Island Reich: a WW2 spy story

This is such a well-researched spy story that you won’t be able to tell where real events end and the author’s keen imagination takes over. It’s set in WW2 in the ‘phoney war’ phase of 1940. Operation Sealion is on the cards but hasn’t been launched. The Battle of Britain has yet to fill the…

Real Tigers: second rate spies save the day

There’s no doubt about it: Mick Herron blows the bloody doors off with the opening chapters of Real Tigers. This is stand-out, showboat, top rank writing, honed close to perfection with all the skill and dedication of an artisan craftsman. Mind you, people who haven’t read the two earlier novels in the ‘Slough House’ trilogy…

Catalyst: kitsch kat

  Catherine (‘Cat’, inevitably) is a talented woman. Smart enough to be a biochemist. Beautiful enough to be a top-class catwalk model. Physically skilled and strong enough to free-climb a sleek city office block. Determined enough to avenge the financial ruin and deaths of her parents. Yup, she’s a thoroughly modern girl. But Cat is…

Slow Horses: espionage in the post-ironic era

What would you do with the British intelligence operatives who weren’t quite bad enough to sack, who didn’t get themselves killed, but who couldn’t be trusted with proper work, with state secrets? Welcome to Slough House, home of the Slow Horses: the almost-incompetent, the not-quite-good-enough, the politically incorrect out of favour has-beens of MI5. This…