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Book DetailsISBN: 9781473641105
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Book Review: Slow Horses by Mick Herron - Reviewed by Ronnie293 (23 Apr 2017)
Slow Horses is Herron’s first book in the Slough House series, recently re-released in conjunction with the release of book 4, Spook Street.
After a mission gone terribly wrong River Cartwright is sent to Slough House, a place where tasks that didn’t matter were preformed by people that didn’t care. Where alongside a pre-digital overflow of paperwork, a post-useful crew of misfits can be stored and left to gather dust.
The story is told with a wry wit, in metaphors, retrospect and hypotheticals with plenty of laugh out loud moments and dark humour.
Slow Horses is an introduction to the main characters, the cast outs, at Slough House and their boss Jackson Lamb. The characterization is brilliant as Herron brings together a mismatched bunch of has-beens, loners that haven’t quite given up on the hope of one day returning to Regents Park.
Under all the character development is a great plot with backstabbing, twists, conspiracy theories, double crossing and buck passing. It’s compelling and edgy and pulls the story along with a rush of adrenaline as the pace quickens and events spiral out of control.
Book Review: Slow Horses by Mick Herron - Reviewed by CloggieA (29 Mar 2017)
Slow Horses is the first novel in the Slough House series by British author, Mick Herron. Slough House is a repository for inconvenient or incompetent spooks: the spies who have caused embarrassment by leaving a sensitive disc in a tube station or had an affair with the Venezuelan ambassador’s wife, or closed down Kings Cross Station in a training exercise. The “Slow Horses” are banished from Regent’s Park to Slough House where the hope is to bore the dead weights into jumping ship, to get them to quit the Service, ground into submission by routine tasks.
The current staff of nine are assigned riveting assignments like combing Twitter feeds, monitoring overseas student attendances, scanning through mobile phone conversations and comparing real estate purchases with immigration records, by their boss, Jackson Lamb. Does this make for a harmonious workplace? Indeed it does not! They may all be equally frustrated at their exclusion from real ops, but they barely tolerate each other, and their dislike for their boss is thinly (if at all) veiled.
When the newsfeeds show a youth of Pakistani extraction being threatened with beheading by an obscure right-wing extremist group, slow horse River Cartwright immediately makes a connection to the right-wing former journalist whose garbage bag he was assigned to examine as a harmless errand for the Park. Hungry for action, River decides he has to do something, but his covert surveillance does not end well. Before long, the Slough House crew find themselves in a race against time to save the boy (with their talents? Unlikely!) and to avoid being scapegoats for an op gone horribly wrong (virtually impossible!).
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 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 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 three and a half further volumes of this series for their entertainment and enjoyment. A brilliant read!
Mick Herron is a novelist and short story writer whose books include the Jackson Lamb series, the first of which - the Steel-Dagger nominated Slow Horses - has been described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years'. 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 25 crime novels of the past five years. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.
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