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  • Baskerville
  • John Murray

London Rules: Slough House Thriller 5

Mick Herron

1 Reviews

Rated 0

Jackson Lamb Thriller, Espionage & spy thriller

The fifth book in the Sunday Times bestselling, award-winning, Slough House series, featuring Mick Herron's much loved band of disgraced spies and their notorious leader, Jackson Lamb, 'the most fascinating and irresistible thriller series hero to emerge since Jack Reacher' (Sunday Times)

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*

LONGLISTED 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

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Reader reviews (1)

  • London Rules is the fifth book in the Slough House series by prize-winning British author, Mick Herron. During a sweltering summer in Slough House, the slow horses perform, with a minimum of enthusiasm, the tasks their boss, Jackson Lamb has dreamed up: Louisa Guy scans library records for borrowers of possible terrorist texts; River Cartwright pretends to compare rate payments with the electoral roll to reveal possible terrorist safe houses, while he worries about his demented grandfather; and J.K. Coe composes fake emails for agents who need to disappear after interacting too closely with the general public. Still on the wagon, Catherine Standish mops up after Lamb while also monitoring the psychological temperature of their reduced number, in particular: grief over those recently lost, the effect of (now-drug-free for 62 days!) Shirley Dander’s anger management course, the stability of the ever-silent, traumatised Coe, River’s concerns for the O.B., and Roddy Ho’s continuing over-inflated belief in his own popularity. Meanwhile, in the real world, a terrorist attack on a Derbyshire village leaves twelve dead, a pipe bomb at a zoo has a similar death toll, and the discovery of a bomb on a train averts another potential disaster. As Regent’s Park searches for terrorists, First Desk Claude Whelan also has to cope with the PM’s demands for certain background checks, an MP with PM ambitions, the MP’s tabloid journalist wife and of course, his Second Desk, Lady Di Taverner, who has designs on his job. When there’s an attempt on Roddy Ho’s life, the slow horses are at first incredulous, then puzzled. Coe seldom contributes, but when he does open his mouth, it’s worth listening, even if Lamb’s sharp mind is already a long way towards figuring it out. And once again, the slow horses are out on an op. Apart from a generous helping of snappy dialogue, fists, knees, elbows, a wrench, a knife, a coat-hanger, guns, a bottle of bleach, and a tin of paint come into play. As always, Jackson Lamb is rude, inappropriate, sharp and sly. He has a lot of fun with addressing the unfortunately-named Devon Welles. This instalment sees the first of the London Rules, “cover your arse” adhered to by many players, and ultimately, Ho maintains his oblivion regards the general opinion of his appeal. The idea that “…Lamb will go to any lengths to protect a joe, but would watch in mild amusement if the rest of the world hanged itself” is soundly reinforced. Herron’s plot is imaginative but easily believable, with the odd twist to keep it interesting; there’s plenty of humour, much of it black, that will have readers snickering, giggling and laughing out loud. This fifth instalment of the series, while it contains some spoilers for earlier books, can easily be read as a stand-alone, but with a series as entertaining as this one, why would you? Another excellent dose of British spy fiction.

    Marianne Vincent

    Rated 5
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Mick Herron

Mick Herron is the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Slough House thrillers, which have won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, two CWA Daggers, been published in twenty-five languages, and are the basis of a major TV series starring Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. He is also the author of the ZoA Boehm series, and the standalone novels Nobody Walks and The Secret Hours. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

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