Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"False Friends"

Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as the (London) Times, the Daily Mail, and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He began writing full-time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages.

Leather applied the Page 69 Test to False Friends, the ninth book in the bestselling Dan "Spider" Shepherd series, and reported the following:
Page 69 [inset left; click to enlarge] is typical of False Friends - and indeed most of the Spider Shepherd series - in that the scene takes place in a pub. A lot of my police characters, and villains, discuss events over a drink. On this page my special forces soldier turned undercover cop turned MI5 agent Dan "Spider" Shepherd is being briefed on a new undercover operation by his former boss, police superintendent Sam Hargrove. Shepherd is to play the role of an arms dealer hoping to entrap a racist group who are planning mayhem. Shepherd has two ongoing operations in False Friends, he also has to babysit two young British Muslims who have infiltrated an al-Qaeda group. There are new to the intelligence game so Shepherd is assigned as their handler. It's the first time he's tried the role and he doesn't find it easy.

The two Muslim students - Harveer "Harvey" Malik and Manraj "Raj" Chaudhry are great characters and I'm thinking of bringing them back in a novel of their own. I've written Muslim characters before but this is the first time I've had them as heroes. In False Friends they put their lives on the line for their country and I think they could well go on to work for MI5. It's a difficult time for British-born Muslims and I'd like to explore that in future books. They don't drink, of course, which would put an end to my pub scenes.
Learn more about the book and author at Stephen Leather's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: False Friends.

--Marshal Zeringue