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THE first book in the critically acclaimed slough house series

London’s Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated there. Maybe they botched an Op so badly they can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they have in common: they want back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there─even if it means working together.

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Season 3 of Slow Horses, the critically acclaimed series from Apple TV+ starring Academy Award®-winning actor Gary Oldman, is now streaming.

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Discover book 3 in the slough house series and inspiration for Season 3 of the Apple tv+ original Series Slow Horses

When one of their own is kidnapped, the washed-up MI5 operatives of Slough House must outwit rogue agents at the very highest levels of British Intelligence, and even to Downing Street itself.

The Secret Hours is wonderful. It’s Mick Herron at his BEST.”

—Michael Connelly

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Discover a new standalone spy thriller from the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Slow Horses, with a riveting reveal about a disastrous MI5 mission in Cold War Berlin—an absolute must-read for Slough House fans.

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praise for The SECRET HOURS

An NPR Best Book of 2023

A People “Must-Read Books for Fall 2023” selection

“An intricate espionage thriller from Herron, whose Slough House series is the basis for Apple TV+'s Slow Horses. Bonus: This terrific standalone offers an enticing slice of Slough House's origin story.”

—People Magazine


“Mick Herron’s latest thriller connects the dots between the sins of the post-Cold War era and the messy, contemporary misadventures of the popular Slough House spy series, it’s also fantastic as a standalone. That said, if you’ve read the previous books, the breadcrumbs are a delight to follow..”


“Mick Herron is one of the best writers of spy fiction working today.”
—Martin Cruz Smith

“This page-turning stand-alone novel is a perfect entry point into the eccentric world of civil servants and spies that Herron’s Slough House series so wittily portrays.”
—The Washington Post





praise for Mick Herron and the slough House series

“The best in a generation, by some estimations, and irrefutably the funniest.”

—The New Yorker


READ: The New Yorker profile of Mick Herron by Jill Lepore

“What spurs me to keep reading each new installment is Herron’s absurdist voice, which could devolve into cheap cynicism but never does. That’s why the Slough House denizens, from Jackson Lamb to Roddy Ho to newcomer Ashley Kahn, maintain pathos in the face of parody—they may be bitter, but they have pride in themselves and their work.”

—The New York Times Book Review


“The best spy novelist now working.” —NPR, Fresh Air

“Out of a wickedly imagined version of MI5, [Herron] has spun works of diabolical plotting and high-spirited cynicism . . . Happily for Mr. Herron—if alas for us—events continue to produce rich material for his special gifts, and we hope he is scribbling away making good use of it all.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[Herron's] cleverly plotted page-turners are driven by dialogue that bristles with one-liners. Much of the humor comes from Herron’s sharp eye for the way bureaucracies, whether corporate or clandestine, function and malfunction. The world of Slough House is closer to ‘The Office’ than to 007.” —The Associated Press 

“Herron writes squeakingly well-plotted spy thrillers. More than that, he composes—at the rate of a pulpist—the kind of efficient, darkly witty, tipped-with-imagery sentences that feel purpose-built to perforate my private daze of illiteracy. More than that, he’s a world-bringer, the creator of a still-growing fictional universe with its own gravity, lingo, and surface tension.”




Mick Herron was born in Newcastle and has a degree in English from Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author of the Slough House series, including the CWA Gold Dagger winner Dead Lions, as well as a mystery series set in Oxford. He now lives in Oxford and works in London.

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