Real Tigers

Real Tigers

Book - 2016
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"Slough House is the MI5 branch where disgraced operatives are reassigned after they've messed up too badly to be trusted with real intelligence work. The 'Slow Horses, ' as the failed spies of Slough House are called, are doomed to spend the rest of their careers pushing paper, but they all want back in on the action. When one of their own is kidnapped and held for ransom, the agents of Slough House must defeat the odds, overturning all expectations of their competence, to breach the top-notch security of MI5's intelligence headquarters, Regent's Park, and steal valuable intel in exchange for their comrade's safety"--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho Crime, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781616956127
1616956127
Branch Call Number: MYS HERRO-M
Characteristics: 343 pages ; 22 cm

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e
emerge
Jul 28, 2016

It all begins when Batman & Spiderman meet on a roof top in London. Yes, really. It may seem like an odd beginning but no worries. It’s merely the first step into a plot with more twists & switchbacks than your average maze.
This is book #3 in the “Slough House” series. And it’s another riveting tale with a healthy dose of laugh out loud black humour.
Slough House is an end of the road destination for MI5 agents. Not just anyone can get in. Each of these men & women has screwed up royally at some point in their career. Now they perform tasks so mind numbing, the tedium is only relieved by boredom.
But there’s about to be a shake-up in the routine. When one of them gets proof a coworker has been snatched, it sets in motion a chain of events that will see them dusting off skills they haven’t used in a long time.
Meanwhile, over at Regent Park, the bigwigs at MI5 have their own shake-up to deal with. There’s a new Home Secretary overseeing the intelligence service & flexing his political muscle. He’s also crazy. Forget about foreign terrorists….you’re more likely to be taken out by a colleague. Lying is like breathing for these people, necessary for life & they’ve elevated backstabbing to a level worthy of the Olympics.
As the story progresses, separate plot lines & characters begin to intersect as old secrets & alliances come to light. Turns out while you were busy being entertained by machiavellian office politics, a classic game of spy vs. spy was underway.
This is not a standard thriller pitting the bad guys against the good. It’s more a case of the ethically challenged against the least reprehensible. Luckily for us, they’re hilarious.
Jackson Lamb rules Slough House with an iron fist & he’s an equal opportunity offender. A memo outlining political correctness would quickly die of loneliness in the tip he calls his office. But don’t be fooled. HIs caustic barbs (& dubious hygiene) provide cover for a man who’s seen it all. Nothing gets by him & he’s secretly protective of his little flock of misfits.
They include recovered alcoholic Catherine Standish, trying-to-quit gambler Marcus Longridge & actively delusional Rodney Ho. As for Home Secretary Peter Judd, all I can say is….eeewww.
What a great read. The author combines well developed characters with darkly funny dialogue then wraps them up tight in a smart, intricate plot. The last third is a full on thriller that will have you turning the pages as fast as you can to see who’s left standing. And just when your heart rate returns to normal…well, that would be telling.
This can be read as a stand alone but I’d recommend starting with “Slow Horses”. You’ll be happy you did.

a
athena14
Jul 02, 2016

Don't be fearful of British phrases. Wikipedia translated them for me.

h
herbel
Feb 12, 2016

Clever, witty. You may need to be familiar with Britain (especially London) and Brit phrases to truly appreciate and understand nuances and references. Have not read the first books in the series, but will for sure! Kept thinking this would be effective as a movie. Very visual language.

c
CMLibrary_gjd_0
Feb 04, 2016

I enjoy this series. The latest installation of the Slow Horses finds them racing the clock to save one of their own. Mr. Herron is a wonderful writer; I want to quote too many passages, which I won't do because I don't want to ruin it for anyone else. If you enjoy British crime fiction try this series.

p_leitch Feb 01, 2016

I thought it started slow with strange characters. I almost put it down. I am glad I didn't. It was a good story that kept through to the end. I will look for other books from this writer.

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c
CMLibrary_gjd_0
Feb 04, 2016

Judd:
Besides, if his party stood for anything it was for defending the right of the strong to flourish, which meant preventing the weak from taking up unnecessary space.

c
CMLibrary_gjd_0
Feb 04, 2016

First Line: "Like most forms of corruption, it began with men in suits."

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