First Response - Stephen Leather

First Response - Stephen Leather book cover

London is under siege. Nine men in suicide vests primed to explode hold hostages in nine different locations around the city, and are ready to die for their cause. Their mission: to force the government to release jihadist prisoners from Belmarsh Prison. Their deadline: 6 p.m. Today.

But the bombers are cleanskins, terrorists with no obvious link to any group, and who do not appear on any anti-terror watch list. What has brought them together on this one day to act in this way?

Mo Kamran is the Superintendent in charge of the Special Crime and Operations branch of the Met. As the disaster unfolds and the SAS, armed police, and other emergency services rush to the scenes, he is tasked with preventing the biggest terrorist outrage the capital has ever known. But nothing is what it seems. And only Kamran has the big picture. Will anyone believe him?

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I wrote First Response as a standalone novel but I think I might well end up doing a series of books featuring Muslim police superintendent Mo Kamran. He’s a terrific character, very different from other characters I’ve created.

First Response is a very quick read and the events are pretty much set over one day, when nine suicide bombers suddenly appear at various locations around London. I spent a lot of time researching what would happen and twice visited GT Ops, the Central Communications Command in Lambeth which is described in some detail in the book. It was one of those books that I write very quickly – in a little over two months – mainly because I was so caught up in the story!