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Real Tigers by Mick Herron
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Real Tigers

by Mick Herron

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1006120,775 (4.13)7
2010s (1) 2016 (1) 2017 (2) 2549 (1) adult (2) crime (2) Crime & Thrillers (1) crime fiction (1) ebook (2) England (2) espionage (3) fiction (7) GW (1) James (1) Kindle (2) London (4) Margie (1) MI5 (4) murder (1) mystery (4) mystery/thriller (1) read (2) read in 2017 (2) Slough House (2) Spide (1) spooks (2) spy (5) the black arrow (1) thriller (3) to-read (5)
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    Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler (hairball)
    hairball: The tone of Real Tigers put me in mind of the Bryant & May series. While the subjects are very different, the characters are, if not of a piece, then cut from the same cake.
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Mick Herron’s series featuring the inimitable Jackson Lamb and his team of ‘slow horses’ goes from strength to strength. Lamb himself is an extraordinary creation, reminiscent of Reginald Hill’s burly and crass Superintendent Andy Dalziel, only far more dishevelled and boorish. His ‘slow horses’ are cast-offs from the elite world of MI5, each having been consigned to the equivalent of intelligence Siberia following a spectacular failure. They are a mixed bunch: Catherine Standish, middle aged and alcoholic, battling to make it through each day without slipping off the wagon; River Cartwright, whose survival in the Service might owe much to his grandfather who was one of its legendary figures; Louisa Guy, still grieving the loss of her partner who died during a misconceived operation the previous year; and Roderick Ho, the team’s computer nerd who takes dysfunctional behaviour to a new level.

This time around, the team finds itself under renewed pressure. Senior officials at the Service’s headquarters have lost patience with the slow horses, as has a politically ambitious Home Secretary. There are, however, greater dangers facing the slow horses, and these become evident when one of them is kidnapped and held hostage.

Herron is adept at developing watertight plots which he then peoples with colourful characters. His dialogue is masterful, too, peppered with hilarious exchanges though never to the extent that they compromise the serious narrative thread. The overall effect is intensely entertaining. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Mar 1, 2017 |
In this novel, the third in the Slough House series, Catherine is kidnapped by an old drinking buddy and River tries to save her by accessing the Home Secretary's personal records. This is just the kicking off point, of course, but I did find it a bit odd that River would act as he did. While it is necessary for the plot, I would have expected him to have sought support, rather than acting alone. And maybe it was just me, but I couldn't work out how the Batman/Spiderman prologue fitted in; there was a page explaining how it was linked, but it made no sense to me. Anyway...

Marcus and Shirley are much more the focus of this instalment and go a long way to proving that they do indeed deserve to be at Slough House. There was a lot of very entertaining humour as usual, a lot of it directed at Ho. While the plot was as twisty as usual, there was also a fair amount of action, perhaps too much really for my taste - I do prefer more intellectual intriguing. Perhaps slightly more of Catherine musing about alcohol than was strictly necessary too. The ending leaves open threads which cause me to hope there will be a next chapter to the series. ( )
  pgchuis | May 5, 2016 |
A generally entertaining spy thriller with a twist -- instead of a story about the best agents working for MI5 in England, it's a story about the agents who mess up their careers (perhaps before they even become a field agent) and end up in the misfit office called Slough House. Biggest problem is that the story starts VERY slowly, and if I had not read Mick Herron previously, I might have given up on the book. But once the action starts, Herron is quite adept at keeping the reader engaged until the end. ( )
  Randall.Hansen | May 4, 2016 |
I chose to read Mick Herron’s “Real Tigers” because of the glowing reviews. I’m always in search of a literate new series, and who wouldn’t want to try a book that Publisher’s Weekly describes as “A superb thriller . . . Herron may be the most literate, and slyest, thriller writer in English today.”

And, while my overall reaction isn’t glowing, it is favorable. I’ll probably go back and start with the first book in the series, which, on retrospection, I should have done in the first place. “Real Tigers” is Book 3 in the saga of the disgraced MI5 operatives of Slough House.

While the novel is complex, I found it slow going at first. Reading the first third was a chore. Then the multiple plots began to be explored and in the last third, they came together in a much livelier manner.

Even the black humor became more frequent and I found myself laughing aloud (in public no less) at Herron’s phrasing and clever thrusts.

Mick Herron is indeed as talented as promised; the book is entertaining and sly once the reader becomes familiar with the terrain.

(A reader's copy was provided by the publisher.) ( )
  dianaleez | Dec 2, 2015 |
Great addition to this series. Jackson Lamb continues to be an equal opportunity offender while his crew of banished agents get caught up in a violent squabble between power hungry higher-ups within MI5. The plot is layered & riddled with red herrings & misdirection. As usual, you find yourself laughing at the most inappropriate moments. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Oct 15, 2015 |
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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.… (more)

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