All right class, please take your seats. Today we’re going to continue learning about London Rules, an unwritten guideline for survival in Mick Herron’s world of spy vs. spy. I’m sure you recall #1: Cover your arse. In this novella we get an excellent example of #2: Always be a fair distance from a fuck-up. Words to live by.
Unfortunately, John Bachelor must have misplaced his copy of the rules. Otherwise, he’d never have agreed to track down wayward agent Benny Manors. He might not have contacted MI6 queen bee Diana Taverner. And he definitely wouldn’t have drank his weight in gin.
This novella is part of a series with close ties to Herron’s Slough House books. Like The Drop & The List, it features “milkman” John Bachelor, an aging spook with one foot out to pasture. He’s clinging to employment with a part time job babysitting retired agents. Because someone needs to make sure they don’t become too chatty in their old age.
John is down on his luck & needs to stay off MI6’s radar. But there’s life in the old guy yet & you can’t help pulling for him as things go from bad to cataclysmic. The plot is a devious mix of hidden agendas wrapped in misinformation & smothered with lies.
These novellas have a different tone from the full length novels but you can always count on Herron’s dry wit as he delivers his sly & thinly veiled take on current events. It’s a shortie that concludes with an excerpt from his stand alone novel “This is What Happened”. And a great little snack for fans as we impatiently wait for Jackson Lamb to reappear.