Mick Herron is a British author renowned for his compelling contributions to the espionage and thriller genres. Born in Newcastle, England, he studied English at Balliol College, Oxford, and worked in various fields, including publishing, before establishing himself as a prolific writer.
Herron is best known for his captivating “Jackson Lamb” series, which showcases his talent for crafting intricate, character-driven narratives filled with dark humor and suspense.
Table of Contents
Mick Herron’s Writing Genre/Style
Mick Herron’s writing style is marked by its sharp wit, layered character development, and masterful plotting. He specializes in espionage and thriller genres, crafting stories that blend intrigue, suspense, and dark humor to create gripping and thought-provoking narratives that resonate with readers.
List of Mick Herron‘s Books in Order
- Non-Series Books By Mick Herron
|S No.||Non-Series Books||Book’ Price|
|1||Nobody Walks (2015)||Check Price|
|2||This is What Happened (2018)||Check Price|
|3||The Secret Hours (2023)||Check Price|
- Short Story Collection By Mick Herron
|S No.||Short Story Collection||Book’ Price|
|1||All the Livelong Day (2013)||Check Price|
|2||Dolphin Junction (2021)||Check Price|
- Oxford: A Series by Mick Herron
|S No.||Book From Oxford Series||Book’ Price|
|1.||Down Cemetery Road||Check Price|
|2.||The Last Voice You Hear||Check Price|
|3.||Why We Die||Check Price|
|4.||Smoke and Whispers||Check Price|
- Slough House: A Series by Mick Herron
- Novellas By Mick Herron (While these may not be full-length novels, they are considered canon and contributes to the overall narrative of the Slough House series.)
|S No.||Slough House Novellas||Book’ Price|
|2.5||The List (2015)||Check Price|
|5.5||The Drop (2018)||Check Price|
|6.5||The Catch (2020)||Check Price|
|8.5||Standing by the Wall (2022)||Check Price|
|8.6||Standing by the Wall: A Slough House Interlude (2022)||Check Price|
Mick Herron’s Literary Contribution & Awards
Mick Herron has made a significant literary contribution through his captivating espionage novels, most notably the “Jackson Lamb” series. His works have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated following for their unique blend of intelligence, humor, and suspense.
While specific awards may vary, Herron’s ability to redefine and invigorate the espionage genre has solidified his place as a prominent figure in contemporary thriller literature. His novels continue to engage readers and captivate critics alike, making him a noteworthy and influential author in the genre.
Mick Herron’s Books in Reading Order
Non-Series Books By Mick Herron
1. Nobody Walks
- Logline: Tom Bettany returns to London to uncover the truth about his estranged son’s mysterious death.
- Publishing Year: 2015
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.08 (4,430 ratings, 372 reviews)
Tom Bettany, working in a French meat processing plant, is shocked when he receives a voicemail from an unfamiliar Englishwoman about the death of his estranged son, Liam, who tragically fell from his London balcony. Having severed all ties years prior, Bettany finds himself back in London, driven by guilt and suspicion, determined to understand the events surrounding Liam’s death.
Whether he’s piecing together a complex plot or merely grappling with his own guilt, he’s committed to discovering the truth, even if it ruffles powerful feathers. Yet, his return doesn’t go unnoticed; figures ranging from mob bosses to MI5 elites have taken interest. Although he tried leaving it all behind, it becomes evident that walking away isn’t simple.
2. This Is What Happened
- Logline: Maggie Barnes, an unnoticed individual, becomes MI5’s hope to thwart an international plot threatening Britain.
- Publishing Year: 2018
- Goodreads Ratings: 3.34 (3,193 ratings, 421 reviews)
Maggie Barnes, at twenty-six, is the kind of person who could easily disappear unnoticed in the vastness of London. With an estranged sister as her only known family and barely any close relationships, she leads an anonymous existence.
But, it’s precisely this invisibility that makes her a perfect candidate for MI5. As they recruit her to infiltrate the establishment and counteract a looming international threat, Maggie suddenly finds herself in a position where her choices could safeguard or endanger the whole nation. Amidst the intrigue, she’s offered a shot at heroism, provided she can act swiftly and keep herself alive.
3. The Secret Hours
- Logline: The Monochrome inquiry into MI5 misconduct is thwarted until a mysterious case file from 1994 Berlin emerges.
