Sam Radford

April 5, 2021

Book Notes: “Slow Horses” by Mick Herron

Until two weeks ago I’d never heard of Mick Herron. Nor his series of spy novels. It was Om Malik who drew my attention to him, writing about the newest book in the series. My curiosity was piqued and I ordered a copy of the first book.

I’m glad I did. I’ve never been a big reader of spy fiction. No real reason. Just haven’t. I read – and enjoyed – John le Carré’s Agent Running in the Field last year, but that’s as far as it goes.

Interestingly, Mick Herron is referred to by some as the new John le Carré. I don’t think reading one book by each warrants me making any comparison. So I’ll leave that to others.

As to Slow Horses, if you’re looking for a good spy novel, I can recommend this. It took me a little while to adjust to Herron’s writing style but, after that, I was hooked.

The book centres around a band of banished spies. AKA ‘slow horses’. Demoted from real spy work, they’re left pushing paper. But, once a spy, always a spy. When a boy is kidnapped and held hostage, they can’t just sit and watch. And things aren’t what they seem.

It’s full of intrigue and mystery, twists and turns. And you can’t help but root for this band of misfits. The blend of a contemporary yet gritty vibe adds to the book’s allure too. 

I’ll definitely be reading the next in the series soon. And looking forward to the forthcoming TV adaption on Apple TV+.

Have you read this? What did you think? Any other good spy novel recommendations? I'd love to hear from you – just hit reply or drop me a note. I read all your messages, and always try to respond. 

–Sam