Thursday 16 July 2020

Book Review: Dead Lions by Mick Herron

Dead Lions
Mick Herron

Publisher: John Murray
Publication date: 8th October 2015
Series: Slough House #2
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Pages: 336
Format read: eBook
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley

London's Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what's left of their failed careers. But now the 'slow horses' have a chance at redemption.

An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient secrets that seems to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, and a decades-old conspiracy with a brand-new target: London's newest, tallest skyscraper . . .

Dead Lions is the second book in the Slough House series. Slough (pronounced slow) House is the MI5 dumping ground for screw-ups. Jackson lamb and his band of misfits are joined by two new members to the team.

The teams main job is to complete paper work and endless amounts of data entry but they live in hope of one day returning to head office.

Mick Herron gives the reader a look at some of the characters personal lives and it seems their work misfortune flows over to their everyday life. They all really do come across as a bunch of losers but you can’t help but have some affection for them.

When Min and Louisa are seconded to H.O. to babysit a Russian security team they think this may be their big break.

A long dead myth emerges once again after many years and an old street hand is found dead. Lamb believing he could have been murdered starts an investigation of his own.

The story is told in dual plot lines that cleverly connect for an adrenaline filled, explosive ending.

Herron includes his own brand of humour with sarcasm, hypotheticals and a wry wit that had me laughing out loud throughout the story. The atmosphere is perfectly set for a spy novel on the dimly lit, fog filled streets of London.

Lamb is rude and abrupt to his fellow workers but when it comes to the crunch he is on their side. He is arrogant and oafish but he has an inexplicable appeal.

Herron doesn’t baulk at killing off his characters – Slough House is staffed by crew-ups and there is no shortage of replacements.

This is a must read series! Slough House has been made into a TV series, titled Slow Horses after the first book, on Apple TV starring Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb.

My rating 5/5        ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award
A BBC Front Row best crime novel of the year
A Times crime and thriller book of the year

Mick Herron was born in Newcastle and has a degree in English from Balliol College, Oxford. He is the author of six books in the Slough House series as well as a mystery series set in Oxford featuring Sarah Tucker and/or P.I. Zoë Boehm. He now lives in Oxford and works in London.

Click on the cover to read my review

Slow Horses (Slough House, #1)


  1. A must read series, that's quite a call 🙂

    1. Even if you aren't into spy thrillers this is so well written. The characterisatiion is perfectly executed.