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London Rules

by Mick Herron

Part of the Slough House Thriller Series

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage

London Rules Synopsis

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

London Rules Press Reviews

Witty, thrilling and thought-provoking, it is Herron's best novel yet - Daily Express

Mick Herron's London Rules the fifth in his blackly comic Jackson Lamb spy series, got the year off to a cracking start as it filleted the pretensions of Britain's contemporary intelligence forces - Irish Times, Book of the Year

The permanently sozzled and flatulent Jackson Lamb, a former spook now reduced to managing disgraced spies at Slough House, is one of modern literature's greatest creations - Ben Walsh, Evening Standard

The curmudgeonly spymaster Jackson Lamb and his superannuated colleagues go from strength to strength, with Herron balancing suspenseful counterterrorism antics with black farce - The i, Best Books of 2018

So funny that you might easily miss the bleak pain of many of the characters involved - Literary Review

By turns gripping and laugh-out-loud funny, with few concessions to the stifling modern cult of you-can't-say-that - Daily Mail, Books of the Year 2018

The fifth instalment of the award-winning Jackson Lamb series is witty, sardonic and laugh-out-loud funny yet also thrilling and thought-provoking. Not many people can turn a terror attack into a farce but Herron achieves it with a cleverly constructed story, well-rounded characters and poetic prose. Herron has often been compared with spy thriller greats John le Carre and Len Deighton but it is time he was recognised in his own right as the best thriller writer in Britain today. In a series that never lets its fans down, London Rules is the best instalment yet - Sunday Express,****

If Slough House on Aldersgate Street EC1 really existed it would already rival the Old Curiosity Shop on Portsmouth Street WC2 as a landmark of literary London . . . Herron has read his Carl Hiaasen as well as his Charles Dickens. The coruscating cynicism and cartoon comedy do not detract from the seriousness of the message: 'Hate crime pollutes the soul, but only the souls of those who commit it' - Evening Standard

Jackson Lamb - subtle of brain but outrageously gross in almost every other way - still rules over his band of misfit agents in this fifth title in Herron's hilarious take on the contemporary spy thriller. Based at decrepit Slough House, dumping ground for the security services' awkward squad, his team get the jump on their disdainful colleagues when a weird terrorist plot starts to play out - Sunday Times Crime Club

London Rules epitomises precisely why Mick Herron's espionage novels are the new hallmarks of the genre. It's a rousing, provocative - and genuinely funny, at times - political thriller with a labyrinthine plot - Simon McDonald

the most remarkable and mesmerising series of novels, set mostly and explicitly in London, to have appeared in years. It is hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary, cynical and hopeful - The Arts Desk

Herron adeptly negotiates the rules of satire and the laws of libel to create fictional public figures who simultaneously hit more than one real-life bullseye...Stylistically, Herron's narrative voice swoops from the high to the low but it's the dialogue that zings: the screenwriters of the inevitable TV version won't have to change much... Herron is a very funny writer, but also a serious plotter - Guardian

Excellent espionage tale that is also very funny without becoming Carry On Le Carre - The Sun

Sharper, funnier and more distorted than ever - Literary Review

London Rules may be the best Jackson Lamb thriller yet, and that's saying something, considering how brilliant the previous ones are - Mark Billingham

Jackson Lamb is one of the most singularly offensive, cruel and heartless - but above all funny - fictional creations of recent times . . . Similar in the tones of Len Deighton, devoid of all glamour, grimly realistic and brutal and darkly hilarious, London Rules further burnishes Mick Herron's reputation as the finest spy novelist of his generation - Irish Examiner

The great triumph of Mick Herron's Jackson Lamb books - apart from the sly wit, the clever plots and the characters - is his creation of a hilariously plausible, complete and utterly original intelligence world, in which cock-up always trumps conspiracy, the small-minded and rampantly egotistical rise to the top, and defeat is almost always snatched from the jaws of victory - M J Carter

London Rules takes the Jackson Lamb series to new levels of nerve-shredding tension, leavened as always with moments of eye-watering hilarity - often on the same page - Christopher Brookmyre

Herron's comic brilliance should not overshadow the fact that his books are frequently thrilling, often thought-provoking, and sometimes moving and even inspiring. Reading one of Herron's worst books would be the highlight of my month and London Rules is one of his best - Sunday Express

This is modern British spy fiction at its brilliant best; taut, tense, quirky, funny and thrilling - Choice

London Rules by Mick Herron is the latest - and so far the best - bulletin from that twilight home for burned-out spies by the Barbican, Slough House . . . If you haven't read Herron yet you should - Evening Standard, Best Crime Novels of 2018

Fortunately, Mick Herron seems to write a new Jackson Lamb novel every year. His latest in this series of wonderful and witty books about the more than eccentric head of a branch of MI5, London Rules, came out on time. I read the first four of these thrillers in a couple of weeks last year. The latest is well up to Herron's usual standards - Chris Patten, New Statesman Best Books of 2018

London Rules is well up to the high standard of its predecessors, with the usual mixture of jokes and jeopardy at Slough House, the place where MI5 careers go to die under the dubious auspices of the wonderfully repulsive Jackson Lamb - Guardian, Books of the Year 2018

This year's discoveries for me were the spy novels of Mick Herron . . . Herron's Jackson Lamb books are mesmerisingly good, combining the best double, triple and quadruple-crossing traditions of Len Deighton and early Le Carre with the mordant humour of Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels - Marcus Berkmann, Spectator Books of the Year

Mick Herron is the John le Carre of our generation - Val McDermid

Superb new Jackson Lamb thriller - Irish Times

It is, as ever, a joy to return to this world: there is a warm, wise, amused depth to Herron's writing, which shines a stark light on the atrocities he describes. He's also horribly funny - Observer

The fifth instalment of the award-winning Jackson Lamb series is witty, sardonic and laugh-out-loud funny yet also thrilling and thought-provoking . . . Herron has often been compared with spy thriller greats John le Carre and Len Deighton but it is time he was recognised in his own right as the best thriller writer in Britain today. In a series that never lets its fans down, London Rules is the best instalment yet - Sunday Express,****

Addictive . . . I cannot recommend these books strongly enough - Nick Lezard, The Spectator

Le Carre looks sugar-coated next to the acid Slough House novels . . . as a master of wit, satire, insight and that very English trick of disguising heartfelt writing as detached irony before launching a surprise assault on the reader's emotions, Herron is difficult to overpraise - Daily Telegraph

London Rules confirms Mick Herron as the greatest comic writer of spy fiction in the English language, and possibly all crime fiction - The Times

He's been called the heir to Len Deighton - and Mick Herron's latest mordantly funny espionage novel only backs that up - Sunday Times

Dazzingly inventive. Superbly orchestrated . . . Lamb - the most fascinating and irresistible thriller series hero to emerge since Jack Reacher - Sunday Times

The best modern British spy series - Daily Express

The new king of the spy thriller - Mail on Sunday

The new spy master - Evening Standard

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781473657403
Publication date: 09/08/2018
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray Press
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781473657403
Publication date: 9th August 2018
Author: Mick Herron
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd an imprint of John Murray Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy,
Categories: Espionage & spy thriller,

About Mick Herron

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

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