Spider Says

Here's a list of characters that you'll get to know well in the stories...

Liam Shepherd
Spider's son Liam, is a fourteen year old lad who has spent his whole life never knowing when, or sometimes if, his dad's coming home. He's now used to his dad being away so often and has learned to accept that his father is sometimes the only one who can do exactly what he does.
Liam's a football fanatic and is an excellent striker. He plays for his school team in football and recently started playing rugby as well. Spider loves to go along with Katra and watch him play when he's not working.
Liam has apparently picked up his mother's ability to ask some very difficult questions of his father, but has also picked up his father's ability to seamlessly change subjects when he's finding himself in difficulty with a conversation. Both skills together have convinced Spider that his son would do brilliantly if he should decide to become a barrister!

Sue Shepherd
Sue Shepherd is Spider's wife and Liam's mother. It was Sue that finally persauded Spider to leave the SAS in order to get a regular job and spend more time at home with his family. Little did she realise that he'd end up working undercover, perhaps in even more danger than before.
Spider met Sue when he was in the SAS. A cocky, young trooper out on the town with some mates and she made his jaw drop. She was wearing a yellow dress and a small gold crucifix around her neck. She was with some friends and they tried to keep her walking away, but he'd persuaded her to go for a drink with him.
Sue dies in Hard Landing, but Spider loves Sue with all his heart and knows that he always will.

Katra
Katra is Spider's au-pair and basically holds the house together for him after Spider's wife Sue dies in a tragic accident. She cooks, cleans, irons his shirts, shops, pays household bills, irons his shirts, helps Liam with his homework, irons Spider's shirts, does gardening, irons shirts...Spider is adamant he's never going to iron his own shirts ever again!
Katra is Slovenian, from a place called Portoroz which she says is a beautiful part of the country. She's around 5 feet 5 inches and has long hair, which she likes to wear in a ponytail, but changes the colour every so often. Her English is coming along really well. Sometimes you can't tell she's from Eastern Europe, sometimes you'd be hard-pressed to tell she's not Australian what with the amount of soaps she watches!
Spider gets a lot of stick from his friends about Katra. Apparently he should be sleeping with her, but he's her employer and it wouldn't be right, even if he did find her attractive. She hasn't yet come home with a date that Spider has seen, but if she does want a boyfriend, Jack or Billy Bradford would probably get first refusal!
She's also the only major character that doesn't have a surname!

The Wintours
Moira and Tom Wintour are Sue's parents and Liam's grandparents. Moria is in her mid-sixties now and is tall and still has very striking features that have softened little over the years. Tom is a portly man and works as a bank manager in Hereford. Moira and Spider clash heads occasionally, but he generally backs down in order to keep the peace. Moira had always seen Spider as being an unsuitable partner for her only daughter, on the basis that he was an SAS trooper and apparently went around killing people, but also because of his working-class background.
Tom was initially wary of Spider when he found out that he was a trooper, but was sensible enough to understand his outlook on the job and realised that actually, the idea is ulimately to make the world a better place in which to live.

Sam Hargrove
The first boss Spider has outside of the army is Sam Hargrove. He recruited Spider straight out of police basic training before he really has a chance to start. He'd taken a look at Spider's file and persuaded him that he could make a better use of his talent and skillset.
Sam is a very neat and meticulous man. A big cricket and rugby fan. He often has cricket bat motiffs on his ties and wears gold cricket bat cufflinks. He wears expensive suits and his haircuts cost more than a meal in a 5-star restaurant. But he's worked hard to be able to afford it. The undercover unit is his baby and he deserved every penny he earned. There's a lot of mutual respect and trust between Spider and Hargrove.

Jimmy 'Razor' Sharpe
Razor is a small, heavyset Glaswegian who served with Strathclyde Police for twenty years before joining the undercover unit. Razor has worked with Spider on many occasions and is a great friend.
Although Razor's a good man, his outlook on the world is...well, cynical isn't a strong enough word. His views and opinions are...let's say...traditional! Sometimes it's hard to tell if he genuinely means some of the things he says or if he's saying things just to wind Spider up, especially since he's already been put on all the diversity courses going.
Despite his faults, his heart is in the right place and he'll do anything to help his friends and colleagues.

