Dead Lions, Mick Herron 2013
The second novel in the Slough House series by this award-winning Brit. Slough House is the place where M-15, the British intelligence service, sends their failures and mess-ups who they can’t fire for one reason or another. Led by Jackson Lamb, a consummate pro and complete slob, the failures of Slough House, who are usually assigned make-work meaningless projects in an attempt to drive them to retirement, are recruited to do security for a visiting Russian oligarch and the action gets fast and furious before the book comes to a heart-pounding conclusion. It’s difficult to describe the plot of a mystery without giving away the surprise ending, so I’ll just say that Herron writes taut plot lines and very clever dialogue and creates memorable and vivid characters. This was the perfect way to spend a rainy, sheltering in place afternoon on the couch.