes - lives are put at risk for cold, hard cash. But when Somali pirates seize the crew of a yacht off the coast of Africa, they bite off more than they can chew.One of the hostages has friends in high places and Spider Shepherd is put on the case. He goes deep undercover in an audacious plan to bring an end to the pirate gang's reign of terror.But as Shepherd closes in on his quarry he realises that there's much more at stake than the lives of the hostages and that the pirates are involved in a terrorist plot that will strike at the heart of London.

Hodder & Stoughton

Live Fire

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The sixth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Mickey and Mark Moore are Ordinary Decent Criminals - hard men who live by their own code and leaders of a gang that has made millions at the point of a gun. 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. And that perhaps being a career criminal isn't the worst thing in the world. 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 fundamentalist fanatics embark on a campaign of terror the like of which Britain has never seen. Car bombs and beheadings are only the prelude of what they have planned. And Shepherd is the only man who can stop them.

Hodder & Stoughton

Hot Blood

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The fourth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series.Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line. It goes with the turf when you're an undercover cop. Now working for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Shepherd is pitting his wits against the toughest criminals in the country. But when the man who once saved his life is kidnapped in the badlands of Iraq, thrown into a basement and threatened with execution, Shepherd has to decide whether his loyalties lie with his country, his career, or his friend. Shepherd and his former SAS colleagues realise that the hostage has been abandoned by the Government and that officially nothing is being done to rescue him. And with the execution deadline only days away, Shepherd knows that the only way to stop his friend being murdered is to put himself in the firing line in the most dangerous city in the world - Baghdad.

Hodder & Stoughton

Cold Kill

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The third book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Even deadlier than terrorists . . . are the men trying to stop them.People-smuggling, counterfeit currency and attempted murder. It's all in a day's work for undercover cop Dan 'Spider' Shepherd. But what starts as a run-of-the mill investigation quickly turns into a matter of life and death when he uncovers a terrorist cell on a mission of death and destruction. The target: hundreds of passengers on a cross-channel train deep below the English Channel.With the clock ticking and the explosives primed, Shepherd and his colleagues have to decide just how far they are prepared to go to save innocent lives. And they realise that to avoid catastrophe, they have to be even more merciless than the terrorists.

Hodder Paperbacks

Hard Landing

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The first book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series. Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line. Working for an elite undercover squad he has lied, cheated and conned in order to bring Britain's most wanted criminals to justice.But when a powerful drugs baron starts to kill off witnesses to his crimes, Shepherd is given his most dangerous assignment yet. He has to go undercover in a top security prison, a world where one wrong move will mean certain death.As Shepherd gambles everything to move in on his quarry, he soon realises that the man he is hunting is even more dangerous than the police realise. And that he is capable of striking outside the prison walls and hitting Shepherd where it hurts most.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Eyewitness

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

Jack Solomon is a messenger of death.Working in the fractured remains of Yugoslavia, his task is to identify the victims of ethnic cleansing and to tell families that their loved ones are never coming home.Years of toiling in the killing fields have desensitised the former London policeman to the horrors of war, but when a truck containing twenty-six bodies is pulled from a lake, Solomon is unable to walk away from the case.He sets out to track down the only survivor of the massacre, a young girl on the run from the killers. Solomon's hunt for the last witness takes him from the brothels of Sarajevo to the high-stakes world of London's internet prostitution - where he will discover that the killers are closer to home than he thinks . . .*********PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER'A master of the thriller genre'Irish Times'A writer at the top of his game'Sunday Express'In the top rank of thriller writers' Jack Higgins

Hodder Paperbacks

Tango One

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

***Now a motion picture, out 5th March 2018*** In different parts of London, three recruits prepare for their first day at the Metropolitan Police's training centre at Hendon. All three had succeeded in getting into the police in spite of weaknesses. But on their first day, the assistant commissioner announces that he wants them to join a team of undercover detectives. Their brief? To become criminals; to work their way up through whatever criminal organisations they can get access to, and to collate evidence against the criminals they come across. Their target? One of the world's biggest drug dealers, Den Donovan, alias 'Tango One' - number one on HM Customs and Excise's List of most wanted criminals. Three years later all the recruits are getting close to their target. Too close, perhaps, to remember the rules . . .***********Praise for Stephen Leather'[Leather] has the uncanny knack of producing plots that are all too real' Daily Mail'Let Spider draw you into his web, you won't regret it' - Sun

Hodder Paperbacks

The Stretch

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

As a big player in the 90s London underworld, Terry Greene has always made a priority of 'taking care of business' personally. Preston Snow was out of line. So the up-close-and-personal visit was in no way out of character.It was a messy hit. But the job was done.More messy however, was the aftermath. Fingered by one of his own crew, Terry finds himself taking the fall and is put away for life. The only person he can trust in the entire world is his estranged wife, Sam. She must now take over the reins of his organisation, find the snitch and - in theory - get Terry off the hook. But after a shaky start, she quickly starts to get her own ideas . . .***********PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER'A master of the thriller genre'Irish Times'As tough as British thrillers get . . . gripping' Irish Independent 'The sheer impetus of his story-telling is damned hard to resist'Sunday Express

Hodder Paperbacks

The Tunnel Rats

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder & Stoughton

The Solitary Man

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder Paperbacks

Pay Off

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder Paperbacks

The Long Shot

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather
Hodder Paperbacks

The Chinaman

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather's BESTSELLING breakthrough thriller.The Chinaman understood death.Jungle-skilled, silent and lethal, he had killed for the Viet Cong and then for the Americans. He had watched helpless when his two eldest daughters had been raped and killed by Thai pirates.Now all that was behind him. Quiet, hard-working and unassuming, he was building up his South London take-away business.Until the day his wife and youngest daughter were destroyed by an IRA bomb in a Knightsbridge department store.Then, simply but persistently, he began to ask the authorities who were the men responsible, what was being done. And was turned away, fobbed off, treated as a nuisance.Which was when the Chinaman, denied justice, decided on revenge. And went back to war.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Double Tap

Stephen Leather
Authors:
Stephen Leather

The assassin: the world's most successful contract killer. An anonymous professional with a unique calling card - one bullet in the head and one in the chest for each and every target.The Judas goat: an ex-member of the SAS, Mike Cramer is the perfect sacrificial bait. When the FBI discover the next name on the assassin's hitlist, Cramer is set up to take his place.The wild card: Cramer's past has caught up with him. Ex-IRA extremist Dermot Lynch blames Cramer for his lover's death - and he's out for revenge.As Cramer trains for the most dangerous mission of his career, Lynch hunts down his sworn enemy. And the unknown assassin silently closes in on his target. The players are in position for the final deadly game . . .***********PRAISE FOR STEPHEN LEATHER'A master of the thriller genre'Irish Times'A writer at the top of his game'Sunday Express'In the top rank of thriller writers' Jack Higgins