Mick Herron's first Jackson Lamb novel, Slow Horses, was described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years' by the Mail on Sunday and picked as one of the best twenty spy novels of all time by the Daily Telegraph. The second, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for both the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the Sunday Express wrote that it 'revitalised the spy thriller genre'.
Author photo © Tim Barrow
This new story in the Jackson Lamb Thriller Series of awkward back room spies, just fills my slightly warped little heart with joy. Slough House is full of exiled spooks, led by the indomitable Jackson Lamb who somehow manages to keep the slow horses moving. Here, the team are hunting down a man who could just break them. One particular sentence had me snorting, and reading it out to a friend, who also snorted. But, if I told each of my friends in order, about every clever sentence I came across in Joe Country, I would probably run out of friends to be able to tell. This is a series that makes me shout with laughter, cringe as things go from slightly to spectacularly wrong, and wince as the barbs shoot home. Mick Herron started with Slow Horses, and each book has been as skilfully written as the first, earning him amongst other accolades two Crime Writers’ Association Daggers. Joe Country is the the sixth in the series, it’s amusing with cracking writing and a storyline that kept me wide-eyed until the early hours. Loved, loved, absolutely loved it, and I’ve chosen Joe Country as one of my Liz Picks of the Month.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AND IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER 'The UK's new spy master' Sunday Times London Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one. Cover your arse. Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble. Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone's trying to kill Roddy Ho. Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength - that of making a bad situation much, much worse. It's a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves. ****** Praise for Mick Herron 'The new spy master' Evening Standard 'Herron is spy fiction's great humorist, mixing absurd situations with sparklingly funny dialogue and elegant, witty prose' The Times 'Herron draws his readers so fully into the world of Slough House that the incautious might find themselves slipping between the pages and transformed from reader to spook' Irish Times
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Herron's Slough House series just keeps on getting better and better, both on the sly humorous front and with the Machiavellian variations it offers on the levels of deception that operate within the British secret service. This is John le Carre territory with added dollops of sheer mischief as well as pathos as familiar, larger than life characters navigate another tortuous case, with the monstrous but endearing boss of the disgraced spy unit Jackson Lamb as ever pulling invisible strings and his ill-assorted team barely keeping their head above the water level. River Cartwright's grandfather who was once one of the stars of the great game is now old and senile and presents a danger to the new powers-that-be, while on the other side of town a terrorist attack on a shopping center triggers a whole series of new threats. Is there a connection between the two events and how will our motley group of losers come out of it all alive? Or will they? Great stuff. More, please! ~ Maxim Jakubowski The Lovereading view... Whoo hoo! The Slough House misfits return, with the fourth of the series, and the horrendously brilliant Jackson Lamb at the warped helm. Former spook David Cartwright may be retired, his grandson and Slough House resident River may be worried about his health, however you wouldn't want to underestimate this old man’s capabilities, oh no… If you've not yet discovered the seriously wicked pen of Mick Herron, do start at the beginning with ‘Slow Horses’, as although this could be read as a standalone, you wont get the best result if you step into the middle of this fabulous series. Mick Herron has created a deviously twisted world, it sticks two fingers up at, well, everyone really, as the team manage to create as many issues as they solve. The intricate layers build slowly in what is actually a fast moving story, so don't get left behind, as you may feel a bit daft when you catch up. There are plenty of smirky laughter blurting moments, as well as wince and whimper inducing ones, along the way. ‘Spook Street’ is a wonderfully crooked, scalding hot, absolute crackerjack of read, and it’s part of a series that just shouldn't be missed.
This is the start to one of my favourite crime series based around the misfits of the Intelligence Service. Jackson Lamb leads the 'slow horses' who have been banished to Slough House. Set in a seriously twisted world, with blurts of laughter just waiting around the corner, this is a series that just keeps getting better and better. Highly recommended. Books in The Jackson Lamb Thriller Series: 1. Slow Horses 2. Dead Lions 3. Real Tigers 4. Spook Street 5. London Rules 6. Joe Country Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.
Shortlisted for the Last Laugh Award at the CrimeFest Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2016. The latest instalment in the eventful days and sleepless nights of the denizens of Slough House is another sheer delight. Following on from 'Slow Horses', 'Dead Lions' and the peripheral 'Nobody Walks' this is another venture into the twilight world of second rate, failed spies isolated by their superiors in the backwaters of Slough House where they are assigned to insignificant duties in the hope they will resign without a fuss only to come across cases which help them regain their dignity and tradecraft. As intricate as Le Carre in its depiction of in-house rivalries and the subtlety of intelligence work but leavened with a healthy dose of humour, and in the figure of Jackson Lamb, head of the unit, a fatter than fat and flatulent boss with a Machiavellian disregard for rules. The novel begins, incongruously, with a rooftop battle between Batman and Spiderman but quickly moves on to rivalries within MI5 and the sad lives of some of the characters while Herron wonderfully blends the thriller element and the humane as he orchestrates a most complex but believable plot like a watchmaker. At times darkly hilarious, at others gripping and intense, this confirms Herron and his series as a future classic. Get on board now. ~ Maxim Jakubowski Maxim Jakubowski's February 2016 Book of the Month.
