Stephen Leather

Rough Justice

" Stephen Leather at his very best."


Vigilante London cops are beating and killing villains. Crime stats are falling, but the powers that be want Dan “Spider” Shepherd to bring the rough justice to an end.

Shepherd hates investigating cops but his bosses at in the Serious Organised Crime Agency leave him with no choice. He goes undercover with an elite team of officers at the sharp end of policing. They risk their lives daily on the capitals meanest streets. His family come under threat and force him into making some very tough choices.

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Rough Justice is Stephen Leather at his very best. The whole vigilante theme of the novel is one which many have strong views on and Shepherd's own thoughts and morals are perfectly depicted as he battles his conscience. He doesn't necessarily agree with what the vigilantes are doing but he does admire the results of their actions. Circumstances force Spider to choose between vigilante action and the legal process when his family is threatened. His solution is one that will divide opinion equally between applause and condemnation. The tone of the novel has you thinking about what is right and wrong and just how far you would personally go to avenge an injustice or attack on a loved one. I would have had a few moments of quiet reflection if I hadn't been so enthralled by such a marvellous tale. The prose is sparkling throughout and often adds to the gritty situations to make them more believable. The vigilantes don't mind their manners and neither do the scum they attack. The plot is tight with no discernible holes through which the reader is left staring. Events confront the reader at just the right pace as the story unfolds and the major conflict within Shepherd is skilfully portrayed by an author who can mix it with the best of them. Other characters are all well depicted but it is often Spider's colleague Sharpe who steals the scene in his exchanges with their boss Charlie Button. The friendly camaraderie of the tightly knit group Shepherd has to infiltrate is wonderful and is very true to life. Rough Justice makes you choose as to which side of the debate on vigilantism you fall. Me? I'm with Spider.

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