Thursday, 15 September 2016

Brianna Reviews // Dark Forces by Stephen Leather

Published: 28th July 2016
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Kindle
Synopsis: A violent South London gang will be destroyed if Dan 'Spider' Shepherd can gather enough evidence against them while posing as a ruthless hitman. What he doesn't know is that his work as an undercover agent for MI5 is about to intersect with the biggest terrorist operation ever carried out on British soil. Only weeks before Shepherd witnessed a highly skilled IS sniper escape from a targeted missile strike in Syria. But never in his wildest dreams did he expect to next come across the shooter in a grimy East London flat. Spider's going to have to proceed with extreme caution if he is to prevent the death of hundreds of people, but at the same time, when the crucial moment comes he will have to act decisively. The clock is ticking and only he stands between us and Armageddon....

I think this was probably my least favourite book of the series. It almost felt to me as if it was missing the beginning.  I felt like I was waiting the entire book for the assassin and Spiders path’s to cross with everything else just being filler, I felt barely any interest with the O’Neill’s case I didn’t care if Spider got enough evidence or not, it’s like the unrelated case the books normally started with continued throughout the whole thing. Without going through the process of Spider being given the case and infiltrating the gang, I just wasn’t invested in the outcome.

I still hate Jeremy, which probably doesn’t help things – there was a lot of him in this book. And yet again in this series Stephen Leather has forgotten what he wrote in only the book directly before this one. In Black Ops Spider turned up at Jeremy’s house to tell him he wasn’t going to help make a case against Charlie. While there Spider named Jeremy’s Wife Emily and his kids, Jane and Joshua… but it seems that Spider has had a blow to the head that has affected his eidetic memory because he asks Jeremy if he has Kids, and admits that he knows next to nothing about his new boss. To make it worse Jeremy says he never had the time or inclination making Spider wonder if he was gay… oh and it sort of seems like Liam is still in Private school… when I swear he got kicked out over the whole drugs thing? These things along with small things which could be perfectly explainable – such as Spider not telling the truth, such as who shot him or how he got his nickname – is what makes me believe that the explanation we get from Spider is a fix to the problem rather than what was originally intended. Spider about how killing people as a sniper didn’t feel real, that he told himself it was kill or be killed because they could kill him another day and that he had re-evaluated how he felt after two guys he knew were killed by snipers and that he is ashamed of that part of his past which all sounds plausible in fact I had already thought that that could be the answer to it all. One small problem… it’s close but it still doesn’t add up. Because in this new conversation Caroline knows that he was a sniper, yet a couple of books ago he told her he could never be a sniper – I doubt that is a contradiction the Psychologist would let pass without remark. But don't get me wrong I'm glad it has been corrected.

I’m also not a fan of the way Liam and Katra were just sort of tossed into the story line and Katra? Where the hell did that come from, Spider has never once even remotely seemed interested in her. However I did like the reappearance of both Razor and Caroline Stockmann.

I got the feeling while reading it that this is the last Spider book, I can’t explain why, it’s just the vibe I picked up from it. I hope it’s not because despite the issues I have with it I do really like them.  I hope we get more if only so the series can end with a better book than this one, after so many good books it deserves a good one end with

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