Good tho, to a certain extent, I enjoyed Slow Horses better because that one was undoubtedly a win for our agents. This one… well, it’s complicated. See, an old spy is found dead on a bus he didn’t have a ticket for, and no one seems to care except Jackson Lamb, who worked with the dead man back in Berlin before the wall came down. As Lamb sorts out Dickie Bow’s movements, he slowly entangles the rest of his Department of Deadbeats in the investigation.
Except for Louisa Guy and Min Harper, that is, who’ve been seconded to Regent’s Park by the ambitious James Webb, the same MI5 bureaucrat who played such a pivotal role in the current staffing of Slough House (the not-actual-but-close-enough name of the department Lamb runs.) Webb wants to make a sweetheart deal with a potential Russian asset, but with accounting at HQ on a tear due to recent financial scandal, has decided to fly under the radar by picking up Slough House assets and dangling before them the carrot all Slow Horses want: re-entry to Regent’s Park proper if all goes well. Of course, all doesn’t, and it’s a hell of a thrill ride through London and the Cotswolds as Webb inevitably screws up while Lamb locks horns with an old specter: a Cold War spy who was supposed to never have existed.
As always, I loved the interactions between Lamb and Catherine Standish, his right-hand woman. I also enjoyed the addition of the two newest Slow Horses, especially Marcus, whom I’m hoping eventually partners professionally with Louisa. Honestly, I’m still reeling a bit over what happened with her and Min. I’m feeling a bit protective of my team of misfits over here! But I needs must read something lighter before plunging back into this fascinating, if occasionally depressing world, so I’m off to read a cozy before devouring the next book in this series.