The Dan “Spider” Shepherd series is a thriller series is coming from British author and TV Writer Stephen Leather that deals with crime and terrorism. The story focuses on Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd, a former Special Air Service soldier who becomes an undercover policeman. He puts his life on the line to stop criminals, but his career will lead him to an even more dangerous type of work.
How to read the Dan “Spider” Shepherd Series in Order?
Every entry in the Spider Shepherd book series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Hard Landing – 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.
- Soft Target – There’s only one thing more dangerous than a corrupt cop . . . and that’s a corrupt cop with a gun. When a group of armed police in an elite unit turn maverick and start to rip off drug dealers at gunpoint, undercover cop Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd is given his most dangerous mission so far. Shepherd is ordered to infiltrate the tight-knit team, to gain their confidence and to ultimately betray them.
- Cold Kill – 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.
- Hot Blood – Now working for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Dan ‘Spider’ 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.
- Dead Men – Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd knows there are no easy solutions in the war against terrorism. But when a killer starts to target pardoned IRA terrorists, Shepherd has to put his life on the line to protect his former enemies. While he is undercover in Belfast, a grief-stricken Saudi whose two sons died under torture in the name of the War on Terror is planning to avenge their deaths by striking out at two people close to Shepherd. As the Muslim assassin closes in on his prey, Shepherd realises that the only way to save lives is to become a killer himself.”
- Live Fire – 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.
- Rough Justice – Villains across London are being beaten, crippled and killed by vigilante cops. Crime rates are falling, but the powers that be want Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd to bring the wave of rough justice to an end. Shepherd has always known that there are grey areas in the fight against crime. And that sometimes justice gets lost in the process.
- Fair Game – 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 Dan ‘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.
- False Friends – When Navy Seals track down and kill Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, it’s obvious there was a traitor on the inside. After the false friends are revealed to be two British students, Malik and Chaudhry – former Islamic fundamentalists recruited by MI5 – they become targets themselves. Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd must teach the pair how to survive undercover with al-Qaeda closing in.
- True Colours – The 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 highplaces seeks the protection of MI5. And Spider Shepherd is placed in the firing line.
- White Lies – Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line – for his friends and for his job with MI5. So when one of his former apprentices is kidnapped in the badlands of Pakistan, Shepherd doesn’t hesitate to join a rescue mission. But when the plan goes horribly wrong, Shepherd ends up in the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists. His SAS training is of little help as his captors beat and torture him.
- Black Ops – As an MI5 agent, Spider is used to going undercover, but when he’s asked to assume the identity of the contract killer hired to take out President Vladimir Putin, he knows he’ll become a wanted man. And things are about to get more complicated: Spider is told that his MI5 controller and close friend Charlotte Button has been running an off-the-books assassination operation, taking vengeance on the men who killed her husband.
- Dark Forces – 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.
- Light Touch – What do you do when you believe an undercover cop has crossed the line and aligned herself with the international drugs smuggler she was supposed to be targeting? When Lisa Wilson stops passing on intelligence about her target, MI5 sends in Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd to check that she’s on the straight and narrow. Now the lives of two undercover operatives are on the line.
- Tall Order – Ten years ago he blew a plane out of the sky above New York – and now he’s killed dozens in a London strike. But one of the latest victims is related to the acting head of MI5, who knows exactly who she wants on the case: Spider Shepherd.
- Short Range – Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd’s career path has always put a strain on his family. So he is far from happy to learn that MI5 is using teenagers as informants. Parents are being kept in the dark and Shepherd fears that the children are being exploited. As an undercover specialist, Shepherd is tasked with protecting a 15-year-old schoolboy who is being used to gather evidence against violent drug dealers and a right-wing terrorist group. But when the boy’s life is threatened, Shepherd has no choice but to step in and take the heat.
- Slow Burn – There are thousands of jihadi brides in refugee camps in the Middle East. Some of them were once British before they were stripped of their citizenship. And, if they were allowed to return, would they pose a threat to our country? Spider Shepherd is about to be sent on a mission to the Syrian border by his MI5 boss. There he will have to decide which of the women he meets is still a threat, and if not, which of them has information useful to the Secret Service and can be allowed back. His are life or death decisions.
