Crime fiction round-up: Mick Herron charts decline of British secret services

Plus new thrills from Sam Blake, Walter Ellis, Cherie Jones and Lara Thompson

Mick Herron: writer of Slough House. Photograph: Mikael Buck

Mick Herron: writer of Slough House. Photograph: Mikael Buck

Moral certainty is a luxury no decent spy novelist can afford, and especially now that the old ideologies have been replaced by variations on neo-liberal capitalism.

Mick Herron’s Slough House (John Murray, £11.99) is the latest in a series of novels that have charted the decline of the British secret services, in which the “slow horses” of British intelligence – the goofs, screw-ups and no-hopers – have been exiled to the purdah of Slough House, which is run by the Cold War veteran Jackson Lamb.

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