Winner of the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger 2013. London’s Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses”, as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way. Maybe they messed up an op and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get thereâ”€even if it means having to work with one another. Now the slow horses have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. The irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more will have to die to keep those secrets buried?
Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award A BBC Front Row best crime novel of the year A Times crime and thriller book of the year London's Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what's left of their failed careers. But now the 'slow horses' have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient secrets that seems to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, and a decades-old conspiracy with a brand-new target: London's newest, tallest skyscraper ...
Tom Bettany is working at a meat processing plant in France when he gets a voicemail from an Englishwoman he doesn’t know telling him that his estranged 26-year-old son is dead—Liam Bettany fell from his London balcony, where he was smoking dope. Now for the first time since he cut all ties years ago, Bettany returns home to London to find out the truth about his son’s death. Maybe it’s the guilt he feels about losing touch with his son that’s gnawing at him, or maybe he’s actually put his finger on a labyrinthine plot, but either way he’ll get to the bottom of the tragedy, no matter whose feathers he has to ruffle. But more than a few people are interested to hear Bettany is back in town, from incarcerated mob bosses to those in the highest echelons of MI5. He might have thought he’d left it all behind when he first skipped town, but nobody really just walks away.
*THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* 'A gripping thriller' Ian Rankin 'Genuinely thrilling' Daily Telegraph 'Herron's best novel yet' Sunday Express 'Pure joy' The Observer 'Brilliant' Literary Review *Intelligence has a new home* Slough House - the crumbling office building to which failed spies, the 'slow horses', are banished - has been wiped from secret service records. Reeling from recent losses in their ranks, the slow horses are worried they've been pushed further into the cold, and fatal accidents keep happening. With a new populist movement taking a grip on London's streets, the aftermath of a blunder by the Russian secret service that left a British citizen dead, and the old order ensuring that everything's for sale to the highest bidder, the world's an uncomfortable place for those deemed surplus to requirements. The wise move would be to find a safe place and wait for the troubles to pass. But the slow horses aren't famed for making wise decisions. 'I think this might be the best Jackson Lamb outing yet' Christopher Brookmyre 'Herron has certainly devised the most completely realised espionage universe since that peopled by George Smiley' The Times '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 'I'll tell you what, to have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one's career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron's novels - the heir, in a way, to le Carre - is a terrific thing' Gary Oldman 'Mick Herron is one of the finest writers of his generation' Steve Cavanagh 'I enjoyed Slough House tremendously. Witty, clever and horribly on point. Lots to laugh about while being careful not to miss a word. This isn't a book to skim read' Kit de Waal '[Jackson Lamb] Herron's glorious creation propels the story to the bitter end where the non-stop barrage of jokes is fatally undercut by a final shocking twist' Evening Standard 'An excellent writer' Sunday Times
When a man's wife leaves him under suspicious circumstances, he sets off in search for her, unprepared for the guilty secrets he's about to drag back into the light. A man is tempted by a luxury apartment with a top-of-the-range kitchen. But there is a heavy price to pay for this glamorous new life. And a couple with their marriage on the rocks go on a hike through the Derbyshire countryside as another way to avoid their real problems. Hailed as the master of the modern spy thriller, Mick Herron's skill for tension, humour, and memorable twists are captured in his short stories, collected here for the first time.
*Soon to be a TV series starring Oscar-award winning actor Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb* 'The best thriller writer in Britain today' Daily Express 'As a master of wit, satire, insight... Herron is difficult to overpraise' Daily Telegraph 'The greatest comic writer of spy fiction in the English language' The Times 'Kill us? They've never needed to kill us,' said Lamb. 'I mean, look at us. What would be the point?' A year after a calamitous blunder by the Russian secret service left a British citizen dead from novichok poisoning, Diana Taverner is on the warpath. What seems a gutless response from the government has pushed the Service's First Desk into mounting her own counter-offensive - but she's had to make a deal with the devil first. And given that the devil in question is arch-manipulator Peter Judd, she could be about to lose control of everything she's fought for. Meanwhile, still reeling from recent losses, the slow horses are worried they've been pushed further into the cold. Slough House has been wiped from Service records, and fatal accidents keep happening. No wonder Jackson Lamb's crew are feeling paranoid. But have they actually been targeted? With a new populist movement taking a grip on London's streets, and the old order ensuring that everything's for sale to the highest bidder, the world's an uncomfortable place for those deemed surplus to requirements. The wise move would be to find a safe place and wait for the troubles to pass. But the slow horses aren't famed for making wise decisions. And with enemies on all sides, not even Jackson Lamb can keep his crew from harm.
