Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker extraordinaire for "The Laundry," must stop ruthless billionaire Ellis Billington from unleashing an eldritch horror, codenamed "Jennifer Morgue," from the ocean's depths for the purpose of ruling the world...
In this alternately chilling and hilarious sequel to The Atrocity Archives (2004) from Hugo-winner Stross, Bob Howard is a computer bergeek employed by the Laundry, a secret British agency assigned to clean up incursions from other realities caused by the inadvertent manipulation of complex mathematical equations: in other words, magic. In 1975, the CIA used Howard Hughes's Glomar Explorer in a bungled attempt to raise a sunken Soviet submarine in order to access the Jennifer Morgue, an occult device that allows communication with the dead. Now a ruthless billionaire intends to try again, even if by doing so he awakens the Great Old Ones, who thwarted the earlier expedition. It's up to Bob and a collection of British eccentrics even Monty Python would consider odd to stop the bad guy and save the world, while getting receipts for all expenditures or else face the most dreaded menace of all: the Laundry's own auditors. Stross has a marvelous time making eldritch horror appear commonplace in the face of bureaucracy.
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Dark Humor, Spy Thriller, & Cthulhu Mythos
Charles Stross’s second Laundry Files novel does not disappoint. Our hero, Bob Howard, is a Computational Demonologist working for a British Civil Service known as “The Laundry.” This organization works to protect humanity from the dark forces outside our reality that H. P. Lovecraft warmed us about.
In this novel, Bob gets sent into a James Bond like situation, where a mad billionaire seeks to obtain forbidden alien technology. This acquisition will lead to world domination! Bob has only a few problems being Bond-like. He’s a slobbish hacker, is in a relationship, and hates martinis.
The main story is good in itself, but this book also contains a unrelated short story about Bob’s new intern, and an essay on the history and ideas behind the James Bond phenomenon.