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Book DetailsISBN: 9781473674202
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Book Review: Real Tigers by Mick Herron - Reviewed by CloggieA (24 Dec 2017)
Real Tigers is the third book in the Slough House series by prize-winning British author, Mick Herron. Slough House, that “administrative oubliette” of the intelligence service, is a repository for inconvenient or incompetent spooks: the spies who have caused embarrassment by losing a gun runner on surveillance, have anger management issues, or managed to close down Kings Cross Station in a training exercise. The current staff of seven “slow horses” occupy their time with tasks like comparing census results for anomalies, or checking passports issued during the ’81 Civil Service strike.
But now, one of their number has been kidnapped, and the ransom involves access to classified files. River Cartwright’s impulsive attempt to follow this demand sees him caught, interrogated and thoroughly beaten. It turns out to be a busy twenty-four hours for the slow horses: they are assaulted, shot at, sacked, tasered, and threatened with closure. Weapons include a broken CD, a Klieg light, a metal pipe, and even Jackson Lamb wields a gun. Roderick Ho pauses in his deluded belief of virility, to actually leave the office and crash a double-decker bus.
Once again, Herron gives the reader a fast-paced spy novel of a very different sort. The premise is original, and the execution is inspired. The characters are all credibly flawed, their dialogue is full of understated dry wit, and there is plenty of humour, most of it very black and very British, with an abundance of laugh out loud moments. There are twists and red herrings and plenty of back-stabbing and the reader will find it hard not to cheer these misfits on as they do their best. Readers will be pleased to learn there are two further volumes of this series for their entertainment and enjoyment. More excellent British spy fiction!
Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel - the Steel-Dagger nominated Slow Horses - was described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years' by the Mail on Sunday. The second Jackson Lamb novel, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger, and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the best twenty-five crime novels of the past five years. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and now lives in Oxford.
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