I need more Slough House books. You guys don’t understand: I need them (she says, tapping her veins.) It’s so unfair that Book 5, London Rules, isn’t out yet in the US.
ANYWAY, with Spook Street, the Slough House series has officially become my favorite spy series. Aside from being smart and topical, these novels are funny as hell. And you know I like my stories to be liberally sprinkled with empathy and kindness, which these definitely have. Since we’re talking about books chronicling exploits in modern espionage, there’s also going to be a lot of nastiness, but in Mick Herron’s hands, none of it is gratuitous and all of it is heartbreaking (or at the very least hilarious.)
So yeah one of my favorite characters died in these pages and I’m still mad as hell about it, but I trust what Mr Herron has done with his writing to respect that narrative choice, because it was clear that Mr Herron respected that death and gave it the writing it deserved. I also loved his pacing: there is nothing so thrilling as coming to the “oh shit” realization just a handful of pages before the author masterfully reveals the truth.
My only criticism is that I’m getting rather tired of River, who is starting to be the mediocre white dude who manages to sail through life as the extremely boring hero of the piece (also, duh, Jackson Lamb is the hero here and I will brook no competition, especially from bland young white men from privileged backgrounds.) I am, however, intrigued by the addition of Coe to Slough House after what happened in Nobody Walks, especially since I want Bettany back on the streets now that Taverner is on the outs. But who knows if the bleak, tragic Bettany has a place in a world that uses often inappropriate drollery to cope with the horrors modern life flings at our security services ? I wouldn’t put it past Mr Herron to manage that integration with both skill and panache, honestly, and I CANNOT WAIT for London Rules.