Where the disgraced spies go to work…
What is the Slough House series about?
From British mystery and thriller novelist Mick Herron, the Slough House series takes us to London, England, to follow a group of disgraced spies.
The Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies are relegated when their careers are derailed. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them or they drink a little too much.
Now, if they want to get back in the action, they have to collaborate with one another.
The Slough House series has been adapted for television by Apple TV+ under the title “Slow Horses” starring Gary Oldman, Jack Lowden, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
How to read the Slough House Books in Order?
This series is also called the Jackson Lamb Series and the Slow Horses series.
- Slow Horses – When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, River Cartwright sees an opportunity to redeem himself. But is the victim who he first appears to be? And what’s the kidnappers’ connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone has his own agenda.
- Dead Lions – Dickie Bow is not an obvious target for assassination. But once a spook, always a spook. And Dickie was a talented streetwalker back in the day before he turned up dead on a bus. A shadow. Good at following people, bringing home their secrets. Dickie was in Berlin with Jackson Lamb. Now Lamb’s got his phone, and on it the last secret Dickie ever told, and reason to believe an old-time Moscow-style op is being run in the Service’s back yard.
- The List (short story) – Dieter Hess, an aged spy, is dead, and John Bachelor, his MI5 handler, is in deep, deep trouble. Death has revealed that the deceased had been keeping a secret second bank account-and there’s only ever one reason a spy has a secret second bank account. The question of whether he was a double agent must be resolved, and its answer may undo an entire career’s worth of spy secrets.
- Real Tigers – Catherine Standish knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks. She’s worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back. What she doesn’t know is why anyone would target her: a recovering drunk pushing paper with the other lost causes in Jackson Lamb’s kingdom of exiles at Slough House. Whoever it is holding her hostage, it can’t be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it is about Jackson Lamb.
- Spook Street – Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. And he’s not as defenseless as they might think. He has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Jackson Lamb’s team of no-hopers at Slough House. So it’s Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright’s panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ. And Lamb who will do whatever he thinks necessary to protect an agent in peril…
- London Rules – London rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one. Cover your arse. Regent’s Park’s First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he’s facing attack from all directions himself.
- The Marylebone Drop (short story) – Old spooks carry the memory of tradecraft in their bones, and when Solomon Dortmund sees an envelope being passed from one pair of hands to another in a Marylebone café, he knows he’s witnessed more than an innocent encounter. But in relaying his suspicions to John Bachelor, who babysits retired spies like Solly for MI5, he sets in motion a train of events that will alter lives.
- Joe Country – 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.
- The Catch (short story) – If life in the Intelligence Service has taught John Bachelor anything, it’s to keep his head down. Especially now, when he’s living rent-free in a dead spook’s flat. So he’s not delighted to be woken at dawn by a pair of Regent’s Park’s heavies, looking for a client he’s not seen in years.
- Slough House – At Slough House-MI5’s London depository for demoted spies-Brexit has taken a toll. The “slow horses” have been pushed further into the cold, Slough House has been erased from official records, and its members are dying in unusual circumstances, at an unusual clip. No wonder Jackson Lamb’s crew is feeling paranoid. But are they actually target?
- Bad Actors – In London’s MI5 headquarters a scandal is brewing that could disgrace the entire intelligence community. The Downing Street super forecaster-a specialist who advises the Prime Minister’s office on how policy is likely to be received by the electorate-has disappeared without a trace. Claude Whelan, who was once head of MI5, has been tasked with tracking her down. Over at Slough House, where Jackson Lamb presides over some of MI5’s most embittered demoted agents, the slow horses are doing what they do best, and adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation . . .
- Standing by the Wall: A Slough House Interlude (novella) – Roddy Ho is used to being the one the slow horses turn to when they need miracles performed, and he’s always been Jackson Lamb’s Number Two. So when Lamb has a photograph that needs doctoring, it’s Ho he entrusts with the task. Christmas is a time for memories, but Lamb doesn’t do memories – or so he says. But what is it about the photo that makes him want to alter it? How would the slow horses cope if Roddy Ho didn’t exist? And most importantly of all, are the team having Christmas drinks, and if so, where?