“Slow Horses” by Mick Herron is not a book about jockeys or pony club. It’s a spy novel featuring Jackson Lamb who governs Slough House.
Set in London, Slough House (not in Slough, but in the Borough of Finsbury) is a dirty, damp dump of a building and it’s occupants are dubbed the “slow horses”. Slough House is a dumping ground for disgraced officers (the slow horses) where they live out their days performing mundane tasks. Jackson Lamb makes sure that the slow horses understand that they will never redeem themselves and be restored to high profile work at Regent’s Park.
River Cartright believes that he was given inaccurate information (deliberately) which led him to botch up a surveillance assessment. This landed him at Slough House with the other slow horses. “Slow Horses” mainly follows River but also the other members of Slough House. I found that there are lots of characters to keep track of and three have similar names: we have Hobbs, Hobden and Ho!
The boring nature of the work leads River to discover that one of his workmates has been following Robert Hobden, a well-known journalist. River is suspicious of Hobden and his possible involvement in an incident that suddenly comes to light. A Muslim teenager, Hassan, is kidnapped and a video threatening his decapitation appears on the internet. River begins to dig deeper and starts to uncover things he wasn’t expecting to find.
The story continues to follow River and events involving him and his workmates as they begin to uncover conspiracies within both Regents Park and Slough House and try to save the life of innocent Hassan. The story also leads the reader through the terrifying experience Hassan is subject to as the slow horses race against time to save him.
The characters are complex, the plot takes unexpected turns and of course all the slow horses are curious as to what the others did to deserve being placed at Slough House.
This is the first in a trilogy featuring Slough House, Jackson Lamb and the politics around the complex world of spy investigation.
“Slow Horses” by Mick Herron is not the sort of book I would normally read (I actually picked it up out of my husband’s “to read” pile!). My husband will love this one and if you love crime and spy investigation novels then this one is for you!
Want to hear something funny?
There are a few laugh-out-loud moments in this book. For example (I know this sounds childish but I laughed!), sometimes the men fart and the context of these incidents made me chuckle. You don’t get farting in novels very often.
On that note,
Stay tuned ’til next time!