Book Review: Slow Horses by Mick Herron

About the Book

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 “slow horse,” 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.

My Thoughts

Mick Herron’s Slow Horses is a fabulous read! I found it to be quite the page turner as I learned more about who the Slow Horses were and how they found themselves as part of a motley crew on the outs of the British Special Services.

You really need to have your wits about you in this game, as loyalty appears to be only as strong as what leverage you hold over someone, or someone holds over you.

The storyline kept me fully engaged and the characters brought a lot of variety to the story. As outwardly vile as he appears, my favourite was Jackson Lamb. He was intelligent, wily and a master manipulator. I found the book original in its content and can’t recall when I last read a book that kept my heart racing as we neared the end.

Being set in London, one of my favourite cities in the world, was the icing on top of this very tasty cake. I cannot wait to get stuck into the next book in the series.

About the Author

Mick Herron is a novelist and short story writer whose books include the Sarah Tucker/Zoë Boehm series and the standalone novel Reconstruction.  His work has been shortlisted for the Macavity, Barry and Shamus awards, and his novella DOLPHIN JUNCTION was joint winner of the 2009 Ellery Queen Readers Award. His second standalone, Nobody Walks, was shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2015, and was one of Booklist Magazine’s Best 101 Crime Novels of the Decade.

He is the author of the acclaimed Jackson Lamb series, the first of which, the Steel Dagger-nominated Slow Horses was hailed by the Daily Telegraph as one of the “the twenty greatest spy novels of all time”. The second in the series, 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. The third, Real Tigers, was shortlisted for both the Gold and Steel Daggers, for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, and for the 2017 Macavity Award. It won the Last Laugh Award at Crimefest 2017, for the best humorous crime novel of 2016.

Spook Street, the fourth Jackson Lamb novel – praised by Ian Rankin for its “sublime dialogue and frictionless plotting” – won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2017.

The fifth Jackson Lamb novel, LONDON RULES, will appear in 2018.

Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford. He writes full time.