Review: Nobody Walks, by Mick Herron

On page 74 of this book, a character is described as “a Service legend, in her way. Not a bona fide legend like your Jackson Lambs – the plural uncalled for, because there was only one Jackson Lamb, thank God …” And that’s it — the only reference to Mick Herron’s most famous character, the star of the Slough House books and television series, in this book. Other elements (and at least one character) from that series put in an appearance here, but this story stands on its own and in a way is a desperately sad one. Tom Bettany, former MI6 field officer, has been doing the rounds in Europe after quitting the job. The book begins with him working in a meat processing plant in France. There he learns about the death of his only son in London and returns to find out what happened. It’s a very sad story and Bettany is a convincing former agent (and father), still in possession of the skills that made him an effective intelligence officer. The supporting cast of characters — gangsters, spies and software developers (yes, software developers) — are good as well. Highly recommended.