False Friends

False Friends

Stephen Leather


What would you do if you were standing in the same room with Osama Bin Laden? What would you do if you were the one to decide if this man lives or dies? Wanted for more than must mass murder but genocide and for engineering the events of 9/11 would you execute him even if he was unarmed? Would you take him in and let the courts decide? When the Navy Seals go on a mission to capture him, take down those tied to him something snaps in the mind of the man in charge or the mission or did it? As Dan Spider Shepherd and the Navy Seals finally find themselves face to face with this horrific killer it is up to them to decide his fate? But, Dan is there as an observer for the British government and on assignment for the MI5 agency he works for. Those that know him think he is a journalist those that really know him would never reveal the truth. Two young men are aligned with this mission. Two British students named Malik and Chaudhry who provided the Americans with the information to take down Bin Laden. What if al-Qaeda decided to go after them? How would they learn to live and survive undercover? But, will Shepherd be able to stop what they are planning with thousands of lives hanging in the balance?




The operation in Pakistan was supposedly to bring Bin Laden in. But, the end result was what everyone applauded and wanted from the start. Spider was there as an observer as I stated working with a team of US Navy Seals carrying out the mission. But, when one of the helicopters malfunctions and an alternate plan of entry and attack are needed, Shepherd comes up with a backup plan and becomes ensconced in this operation even if he thinks they are wrong.




But, as with anyone that finds out the end result could be monetary and the purse quite steep, these two young men request some of the money or bounty placed on the head of Bin Laden wanting to use the money to advance their careers and lives. Enter Charlotte Button his immediate superior who has another mission for him equally as dangerous and working with the Met’s Covert Operations Group with an old friend named Sam Hargrove. Just what this assignment is will prove to be even more dangerous and what will the end result be for our two young students still remains to be seen? But, they are far from out of the woods and still under the watchful eye of Muslims and one man named Khalid. Just how Khalid and al-Qaeda will go after Shepherd and the Seals remains to be seen. Just how these two False Friends play into his plot you won’t believe. What would happen if they were able to pull off another 9/11 but more devastating this time? Two young men who are being trained, taught and groomed to play an integral part in a huge massive terrorist attack. What if they don’t really want to do this? What happens when the British use them and their own people too? Spider/Shepherd is now in a different role of handler and he has to try and keep these two young men alive.


Going undercover one more time and protecting the two young Muslims would be more than just a full time job for him. Added in we learn more news about Bin Laden and what others are after the truth about who created the map, who the traitors are in their organization, why the map surfaced, what the Pakistanis are really up to and how he is going to protect Malik and Chaudhry. Added in we also learn of his new identity as a British arms dealer, the concerns he airs to Button and the training he will give the two Muslims. Will al-Qaeda find out who was behind the Intel? What happens when the Palestinian investigates?


There are two separate plots created by this outstanding author. Dealing with white fanatics and Muslims fanatics. The Muslims, Raj and Harvey or our two known as Chaudhry and Malik, are two UK born Muslims caught in this dangerous web having supplied the Intel needed to get the Sheik as Bin Laden is referred to.


Charlotte Button his boss at MI5 sends him as we know to the Met under orders from number 10 where he meets up as was stated with his old comrades Jimmy Sharpe and DCS Sam Hargrove to get inside this right-wing group which is part of the English Defense League based in Birmingham and planning a mass terrorist attack. Their goal is to uncover who the suppliers are and get the guns and ammo before its too late.


But there is much more as Shepherd gives the two young men a lesson in surveillance and how to avoid detection by the other side. Teaching them how to spot if they are being followed and how to blend in so no one knows they are doing the following as the story continues with both Shepherd and Sharpe meeting with the two from the English Defense League Kettering and Thompson. John Whitehill as he is referred to by Malik and Chaudhry and other names the author takes us into the world of espionage, deceit, terrorist cells and much more. Added in we learn about his son Liam.


The author shares with the reader his research into how grenades work, AK47’s and the type of ammunition needed, the rationale behind what these terrorists think about Americans, their own cause and other countries and the inner workings of these organizations that handle covert operations. Shepherd is loyal to his friends and even though told not to divulge certain facts to Sharpe he decides to trust him anyway with the information Button shared with him and Hargrove. Added in we are right up there front and center with Khalid and his group of terrorists as we learn some of what they have in mind, can surmise the rest just from the conversation and understand why if not stopped there will be more than just a repeat of 9/11. Adding in how these terrorists are linked to the man who caused the explosion in Norway and much more. But, not every plan goes according to the way they expect and the terrorists step up their mission and the two young students are afraid that they will be asked to cross that proverbial line that they did not sign up for. The MI5 team is on alert and their eyes and ears on the mission but will they be able to save them in time?


The truth behind his plans are revealed and those naïve enough to allow themselves to do his bidding really sad as some will die as martyrs thinking that is the wish of Allah and some will die at the hand of this terrorist as they plan to kill hundreds of people in a shopping mall. The end result you will not expect, as Shepherd has to think fast, hopefully outfox the enemy and save the lives of thousands before it’s too late. When called by Khalid to meet he senses something is wrong but will he be able to stop what they have planned? The two young students are far from out of danger and things heat up until the twists, turns and explosive ending you won’t see coming. What they are planning to do and who they wanted to execute it will let everyone in every country know that you cannot stop watching, listening and understanding that these people can strike at any time and they will. Author Stephen Leather created a plot so realistic, so credible that the reader gets an upfront taste of what these terrorists do, sound like, feel and want in the name of religion and more. This is one ending and one book that will definitely make you wonder just who is one what side and just what is in store next for Shepherd and the two students. Will it ever be over? Are they really safe? Trust no one!


Fran Lewis: Reviewer




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