'This tightly plotted tragicomedy will provide a welcome fix for addicts awaiting Herron's seventh Jackson Lamb novel' The Times 'Packed with Herron's trademark witty one-liners and sardonic humour . . . it's clear why Herron is a force to be reckoned with and the best thriller writer in Britain today' Daily Express 'A slim serio-comic offering . . . It plays out typically cleverly' Sunday Times If life in the Intelligence Service has taught John Bachelor anything, it's to keep his head down. Especially now, when he's living rent-free in a dead spook's flat. So he's not delighted to be woken at dawn by a pair of Regent's Park's heavies, looking for a client he's not seen in years. John doesn't know what secrets Benny Manors has stolen, but they're attracting the wrong attention. And if he's to save his own skin, not to mention safeguard his living arrangements, John has to find Benny before those secrets see the light. Benny could be anywhere, provided it serves alcohol. So John sets out on a reluctant trawl through the bars of the capital, all the while plagued by the age-old questions: Will he end up sleeping in his car? How many bottles of gin can he afford at London prices? And just how far will Regent's Park go to prevent anyone rocking the Establishment's boat?
'Unexpected and satisfying . . . The engaging heroine never loses her cool, from the melancholy opening to the whirlwind finale, a marvellously extended set-piece' Kirkus Reviews Zoe Boehm has harbored a distinct aversion to death ever since she shot the man intent on killing her. So when Caroline Daniels takes a deadly fall in front of a train and her lover fails to turn up at the funeral, Zoe wants nothing to do with the case. But Caroline's boss is persistent, and as Zoe attempts to unlock the secrets of a woman she's never met while in search of a man who could be anywhere, she starts to wonder if he's found her first. And if he has, will that make her the next victim, or prove to be her salvation from a paralysing fear?
'This is one of these novels where you read it, not just to see what happens at the end, but to see what happens on the very next page' Booklist When a body is hauled from the River Tyne, Sarah Tucker heads to Newcastle for a closer look. She identifies the dead woman as private detective Zoe Boehm, but putting a name to the corpse only raises further questions. Did Zoe kill herself, or did one of her old cases come back to haunt her? Why was she wearing the jacket a murderer had stolen years before? And what's brought Sarah's former sparring partner Gerard Inchon to the same broken-down hotel where she's staying? Coincidence is an excuse that soon appears pretty unconvincing. Sarah can't leave until she's found the answers to her questions, however dangerous they might turn out to be.
'Good characterisation, dialogue and a well-paced narrative make this confident first novel frighteningly plausible' Daily Telegraph When a house explodes in a quiet Oxford suburb and a young girl disappears in the aftermath, Sarah Tucker - a young married woman, bored and unhappy with domestic life - becomes obsessed with finding her. Accustomed to dull chores in a childless household and hosting her husband's wearisome business clients for dinner, Sarah suddenly finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew, as her investigation reveals that people long believed dead are still among the living, while the living are fast joining the dead. What begins in a peaceful neighbourhood reaches its climax on a remote, unwelcoming Scottish island as the search puts Sarah in league with a man who finds himself being hunted down by murderous official forces.
'Herron is a stylish writer with a mordant sensibility and a deadly wit. He's also a tricky plotter' New York Times Book Review When Zoe Boehm agrees to track down the gang who knocked over Sweeney's jewellery shop, she's just hoping to break even in time for tax season. She certainly doesn't expect to wind up in a coffin. But she's about to become entangled with a strange collection of characters, starting with suicidal Tim Whitby, who's dedicating what's left of his life to protecting the pretty, battered Katrina Blake from her late husband's sociopathic brothers, Arkle and Trent. Unfortunately for Zoe, Arkle has a crossbow, Tim has nothing left to lose, and even Katrina has her secrets. And death, like taxes, can't be avoided forever.
