Stephen Leather Books In Order – Complete List

British bestselling author Stephen Leather is best known for his popular Dan (Spider) Shepherd and Jack Nightingale series, along with the Mike Cramer series, Inspector Zhang, and his latest Matt Standanding series, and also for his numerous standalone novels, short stories, short story collections, novellas, and anthologies.

Here are the Stephen Leather books in order for all his current works. The book list is regularly updated. Please note that we do not list his Asian Heat books (adult books).

New Stephen Leather Books

Standing Strong (Matt Standing #4), 2024
First Strike (Spider Shepherd #21), 2024

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Spider Shepherd Books in Publication Order

Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd is an ex-SAS trooper now detective part of an elite undercover squad.

  1. Hard Landing, 2004
  2. Soft Target, 2005
  3. Cold Kill, 2006
  4. Hot Blood, 2007
  5. Dead Men, 2008
  6. Live Fire, 2009
  7. Rough Justice, 2010
  8. Fair Game, 2011
  9. False Friends, 2012
  10. True Colours, 2013
  11. White Lies, 2014
  12. Black Ops, 2015
  13. Dark Forces, 2016
  14. Light Touch, 2017
  15. Tall Order, 2018
  16. Short Range, 2019
  17. Slow Burn, 2020
  18. Fast Track, 2021
  19. Dirty War, 2022
  20. Clean Kill, 2023
  21. First Strike, 2024

Spider Shepherd Short Stories in Publication Order

Spider Shepherd Short Stories in Chronological Order

Spider Shepherd: SAS Books in Publication Order

  1. Spider Shepherd SAS: Volume 1, 2014
  2. Spider Shepherd SAS: Volume 2, 2014
  3. The Sandpit, 2016
  4. Moving Targets, 2018
  5. Drop Zone, 2020
  6. Russian Roulette, 2021
  7. Baltic Black Ops, 2023

Jack Nightingale Books in Publication Order

Jack Nightingale is an ex-cop, now private eye. The series is part of the occult/paranormal thriller genre.

  1. Nightfall, 2010
  2. Midnight, 2011
  3. Nightmare, 2012
  4. Nightshade, 2013
  5. Lastnight, 2014
  6. San Francisco Night, 2014
  7. New York Night, 2015
  8. Tennessee Night, 2018
  9. New Orleans Night, 2021
  10. Las Vegas Night, 2022
  11. Rio Grande Night, 2022

Jack Nightingale Novellas in Publication Order

Jack Nightingale Short Stories in Publication Order

Matt Standing Books in Publication Order

  1. Last Man Standing, 2019
  2. Standing Alone, 2022
  3. Still Standing, 2023
  4. Standing Strong, 2024

Mike Cramer Books In Publication Order

He is ex SAS soldier who is brought in from retirement (dying of cancer) for a few last missions.

  1. The Foreigner, 1992 (aka The Chinaman)
  2. The Long Shot, 1995
  3. The Double Tap, 1996

Hong Kong Novels in Publication Order

  1. The Fireman, 1989
  2. Hungry Ghost, 1991
  3. The Vets, 1993

Women In Charge Books in Publication Order

  1. Birthday Girl, 1995
  2. The Bombmaker, 1999
  3. The Stretch, 2000
  4. Take Two, 2013

Thailand Novels in Publication Order

  1. The Solitary Man, 1997
  2. The Tunnel Rats, 1997
  3. Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon, 2010

Inspector Zhang Bookd in Publication Order

These series consists of short novellas in the ‘locked room’ style of crime mysteries

  1. Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish, 2011
  2. Inspector Zhang and the Falling Woman, 2011
  3. Inspector Zhang and the Dead Thai Gangster, 2011
  4. Inspector Zhang and the Disappearing Drugs, 2011
  5. Inspector Zhang And The Perfect Alibi, 2012
  6. Inspector Zhang Goes To Harrogate, 2012
  7. Inspector Zhang and the Island of the Dead, 2013
  8. The Eight Curious Cases of Inspector Zhang, 2013 (aka The Inspector Zhang Collection)

Lex Harper Books in Publication Order

  1. Takedown, 2016
  2. Plausible Deniability (#1.5), 2019
  3. Breakout, 2020

Richard Yokely Books in Publication Order

  1. Rogue Warrior, 2019
  2. The Chase, 2022

Standalone Novels in Publication Order

Short Story Collections and Anthologies in Publication Order

Non-Fiction Books

Stephen Leather Biography

Born in 1956 in Manchester, England, renowned British thriller author Stephen Leather grew up in Sale and Chorlton-cum-Hardy and attended Manchester Grammar School and later attended and graduated from Bath University with a BSc degree in Biochemistry, which is different from many authors who study writing, communication, or journalism before embarking on their writing journey.

