The new novel in the CWA Gold Dagger-winning Slough House series
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLDSBORO GOLD DAGGER AND THE IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER
'If you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers' The Spectator
'The finest new crime series this millennium' Mail on Sunday
London's Slough House is where disgraced MI5 operatives are reassigned to spend the rest of their careers pushing paper. But when one of these fallen spies is kidnapped by a former soldier bent on revenge, the agents must breach the defenses of Regent's Park to steal valuable intel in exchange for their comrade's safety.
The kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg, however, as the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries, but also the highest authorities in the Security Service.
After years spent as the lowest on the totem pole, the spies suddenly find themselves caught in the midst of a conspiracy that threatens not only the future of Slough House, but of MI5 itself . . .
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 is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Slough House thrillers, which have won two CWA Daggers, been published in 20 languages, and are the basis of a major TV series starring Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. He is also the author of the Zoe Boehm series, and the standalone novels Reconstruction and This is What Happened. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.