Spook Street

Soho Crime. (Slough House, Bk. 4). Feb. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781616956479. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616956486. F
"Slow horses" (failed spies) are back in the spotlight with a whirlwind descent into the perils of dementia when a deteriorating old spook starts leaking some of his work stories to local tradesmen. Alarmed, his grandson, River Cartwright, consults an office mate. Both of them are members of the despised Slough House unit where agents with "issues" are condemned to slow death by boredom. But not today! The old spook is a linchpin in an American agent's project to create an elite force of provocateurs. An overzealous member of this force freelances a terrorist incident. To keep things quiet, the granddad has to be eliminated.
VERDICT In this fourth breathtaking installment (after Real Tigers) of this lively espionage series, Herron is never wrong-footed. Funny, biting, and devastating in his insights into the culture of espionage and antiterrorism, this supremely confident author devises characters and plots that in other hands would surely turn to mush.
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