Two Slough House Novellas **THE DROP** 'It is time Mick Herron was recognised in his own right as the best thriller writer in Britain today' Sunday Express Old spooks carry the memory of tradecraft in their bones, and when Solomon Dortmund sees an envelope being passed from one pair of hands to another in a Marylebone cafe, he knows he's witnessed more than an innocent encounter. But in relaying his suspicions to John Bachelor, who babysits retired spies like Solly, he sets in train events which will alter lives. Bachelor himself, a hair's breadth away from sleeping in his car, is clawing his way back to stability; Hannah Weiss, the double agent whose recruitment was his only success, is starting to enjoy the secrets and lies her role demands; and Lech Wicinski, an Intelligence Service analyst, finds that a simple favour for an old acquaintance might derail his career. Meanwhile, Lady Di Taverner is trying to keep the Service on an even keel, and if that means throwing the odd crew member overboard, well: collateral damage is her speciality. A drop, in spook parlance, is the passing on of secret information. It's also what happens just before you hit the ground. **THE LIST** 'Mick Herron is an incredible writer and if you haven't read him yet, you NEED to' Mark Billingham Dieter Hess, an aged spy, is dead, and John Bachelor, his MI5 handler, is in deep, deep trouble. Death has revealed that the deceased had been keeping a secret second bank account - and there's only ever one reason a spy has a secret second bank account. The question of whether he was a double agent must be resolved, and its answer may undo an entire career's worth of spy secrets. **previously published as two separate editions**
'Masterful . . . superior entertainment that makes most other novels of suspense appear dull and slow-witted by comparison' Publishers Weekly What should have been a simple pick-up turns into a day-long nightmare for Bad Sam Chapman. When an operational catastrophe puts a gun in the hands of a young man, who then breaks into South Oxford Nursery School and takes a group of hostages, teacher Louise Kennedy fears the worst. But Jaime Segura isn't there on a homicidal mission, and he's just as scared as those whose lives he holds as collateral. As an armed police presence builds outside the school's gates, Bad Sam Chapman - head of the intelligence service's internal security force, the Dogs - battles the clock to find out what Jaime is after. But the only person Jaime will talk to is Ben Whistler, an MI6 accountant who worked with Jaime's lover, Miro. Miro's gone missing, along with a quarter of a billion pounds allotted for reconstruction work in Iraq. Jaime refuses to believe that Miro is a thief - though he's always had his secrets. But then, so does Louise, so do the other hostages - and so do some people on the outside, who'd much rather Jaime was silenced.
Something's happened. A lot of things have happened. If she could turn back time, she wondered how far she would go. Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice. Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk. Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero - if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.
*Picked as a 'best thriller of all time' by The Times* *Soon to be a TV series starring Oscar-award winning actor Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb* 'The new king of the spy thriller' Mail on Sunday 'Razor-sharp prose, fully formed characters and an underlying pathos make this series the most exciting development in spy fiction since the Cold War' The Times Catherine Standish knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks. She's worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back. What she doesn't know is why anyone would target her: a recovering drunk pushing paper with the other lost causes in Jackson Lamb's kingdom of exiles at Slough House. Whoever it is holding her hostage, it can't be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it is about Jackson Lamb. And say what you like about Lamb, he'll never leave a joe in the lurch. He might even be someone you could trust with your life . . . SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLDSBORO GOLD DAGGER AND THE IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER SHORTLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIAR CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR 'As a master of wit, satire, insight... Herron is difficult to overpraise' Daily Telegraph 'Irresistible writing ... ironclad storytelling and off-kilter humour' Financial Times 'Mick Herron's novels are a satirical chronicle of modern Britain . . . in their gleefully shocking way, his books reflect the trajectory of the nation' Economist
*Soon to be a TV series starring Oscar-award winning actor Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb* 'The new king of the spy thriller' Mail on Sunday 'Razor-sharp prose, fully formed characters and an underlying pathos make this series the most exciting development in spy fiction since the Cold War' The Times Winner of the 2013 CWA Gold Dagger Award Dickie Bow is not an obvious target for assassination. But once a spook, always a spook. And Dickie was a talented streetwalker back in the day, before he turned up dead on a bus. A shadow. Good at following people, bringing home their secrets. Dickie was in Berlin with Jackson Lamb. Now Lamb's got his phone, and on it the last secret Dickie ever told, and reason to believe an old-time Moscow-style op is being run in the Service's back-yard. In the Intelligence Service purgatory that is Slough House, Jackson Lamb's crew of back-office no-hopers is about to go live . . . 'As a master of wit, satire, insight... Herron is difficult to overpraise' Daily Telegraph 'Irresistible writing ... ironclad storytelling and off-kilter humour' Financial Times 'Mick Herron's novels are a satirical chronicle of modern Britain . . . in their gleefully shocking way, his books reflect the trajectory of the nation' Economist
Slough House is a dumping ground for British intelligence agents who've screwed up a case in any number of ways-by leaving a secret file on a train or blowing a surveillance. River Cartwright, one such "e;slow horse,"e; is bitter about his failure and about his tedious assignment transcribing cell phone conversations.When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself.Is the victim who he first appears to be? And what's the kidnappers' connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone has his own agenda.
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