The Marylebone Drop - Mick Herron

This is a short story from the author of the fabulous “Slow Horses” series. It’s in a similar vein but a little darker in tone & the only character from that series who features here is Diana Taverner, MI5’s own “Iron Lady”.


Instead we get reacquainted with John Bachelor, an old spook mentioned in a previous story by Herron. John’s in the process of being not so much nudged as pushed out to pasture. After years with British Intelligence, he has little to show except a part time job babysitting some third string spies left over from the good old (and “cold”) days.


John is preoccupied with finding somewhere to sleep tonight when he’s contacted by Solomon Dortmund, one of his ancient charges. Sol may be long retired but he knows a drop when he sees one & once he describes the people involved he’s got John’s attention. The woman sounds a little too like Hannah Weiss. She’s a German asset John turned into a double agent. Just what he needs….his one shining success turning into a train wreck.


And they’re off. As John quietly investigates Sol’s story he’s pulled back into the world of lies, favours & double crosses. It’s spy vs. spy as John’s actions set in motion a chain of events that have ramifications for all involved. But he still has a few tricks up his sleeve & you’ll be cheering for him to pull it off under the nose of Lady Di. A few nice twists will keep you guessing as you’re trying to figure out who’s on the same side.


Herron is one of my favourite authors & I expect his stuff to be smart & intricately plotted. It’s amazing how much he weaves together in such a small space (the last 30% is actually a preview for “London Rules”). It’s always a loooong wait between books so it was a pleasure to have a little snack to help tide me over between meals.


In other news, it's been a crap week so here's a pic of my new nephew "Timbit" chugging down a bottle (my brother is caring for an orphaned racoon). Apparently he goes into a coma right after. Might have a drinking problem....(Timbit, not my brother)