In his best and most ambitious novel yet, Mick Herron, “the le Carré of the future” (BBC), offers an unsparing look at the corrupt web of media, global finance, spycraft, and politics that power our modern world.
“This is a darker, scarier Herron. The gags are still there but the satire's more biting. The privatization of a secret service op and the manipulation of news is relevant and horribly credible.”—Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera Stanhope series
At Slough House—MI5’s London depository for demoted spies—Brexit has taken a toll. The “slow horses” have been pushed further into the cold, Slough House has been erased from official records, and its members are dying in unusual circumstances, at an unusual clip. No wonder Jackson Lamb's crew is feeling paranoid. But are they actually targets?
With a new populist movement taking hold of London's streets and the old order ensuring that everything's for sale to the highest bidder, the world's a dangerous place for those deemed surplus. Jackson Lamb and the slow horses are in a fight for their lives as they navigate dizzying layers of lies, power, and death.
British author Herron's superb seventh Slough House novel (after 2019's Joe Country) opens with an unidentified woman's assassination whose significance gradually becomes clear in this darkly satiric update on the "slow horses," spies who have each made a colossal mistake and have been assigned to MI5's Slough House, a kind of purgatory where they'll spend "the rest of forever in a mist of thwarted ambition." A taut, complex plot unfolds through a host of perspectives, including that of team leader Jackson Lamb, who's callous, politically incorrect, but loyal to his "joes." The slow horses are being tailed. Sid Baker, a former team member believed to be dead, reappears. Peter Judd, a highly unscrupulous political figure, tries to insinuate the private sector into MI5. And Putin's Russia has "declared war on the British secret service." Herron does a magnificent job keeping the assorted narrative balls aloft in a story that's often gripping and even more often hilarious. This entry should garner him a slew of new American readers.)
Hard to put down.
A good but a very complicated read
As ever, a delightful read. The characters as captivating as when they first appeared. I hope for and look forward to a run as least as long as that experienced by I an Rankin. Can’t wait for the series.