- Fast Track – Jihadists have been crossing the English Channel, passing themselves off as asylum seekers. MI5 have been keeping them under surveillance, but what starts as a simple terrorist takedown goes badly wrong and dozens of innocent civilians are killed in the heart of London. And the screw is tightened when a bomb takes out senior members of the Secret Intelligence Service. Someone within the security services has been working to their own agenda, and only Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd can identify the bad apple.
- Dirty War – The target – The Prime Minister. The assassins – hard-bitten jihadists with nothing to lose. The only man who can stop them? Dan “Spider” Shepherd. But Shepherd’s reputation is also on the line – he helped get one of the jihadists into the UK during the final days of the War in Afghanistan. Now he has to track down the man whose life he once saved. But the assassins aren’t lone wolf killers – someone much more devious is pulling their strings. And the clock is ticking . . .
- Clean Kill – Terrorists have shot down a British helicopter in West Africa and taken the crew hostage. Their lives are on the line and the British government is refusing to negotiate. The pilot is Liam Shepherd, and only his father – Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd of MI5 – can help. Shepherd and an SAS team fly out to the badlands of Mali to rescue the kidnapped Brits. But the mission takes Shepherd away from an investigation in a high security prison that is about to explode into violence. Hundreds of lives are at risk, and Shepherd is running out of time…
Spider Shepherd: SAS Series in Order
A prequel series from the Spider Shepherd series that brings us back in time, when Dan Shepherd used to be in the SAS.
- The Sandpit – Dan Shepherd and his SAS team are sent into the badlands of Afghanistan to train the rebels who are battling Taliban fanatics. But what starts as a training mission in The Sandpit turns into a life or death struggle with Shepherd and his team very much in the firing line. Soon they are caught up in an international intrigue that threatens the stability of the whole Middle East.
- Moving Targets – Not all terrorists are driven by religion or politics. Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd and his SAS team are on the trail of a terrorist whose motives are much more personal. Sabit Kusen wants revenge and doesn’t care how many innocents he kills along the way. Shepherd and his team hunt their quarry around the world – from Athens to Paris to Zurich to Singapore and on to Sydney, but the elusive Kusen is always one step ahead of them.
- Drop Zone – The daughter of an American politician has been kidnapped by white supremacists in Namibia. The kidnappers are demanding their own homeland in the heart of Africa and want to use the girl as leverage. The American Government can’t agree to the demands but are reluctant to mount a high-profile rescue mission. They need a deniable operation, and who better than the SAS to do the dirty work? Shepherd is tasked with putting together a team to parachute into the African badlands to rescue the hostage. Getting to the girl is easy enough, it’s when they try to get her out that the trouble begins and the bullets start to fly.
- Russian Roulette – The Soviet Union has collapsed, but Russia is still very much a threat on the world stage. Russian troops are preparing to cross the border into Belarus, threatening its independence. The only thing facing them is an armed partisan group but they are poorly trained and will be no match for the Russians. The British Government wants an independent Belarus as a buffer against Russian expansion – so Shepherd is despatched with a crack SAS team to help the partisans. The mission is covert, deniable, and dangerous.
- Baltic Black Ops – The twentieth century is drawing to a close and the Russians are up to all sorts of dirty tricks in Lithuania and Kaliningrad. MI6 decides to fight fire with fire and send in a crack SAS team led by Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd. Their mission – to create chaos in the Baltic region through sabotage, assassination, and black ops. But the Russians aren’t going to give up without a fight, and soon the SAS team wonders if they might have bitten off more than they can chew.
Short Stories Collections
- Spider Shepherd: SAS: Volume 1 – Six Spider Shepherd short stories in one volume by bestselling author Stephen Leather. The short stories are Hard Targets, Natural Selection, Narrow Escape, Warning Order, Hostile Territory and Rough Diamonds.
- Spider Shepherd: SAS: Volume 2 – The second volume of six Spider Shepherd short stories in one volume. The short stories are Personal Protection, The Rope, Planning Pack, Friendly Fire, Dead Drop, and Kill Zone.
If you like our article about the Spider Shepherd reading order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also like Chris Ryan’s books.