Charlotte 'Charlie' Button
Charlie is a university graduate. She was fastracked through MI5 and worked running serveillance teams before moving on to the National Security Advice Centre and then International Counter-Terrorism Investigations. She uses SOCA - the Serious Organise Crime Agency - as a stepping stone to building her career back at MI5.
Charlie is fairly tall, has a slender runner's build and usually wears her dark, chestnut hair cut just above the shoulder. She often wears skirt suits, generally to impress the bigwig bosses of other organisations that she has to work with.
Charlie and Spider don't always see eye to eye. When things are going well and Spider is doing as he's been told, she's all sweetness and light. If things aren't going so well - or more often than not - Spider challenges a decision she's made, she puts him in his place as if he's a puppy that's not allowed on the furniture.
He can't fault her at her job though. He's now seen both sides of the coin, having been the undercover operative and more recently, the handler and he's come to realise how difficult her job is.

Major Allan 'Boss' Gannon
Spider and Major Gannon have known each other coming up for 18 years now, and there's no-one Spider would trust more. Gannon was a Major in the SAS for a long time and then went on to head up the 'Increment', until he was 'killed' by the Real IRA.
Major Gannon is a big man. Well over six feet tall and wide shouldered. He looks as if he's had his nose broken at least twice. Gannon is also a big fan of running, and will occasionally put Spider through his paces, but is more often than not found at the indoor firing range at Stirling Lines.
The Major still plays a big part in Spider's life, despite Spider not being with the SAS for nearly eleven years. He's always there to watch his back and lend support when he needs it, and Spider does the same in return.

Colin 'Geordie' Mitchell
Little is known about Geordie, except that he's a few years older than Spider and is a Chelsea fan. His only family is his brother, who also calls him Geordie. Spider doesn't find out his real name is Colin until Hot Blood.
It was Geordie that got Spider into running in boots with housebricks in a rucksack, back in the SAS.
Geordie specialised as a medic and is the reason that Spider is still alive, having dug out a bullet from Spider's shoulder and patched up the wound whilst in a helicopter en-route to a field hospital in Bagram in 2002.
After Geordie left the SAS, he found employment working for security companies in Iraq, this ultimately gets Geordie in to trouble, leading Spider on a mission to attempt to return the favour.

Billy Armstrong, Martin O'Brien, Jim 'Jimbo' Shortt, Billy and Jack Bradford
These are the boys that always come to 'pull Spider's nuts out of the fire'!
All but O'Brien were SAS members, Armstrong and Shortt even served with Spider. The Bradford brothers joined after Spider had left, but they heard about Spider and how he'd got his nickname and dubbed him a 'mad bastard'.
Billy Armstrong now works running survival courses in Cornwall and swims two miles in the sea every day to keep fit. He's also a keen runner and used to train with Spider when they were back in the SAS.
Jimbo is a tele- and radio-communications expert but is a notoriously bad timekeeper and always has an excuse. He's a short, stocky man and has a Mexican style moustache.
Martin O'Brien was an Irish Ranger before setting up his own VIP protection company. He's older than Spider and broadshouldered and has a shaved head.
Jack and Billy Bradford are identical twin brothers. Jack was a demolitions expert in the SAS and Billy was a linguist. They are a few years younger than Spider, a few inches taller and have wavy brown hair.

Amar Singh
Singh is a young electrotechnology expert who specialises in micro-sized and hidden transmitters and listening devices. He started off working for the National Criminal Intelligence service but was often asked to work with Hargrove's undercover unit due to the access he had to state-of-the-art surveillance and tracking equipment. He moved to SOCA and then on to MI5 with Spider and Charlotte Button and plays a large part in Spider's undercover work.
Singh works hard and subsequently shows it off with expensive cars and suits. He is married to Mishti and has three young girls on whom he dotes.

Richard Yokely
As Spider puts it: 'American, late forties, grey hair cut short, thin lips, class ring on his right hand, Rolex Submariner watch, the anniversary model with the green bezel,grey suit, pink shirt, blue tie with black stripes, black loafers with tassels, drinking gin and tonic?'
Yokely doesn't have an official job title, but does work for the American government, reporting directly to the president on occassion and carries out work that most consider undesirable. Yokely is a dangerous man to be associated with, as Charlotte Button has found out to her cost, but he continuously tries to persuade Spider to work with him. So far, Spider has declined to take the Americans' numerous offers, perhaps erring on the side of caution and attempting to keep his conscience clear.