- Publishing Year: 2023
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.38 (441 ratings, 111 reviews)
The Monochrome inquiry, initiated by a hostile Prime Minister, aimed to uncover any misconduct by MI5 officers by granting Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle unrestricted access to confidential service archives. Despite their extensive powers, the duo found their efforts stymied by MI5’s First Desk, a masterful spy who reached her position through merit.
However, as the regime that founded Monochrome falls, and the investigation is deemed a failure, Griselda and Malcolm witness their careers wane like the London rain. Things take a turn on the eve of Monochrome’s closure when an unexplained MI5 case file appears, detailing a covert operation in 1994 Berlin that ended in tragedy and scandal—a cover-up that changed three decades of MI5’s history.
“The Secret Hours” provides a thrilling and humorous standalone insight into Mick Herron’s universe and serves as the anticipated secret history for Slough House enthusiasts.
Oxford: A Series by Mick Herron
1. Down Cemetery Road
- Logline: Sarah Tucker searches for a missing girl and stumbles upon a deadly conspiracy.
- Publishing Year: 2003
- Goodreads Ratings: 3.89 (3,695 ratings, 273 reviews)
In the wake of a house explosion in a tranquil Oxford suburb and the subsequent disappearance of a young girl, Sarah Tucker, a discontented housewife, becomes engrossed in finding the child. As she delves deeper into the mystery, Sarah starts questioning all she once believed.
Her quest leads her to discover that those presumed dead are still alive, while the living are rapidly meeting their end. The climax of her investigation takes her to a desolate Scottish island, aligning her with a man pursued by lethal official forces.
2. The Last Voice You Hear
- Logline: Detective Zoë Boehm delves into mysterious deaths and dark secrets, challenging her own traumatic past.
- Publishing Year: 2004
- Goodreads Ratings: 3.91 (2,037 ratings, 134 reviews)
Zoë Boehm strictly avoids dealing with death, but in Mick Herron’s novel, she finds herself entangled with three. She still grapples with the emotional trauma of having killed a man in self-defense. Memories of Wez, a young boy she knew who fell from a tower block, haunt her.
And then there’s Caroline Daniels, whose death on a train track is labeled accidental. But Caroline’s employer believes there’s more to the story, especially with rumors of a secret lover. As Zoë dives into the investigation, she’s convinced that Caroline’s death was no accident, and neither was Wez’s. She now finds herself on the dangerous path of hunting two killers, hoping they don’t find her first.
3. Why We Die
- Logline: Various lives intertwine with crime, secrets, and fate as Tim meets Katrina and Zoë faces deadly challenges.
- Publishing Year: 2006
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.03 (1,311 ratings, 101 reviews)
When Tim Whitby checks into a hotel, he doesn’t anticipate an exit being so challenging — until he crosses paths with Katrina Blake, a damsel requiring aid. Simultaneously, Arkle, Baxter, and Trent inherit a family enterprise but have expedited, albeit violent, plans to amass wealth.
Concurrently, Zoë Boehm is hired to identify masked robbers who targeted Harold Sweeney’s jewelry store, seeking to clear her tax evasion. Unexpectedly, she faces a grim fate. With Arkle wielding a crossbow and each character nursing private dilemmas and secrets, the story narrates a tapestry of intertwined destinies where both death and taxes are inevitabilities.
4. Smoke and Whispers
- Logline: Oxford detective Zoë Boehm’s mysterious death propels Sarah Tucker into a distrustful investigation.
- Publishing Year: 2009
- Goodreads Ratings: 3.99 (1,345 ratings, 86 reviews)
Sarah Tucker is jolted into action when a body is discovered in the River Tyne, identified as private detective Zoë Boehm. This discovery spirals Sarah into a myriad of questions: Did Zoë take her own life or is a past case to blame?
The fact that Zoë was wearing a jacket linked to a prior murder only deepens the enigma. To further complicate matters, Gerard Inchon, Sarah’s old adversary, finds himself at the same dilapidated hotel. Dismissing the idea of mere coincidence, Sarah becomes resolute in uncovering the truth, even as the search becomes increasingly perilous.
- Logline: An unexpected hostage situation at South Oxford Nursery School unveils deeper secrets and conspiracies.
