The Drop: A Slough House Novella by Mick Herron
|The Drop: A Slough House Novella by Mick Herron by Mick Herron|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An engaging novella. Don't allow the 'Slough House' in the title to mislead you into thinking that Jackson Lamb and the slow horses will appear. Di Taverner is there, but that's as close as it gets.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 112/2h1m||Date: November 2018|
|Publisher: John Murray|
|External links: Author's website|
When you've done a job for any length of time, the memory, the instincts of it stay with you and they're impossible to forget. It was the same with Solomon Dortmund, a retired spy: when he watches a woman making a drop he knows exactly what he's seeing and he passes this on John Batchelor, the man charged with looking after the retired spooks. Bachelor has problems of his own: the closest he comes to a home is the back seat of his car and he's run out of people whose sofas he can commandeer for the night. The best he can do with Solomon's problem is to pass it on the someone else and hope that they'll deal with it/solve the problem/quietly forget about it.
But at Regent's Park they're excited about something else. Well, 'excitement' might be overstating it a bit, but it's a new double agent who works under the code name of Snow White. She's being transferred to the Brexit Department and whilst there are those who might frown about the fact that she's a double agent spying on Germany, a supposedly friendly power, it's all part of the fun and games. There's a degree of innocence here though: things are not what they seem.
I'll confess to having chosen to read The Drop because of the subtitle: A Slough House Novella. I was expecting Jackson Lamb and the agents we've come to know as the slow horses. Lady Di Taverner makes an appearance, but essentially this is a novella about the workings of that part of the security services known as Regent's Park. I was disappointed, but it doesn't alter the fact that this is a good story that's been very cleverly constructed. It lacks the laugh-out-loud humour of the earlier, full-length Slough House novels, but there were certainly a few wry grins in evidence. Dialogue, as ever, is brilliant and the characters stay with you long after you've finished reading.
It's a quick read: I finished it in little over an hour and once I got over my disappointment about the Slough House connection, it was a thoroughly enjoyable one. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to The Bookbag.
If you've not had the pleasure of encountering Jackson Lamb and the people who work at Slough House, start with Slow Horses - it's one of the funniest books I've read in years.
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