Review: Dead Lions (Slough Horses book 2) by Mick Herron

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B Reviews Category / B+ Reviews / Book Reviews / 1 Comments

The CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage novel about disgraced MI5 agents who inadvertently uncover a deadly Cold War-era legacy of sleeper cells and mythic super spies.

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?


Dear Mick Herron,

I hesitated a little (not much!) about continuing to read this series, because as much as I enjoyed the first book, a good part of it was sloooow. But I liked the characters a whole lot, I suspected that they will continue to develop and grow and at times the first book was just so unexpectedly funny (touches of humor obviously – this series is a not a comedy), that I spent ten dollars and bought this one.

I liked this one quite a bit too and I think more than a first one, because even though the writing does remain a little slow (I think this is just this writer’s style), the suspense storyline starts much earlier and even though slow bits come and go throughout the story, all together it just worked really well for me. I mean, it was clear enough for me in the first book that as much as Jason Lamb loves to verbally destroy some of his fellow “screw ups” (and at least some of them give back as good as they get!) who work under him in the Slough House, he considers all of them members of his team and clearly “one of our own” means something to him.

I also wondered how the rest of the characters that we met in the first book will continue to interact in this book, whether they will start to develop something like friendly ties and, call me an endless optimist, but I think they clearly did :), they just don’t always show it.

The murder described in the blurb happens very very early in the book and Jason starts conducting his own investigation very early in the book as well, but the rest of the Slow Horses get involve in the action a little later in the book and I really enjoyed watching the spy games taking place, seemingly different pieces of action coming together and I had no idea how the storyline will end. The babysitting of the Russian oligarch certainly ended with unexpected results. I have to say though, please do not get too attached to any member of Jason’s team, because the author does not seem to have any problems with killing them. Not randomly mind you, and so far none of my favorite characters died, but who the heck knows what will come later.

Grade: B+

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Sirius started reading books when she was four and reading and discussing books is still her favorite hobby. One of her very favorite gay romances is Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark. In fact, she loves every book written by Tamara Allen. Amongst her other favorite romance writers are Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Josephine Myles, Taylor V. Donovan and many others. Sirius’ other favorite genres are scifi, mystery and Russian classics. Sirius also loves travelling, watching movies and long slow walks.

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