Review: Slow Horses, by Mick Herron

To be honest, I never heard of Mick Herron — but having just read a review of the sixth book in the series, I thought I’d give it a go. And I’m hooked. Herron has been compared to John Le CarrĂ©, and the comparison is a fair one.

The books revolve around a bunch of misfits, all former employees of MI5, exiled to a place called Slough House somewhere near the Barbican in London, where they seem to be doing meaningless work. The book opens with one of the newcomers to Slough House sifting through the trash of a journalist.

But as the story progresses, the ‘slow horses’ as they care called (get it?) under the command of the overweight, flatulent and chain-smoking boss Jackson Lamb, get involved in a complex case involving British Nazis and corruption at the highest levels of the British intelligence services.

One of the unpleasant characters we meet (and they are mostly unpleasant characters in Herron’s world) is a rising right-wing politician with floppy hair and a quick wit, who has ambitions to someday be Prime Minister. I wonder who the author had in mind.

I have already begun the second book in the series. Highly recommended.