Joe Country

Joe Country

Book - 2019
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"Like the ringing of a dead man's phone, or an unwelcome guest at a funeral, in Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski,whose sins make him an outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears himself apart in the process. Meanwhile, in Regent's Park, Diana Taverner's tenure as First Desk is running into difficulties.If she's going to make the Service fit for purpose, she might have to make deals with a familiar old devil . . . And with winter taking its grip, Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can't ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho Crime, [2019]
ISBN: 9781641290555
Branch Call Number: HERRO
Characteristics: 345 pages ; 22 cm

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SPSit
Sep 17, 2020

This is the 6th installment. Story is good and the social commentary is also relevant. But I have found his narrative style a little choppy, running between concurrent events, in an attempt to keeping readers in suspense as to the characters' respective fate.

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EllenMSmith
Oct 30, 2019

John LeCarre for the Brexit era

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NedSu
Jul 03, 2019

While I thoroughly enjoyed this latest Slough House novel and can't wait for another, I was a little taken aback by the mood of this novel. Sure, all the trademarks of the author were extent- witty, pithy, and profane dialogue and put downs, a convoluted plot, and snide asides at the politics of the present. But the overall mood was more somber, and death was more than a side story, an device to further the plot. Maybe Herron is setting us up for the end of the series. Don't get me wrong- Herron is the best spy novelist currently writing. He is reminisant or Deighton and Le Carre in creating a realistic world of spy vs spy. I just wonder if the strain of creating Slow Horse stories is getting too much for him. As a reader, I hope not.

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Dobby321
Jun 19, 2019

I would recommend that the reader has already read the previous five Slough House books. Since I had read the entire series Joe Country was more understandable and easier to follow. I certainly hope there are more to come.

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emerge
Jun 09, 2019

This is one of my all time favourite series, an annual no-brainer purchase. Last year Herron gave us a shortie called The Drop & that story line plus a couple of the characters are woven into this outing.

It all begins with a prologue that will have fans on edge. There are bodies in a barn in Wales. And rumour has it some agents from Slough House were involved. Hold that thought. You’re about to find out how some Slow Horses ended up dashing through the snow in the Welsh countryside.

As usual there are multiple story lines on the go. River Cartwright is finally burying his grandfather. The old spook’s funeral is a solemn & covert affair. Right up until….well, let me just point out Jackson Lamb & his crew are in attendance. Did you really expect normal?

Louisa Guy is still mourning the death of fellow agent Min Harper. They had a relationship of sorts so when Min’s widow gets in touch to request they meet, Louisa’s not sure it’s a good idea. It seems their teenage son Lucas is missing & Min’s wife thinks the least Louisa can do is find him. Eventually she agrees & uses her contacts to track him to…Wales?

Meanwhile over in Regents Part, Diana Taverner has a problem. Hannah Weiss is a double agent who infiltrated the German intelligence service for MI6. Not so long ago, things got a little messy & Lady Di cleaned up by “promoting” Lech Wicinski, a low level agent who got stuck in the middle. Yep, he now reports to Jackson Lamb. Even worse, he shares an office with Roddy Ho. Yeesh, talk about kicking someone when they’re down. All Lech can do is find those responsible for his spectacular fall from grace.

As for Lamb, he’d have been happy to continue spending his days devising new ways to offend his merry band of misfits. But events at the funeral put that on hold. He’s finally got a chance for revenge on an old foe & some off-the-books digging reveals his prey is in….Wales? Huh. Must be getting a bit crowded over there.

Once again I tried to slowly dole out the chapters & once again I failed. For me, these books are like potato chips. It’s impossible to have a little taste then put them away. After the prologue, this one slows down as the author sets the stage for everything to come. I love the way he makes Slough House another living, breathing character that quietly observes the poor souls who trudge through its door every day. There are many strands to the plot & he keeps them running smoothly until they inevitably intersect. Along the way you’re treated to action, intrigue, twists & laughs. No one does dry black humour quite like Herron & I’ve learned my lesson about reading his books in public. But on the upside, it turns out snorting & grinning like a loon ensures you get a seat to yourself on the train.

Beneath the humour & zany antics are serious moments of grief & loss. This is an author who doesn’t shy away from killing off a beloved character & the tradition continues here. The ending makes it clear there’s a conspiracy in the works, one even Lamb may not survive. And so the wait for the next one begins & I swear I’ll read it slowly (sure).

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