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Out now: the deluxe edition paperback of book 1 in the 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 collaborating with one another.
When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, the slow horses see an opportunity to redeem themselves. But is the victim really who he appears to be?
Season 2 of Slow Horses, the critically acclaimed series from Apple TV+ starring Academy Award®-winning actor Gary Oldman premiers December 2, 2022.
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Discover book 2 in the slough house series and inspiration for Season 2 of the Apple tv+ original Series Slow Horses
The disgruntled agents of Slough House, the MI5 branch where washed-up spies are sent to finish their failed careers on desk duty, are called into action to protect a visiting Russian oligarch whom MI5 hopes to recruit to British intelligence. While two agents are dispatched on that babysitting job, though, an old Cold War-era spy named Dickie Bow is found dead, ostensibly of a heart attack, on a bus outside of Oxford, far from his usual haunts.
But the head of Slough House, the irascible Jackson Lamb, is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade’s circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient Cold War secrets that seem to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, who is either a Soviet bogeyman or the most dangerous man in the world. How many more people will have to die to keep those secrets buried?
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Collected for the first time: the slough House novellas
Espionage. Blackmail. Revenge. Cunning. Slapstick. State secrets dating back to the fall of the Berlin Wall. All this and more in a tight package of five novellas by Mick Herron, CWA Gold Dagger–winning author of Slow Horses. From the troubled recruitment of a new MI5 informant to a botched information transfer, Herron’s novellas capture the drama, humor, and high stakes of everyday life in the world of spycraft, a world rife with both legends and secrets, where thrill-seeking and loneliness are ubiquitous and deadly, and where the lines between friends, enemies, and lovers are perpetually blurred by circumstance and subterfuge.
For fans new and old, Standing by the Wall is an excellent introduction to the extended literary universe of Mick Herron’s Slough House. Collection includes: The List, The Marylebone Drop, The Catch, The Last Dead Letter, and a never-before-published Christmas interlude, Standing by the Wall.
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praise for Mick Herron and the slough House series
“The best in a generation, by some estimations, and irrefutably the funniest.”
—The New Yorker
“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.” —THE ATLANTIC
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.