Slow Burn - Stephen Leather
There are thousands of jihadi brides in refugee camps in the Middle East. Some of them were once British before they were stripped of their citizenship. Were they brainwashed or simply naive when they set out for Syria as teenagers? And, if they were allowed to return, would they pose a threat to our country?
Spider Shepherd is about to be sent on an extraordinary mission to the Syrian border by his MI5 boss. There he will have to decide which of the women he meets is still a threat, and if not, which of them has information useful to the Secret Service and can be allowed back. His are life or death decisions.
But there is one bride he must take back to the UK whatever her circumstances. She is the wife of a notorious ISIS bombmaker, Salam Jaraf. Jaraf is an asylum seeker who has information on terrorist cells in Britain. But the bombmaker will only tell MI5 what he knows if his wife and son are brought to him. However, it soon becomes obvious that hostile forces are following Spider and Mrs Jaraf across Turkey. Bringing this woman back from the warzone will become one of the most dangerous missions Spider has ever undertaken.
Slow Burn Reviews
"IN THE wake of the decision to allow 20-year-old Jihadi bride Shamima Begum back into this country to contest the retraction of her British citizenship, Leather's latest full-throttle thriller could hardly be more topical. His usual protagonist, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd -a former SAS man now working for MI5 - is asked to interview three young Jihadi brides who went to Syria as teenagers to join Isis, but now want to return. Would that be a threat to national security? At the same time, Shepherd is to bring back the wife and son of a Syrian asylum seeker, who has information about an Isis cell planning a deadly terrorist attack on Britain. The cell has access to nerve agent VX, which could turn any attack into a massacre. Packed with intricate detail on the intelligence services and written with Leather's familiar gusto, it hurtles off the reader by the throat."
"THE title is misleading. This cracking Spider Shepherd thriller zips along like a sniper's bullet. The former para and SAS trooper is now with MI5- and busy. Asylum seeker Salam Jaraf wants a deal. He has trained British jihadis to fly drone bombs and will name names if the UK rescues his wife and son from a Turkish refugee camp. He is an intelligence goldmine but someone wants him dead. It's a race against time for Spider to find Jaraf's students."