After college, he worked as a biochemist at the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) where he was exposed to various chemicals and came across interesting plots that would spark creative ideas for his later novels.

Some of the other random jobs Stephen Leather held were at a quarry, as a baker, a petrol pump attendant, quarry limestone shoveler, and a bartender, among others.

Not wanting to have a career as a scientist or to have these random other jobs, he changed course and decided to become a journalist. While working at the Daily Mirror as a journalist, he was taught how to research, write, and put together well-written stories.

He also worked as a journalist at the Glasgow Herald, Daily Mirror, The Times, and Daily Mail, as well as at the South China Morning Post during his time living in Hong Kong. His journalism career gave him a chance to see many different countries and come across various international incidents.

Initially, he started writing while he was a student at Bath, but that first novel was never published. However, his first book, Pay Off, was written in 1988 when he was still working at the Daily Mirror, in his late twenties. The novel was picked up from the “slush pile” at HarperCollins where it was then published.

Before that, he couldn’t write more than a few pages on paper due to a lack of experience in writing. Being a journalist taught him that and more, which reflects really well in all the books he continued writing ever since.

He submitted the novel to Harper Collins and thankfully they had an ear to what he had to say. His first book being published by one of the biggest publishing companies in the world allowed him to become a published, successful author.

He wrote his second novel, The Fireman, while working as the business editor of the South China Morning Post. It was also published by HarperCollins along with his third novel, Hungry Ghost, as well.

He then wrote his fourth novel, The Chinaman, while working as a night news editor on the business desk of The Times in London. The novel was later made into the famous The Foreigner thriller movie featuring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan.

After working as a reporter for well over 10 years, he decided to devote his full time to writing full time. In 2010, the year when Amazon UK opened and eBook store, the author became popular and quite successful in the Amazon Kindle market. The next year, the novels The Basement, Hard Landing, as well as the vampire novella Once Bitten became top bestsellers in UK Kindle bestseller list.

Currently Stephen Leather has written over 70 books as part of his main series and his standalone books, all of which have sold millions of copies all over the world. The latest Stephen Leather novel is First Strike, book #21 in the Spider Shepherd series which goes strong even today.

The first award he received was in 2002 for Tango One, the CWA Ian Flemming Steel Dagger Award, which aims to recognize some of the best adventure stories that mostly resemble the style and the themes of James Bond.

An interesting approach this author took over the years to sell a lot of books was to sell them at a very low price in order to attract lots of buyers. This propelled his novels into various top ten lists of the years.

Along with writing books, he also writes screenplays for popular TV series like London’s Burning, The Knock, and the Murder in Mind.

In Deep was a script he wrote for a BBC series that was totally reworked, however, all the research on it was used for his idea of writing about an undercover cop, which ended up being the novel Hard Landing.

While most Stephen Leather books are thrillers focusing on crime, terrorism, spy, and military service, the author also wrote a supernatural detective thriller series, Jack Nightingale, featuring an ex-police negotiator who inherited a mansion with a priceless library from his father, who said that Nightingale’s soul was sold at his birth and the devil was not far off from paying him a visit to claim what is his.

After leaving his career as a journalist, Stephen Leather embarked on a well-rewarding road to becoming a popular and sought-after British thriller author, with his books reaching not only local but also millions of international readers and fans alike.

Over the years, he sold well over 500,000 ebooks of his novels. The Bookseller magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world.

Stephen Leather Books Adaptations

A few of the author’s novels have been made into movies, while he is also writer or several TV dramas.

The Foreigner was made into a same-titled movie with popular actor Jackie Chan, released in 2017.

Murder in Mind is an anthology drama with murder as the main theme where the killer’s point of view is the one being followed.

The Knock is a TV series that follows the lives and works of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise officers who hunt down smugglers and related criminals. The series was released between 1999 and 2000.

Tango One was made into a 2018 crime drama.

Two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, have been turned into UK TV movies starring Leslie Grantham and Anita Dobson.

Stephen Leather Awards and Nominations

  • Tango One was nominated for the 2002 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger by the Crime Writers’ Association
  • Hard Landing was nominated for the 2004 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
  • Cold Kill was nominated for the 2007 ITW Award for Best Novel (International Thriller Writers Inc.)
  • Cold Kill was nominated for the 2007 Barry Award for Best Thriller

One Comment

  1. Just started reading Dan Shepherds escapades and as a retired undercover cop I can relate to his actions totally. Brilliant writing and story content. Keep it up. Thanks

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