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Some curses aren’t meant to be broken . . .

Real Tigers

Real Tigers, January 2016
Slough House #3
by Mick Herron

Soho Press
336 pages
ISBN: 1616956127
EAN: 9781616956127
Kindle: B00WPQUFW0
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List


"Will the agents of Slough House be able to rescue one of their own before it is too late?"

Fresh Fiction Review

Real Tigers
Mick Herron

Reviewed by Tanzey Cutter
Posted January 19, 2016


Slough House is the least desirable division of the British Intelligence Service. With the slovenly Jackson Lamb as its department head, Slough House is the section of MI5 where discredited agents, dubbed Slow Horses, deal with closed cases while uselessly crunching numbers and chasing their tales. Every Slow Horse knows there is no going back from this demotion, but they all hold firmly to the belief they might just be the exception. Daily interactions at meaningless jobs does not make for close relationships among the disgruntled agents.

However, when Catherine Standish is kidnapped on her way to work at Slough House, her fellow agents are thrust into a situation with far-reaching implications. Misdirection abounds as the Slow Horses work to save their fellow agent and thwart a devious government conspiracy. It seems the Home Secretary wants Slough House closed down by whatever means it takes, so he sends in a "Tiger Team" to test the strength of MI5's defenses. However, when things do not go as planned, will the Slow Horses find a way to redeem themselves?

In REAL TIGERS, Mick Herron skillfully builds each Slow Horse agent's personality and defects while recounting their hopeless jobs at Slough House. After reading and reviewing the first two books in this distinctive British series, SLOW HORSES and DEAD LIONS, and enjoying their quirky characters, I was optimistic about REAL TIGERS. Even though the initial plot progress is a tad slow, which I felt apropos, it was never sluggish and quickly picked up speed. Though I was familiar with the main cast of characters, it took some concentration on my part to differentiate the secondary participants and the copious schemes. I certainly enjoyed all the little surprising plot twists along the way to the wickedly delightful conclusion. It will be interesting to see what is next for these Slow Horses.

Learn more about Real Tigers


London: 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. The kidnapping is only the tip of the iceberg, however—the agents uncover a larger web of intrigue that involves not only a group of private mercenaries but the highest authorities in the Secret Service. After years spent as the lowest on the totem pole, the Slow Horses suddenly find themselves caught in the midst of a conspiracy that threatens not only the future of Slough House, but of MI5 itself.

What do you think about this review?


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