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Natural Selection (Dan Shepherd series)
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Natural Selection (Dan Shepherd ss)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  417 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
An action-packed short story featuring Dan “Spider” Shepherd during his days on the SAS selection course. Shepherd is tested to his limits - and is given his nickname.

Natural Selection is about 14,000 words, about thirty pages, perfect if you have half an hour to spare.

Stephen Leather is one of the UK's most successful thriller writers. He was a journalist for more than
Kindle Edition, 36 pages
Published December 2nd 2013 (first published October 12th 2013)
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Rating details
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Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
For a short story (only about 30 pages) this was very well written. Some people might be familiar with the Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series, for others this gives you a good indication about what to expect in the series. The writing is quite fast paced, and for a quick read it is full of action and interest. It deals with the time that Dan Shepherd went up for selection into the SAS, and it also reveals how he came by his nickname of Spider.
It has certainly given me enough interest to try and find t
Wayne Marinovich
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First one I have read of the Stephen Leather catalogue and I have to say I was really pleased with it. Then writing was fluid, the descriptions were vivid without compromising on the speed of the action. A good balance. Recommend it to others.
Robert Williams
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good read

I started this book and then couldn't put it down, its the first time reading a book from this author and will be reading more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sound Stuff

A fascinating and entertaining insight into the early years of the bold and already legendary defence expert Dan "Spider" Shepherd.
eddie fretwell
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can i say, its Stephen Leather.

He is one of, if not the best at SAS. Carry on the good work and I'll carry on reading them
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked it. Will read other of his books.
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I am a huge Stephen Leather fan and particularly love his character Dan “Spider” Shepherd. This short story introduces “Spider” and, for those of us who are already familiar with him, provides a little insight into his early years during selection for the SAS and the origins of his nickname. For those who aren’t, this short read provides an introduction to a great character and series of books that you will quickly become addicted to.

Even though this is a short story, it provides a good indicati
Hemantkumar Jain
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stephen Leather has an eye for detail. His writing is filled with details of the trade and craft related to the subject of the plot.

Natural Selection is a kind of introductory story to the character of "Spider Shepherd" - Stephen has written shorts as well as novels with him as central character.

It was a nice short story as well as a very good introduction to Shepherd as well as Stephen's writing style ... the details of the genre and subject he is writing and the depth of his understanding at
A Reader's Heaven
An action-packed short story featuring Dan “Spider” Shepherd during his days on the SAS selection course. Shepherd is tested to his limits - and is given his nickname.

Excellent! This is what a prologue short story should be - lots of action, intrigue and descriptions of skills and weapons that really add some depth to what is already excellent story-telling. The writing is tense and exciting and was really a page-turner.

The story of how Dan got his nickname is kinda cool.

Recommended for both new
Mandy Walkden-Brown
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SAS selection. Their last task is jungle training in the jungles of Belize. Thanks for the delightful description of their repast where Shepherd gets his Regiment nickname.
Good intro to the Spider Shepherd series. The tarantula eating was much scarier than the firefights they were engaged in, in my opinion.
A nice reminder also of how intense the selection course for admission to the SAS actually is too.
I've read several of the Shepherd series and it was great to read about the team's origin.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
A short story introducing the character Dan Shepherd prior to the excellent series of books by Stephen Leather.
I saw this book advertised on Amazon totally free and been as I was already reading the Dan Shepherd series decided to take up the offer. An interesting story that works especially well if you are already familiar with the character, it explains the origin of his nickname 'Spider' and one of his early exploits while on SAS training.
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, thriller
Great short story in the inimitable style Stephen Leather has mastered.
It's a great intro read into the character of Dan 'Spider' Shepherd & how he got his nickname as well as to experience Leathers' fluid, fast moving & descriptive writing style.
Whether you are familiar or not with the Spider series this is a wonderful taster of the fine standard of his books.
This is a short story from the early years of Dan 'Spider' Shepherd as he goes through selection to become an SAS squaddie.
It's a brilliant little story and it gives us the origins of how Dan becomes 'Spider'.
The writing is tight and there's so much packed into this short story.
A must for Spider fans out there and a great place for new readers to pick up from.
(Free on amazon on 1/8/16)
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The origin of his nickname at the start of his final training mission in the jungles of Guatemala. Good action and a tight narrative.
Set in Belize, 1996.
Jungle training & mission.
Learn some politics of SAS and jungle tradecraft.
Spider gets his nickname.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to the "Spider" Shepherd character.
Joycelyn Cooper
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very very good.

Easy read but interesting. Well researched and authentic. Great story, great characters and believable. As good as Ryan and Mcnab
Richard Mulholland
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: miltary, short
Some good must read back (short) story for Spider fans. Really looking forward to this series of shorts.
David Highton
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
very short
Neil Mcrobb
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it

Good easy paced read
Philip Rogers
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good read

Enjoyed the intro to Spider and the story was kind of different and not what I expected bit very pleadant
Shirley Maclachlan
rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2016
Raymond McCoy
rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2014
Richard Ball
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2018
Kevin Twinn
rated it liked it
Jul 13, 2016
Andrew J Pearson
rated it liked it
Apr 30, 2018
Tobias Roote
rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2017
raymond logan
rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2017
Saundra Wright
rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2018
marlene ludick
rated it liked it
Aug 05, 2015
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Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series. For much of 2011 his self-published eBooks - including The Bestsell ...more
More about Stephen Leather

Other books in the series

Dan Shepherd (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Hard Landing (Dan Shepherd, #1)
  • Soft Target (Dan Shepherd, #2)
  • Cold Kill (Dan Shepherd, #3)
  • Hot Blood (Dan Shepherd, #4)
  • Dead Men (Dan Shepherd, #5)
  • Live Fire (Dan Shepherd, #6)
  • Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd, #7)
  • Fair Game (Dan Shepherd, #8)
  • False Friends (Dan Shepherd, #9)
  • True Colours (Dan Shepherd, #10)

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