- Publishing Year: 2008
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.09 (1,926 ratings, 155 reviews)
A routine pick-up takes a dark turn, spiraling into a full-blown hostage crisis at South Oxford Nursery School. As teacher Louise Kennedy and others fear the worst, it becomes clear that Jaime Segura isn’t there with murderous intent. He’s just as terrified as his hostages.
The situation becomes even more complicated when the only person Jaime wishes to speak to is Ben Whistler, an MI6 accountant previously linked to Jaime’s lover, Miro. Miro has disappeared, along with a significant sum meant for Iraq’s reconstruction.
While Jaime remains convinced of Miro’s innocence, it emerges that many involved, both inside and outside the school, have their own concealed truths. As the clock ticks, Bad Sam Chapman from the intelligence service’s internal security, races to uncover Jaime’s objectives, while others would prefer Jaime be permanently silenced.
Slough House: A Series by Mick Herron
1. Slow Horses
- Logline: Washed-up MI5 spies in Slough House seek redemption and action amidst an abduction threat.
- Publishing Year: 2010
- Goodreads Ratings: 3.96 (34,619 ratings, 3,676 reviews)
Located in London, Slough House is the dwelling for MI5 spies who’ve bungled their careers—known derogatorily as “slow horses”. Regardless of their individual reasons for being there—whether it be a botched operation, internal politics, or personal vices—they all share a common desire: to get back into the field.
River Cartwright is one such agent, languishing in the tedious role of transcribing phone conversations. However, when news of a young man’s abduction surfaces, with threats of a live online beheading, River senses an opportunity for redemption.
But as the countdown to the execution begins, River unravels deeper conspiracies, questioning the true identity of the victim and the motives behind the abduction. Everyone, it seems, has a hidden agenda.
2. Dead Lions
- Logline: Disgraced MI5 agents from Slough House stumble upon a Cold War-era conspiracy involving sleeper cells and legendary spies.
- Publishing Year: 2013
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.07 (19,269 ratings, 1,641 reviews)
The MI5 agents of Slough House, where the failed spies are relegated to desk duty, unexpectedly find themselves back in action. Tasked with protecting a Russian oligarch, they hope to bring him over to British intelligence.
Concurrently, an old spy, Dickie Bow, is discovered dead on a bus in Oxford. Though initially considered a natural death, Jackson Lamb, the head of Slough House, believes it to be a murder. The agents’ investigation unveils a complex web of Cold War-era secrets.
Central to these mysteries is Alexander Popov, a figure described either as a Soviet myth or the world’s most perilous individual. The team grapples with a pressing question: how many will die to keep these secrets concealed?
3. Real Tigers
- Logline: Disgraced MI5 agents must navigate kidnapping and conspiracies, revealing threats to MI5’s future.
- Publishing Year: 2016
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.27 (16,657 ratings, 1,198 reviews)
Slough House in London is the unceremonious dumping ground for MI5 operatives who’ve fallen from grace. Known as “slow horses”, these agents are relegated to mundane paper-pushing. But when one of their own is abducted by an ex-soldier seeking vengeance, they’re propelled into a high-stakes mission.
Tasked with infiltrating Regent’s Park and stealing critical intelligence to secure their colleague’s release, they unearth an expansive conspiracy. This web of deceit involves not just mercenaries but reaches the highest echelons of the Security Service. Previously the laughingstock, the “slow horses” now find themselves at the center of a plot endangering MI5’s very existence.
4. Spook Street
- Logline: River Cartwright grapples with his senile spy grandfather’s paranoia while investigating a devastating terror attack.
- Publishing Year: 2017
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.39 (14,082 ratings, 1,073 reviews)
River Cartwright confronts a dilemma as his grandfather, a Cold War spy, starts showing signs of dementia, forgetting even basic proprieties like wearing pants, and becoming increasingly paranoid of everyone around him.
River ponders whether this is a consequence of knowing too many state secrets or just the decline of old age. In addition to this personal crisis, River faces a professional one when a bomb detonates in a shopping center, claiming the lives of forty civilians. Now, the agents of Slough House are racing against time to identify and halt the perpetrators before they strike again.
5. London Rules
- Logline: Amidst political intrigue and terror attacks, Regent’s Park’s First Desk, Claude Whelan, struggles on all fronts, while the Slough House crew battles personal demons.
- Publishing Year: 2018
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.33 (12,350 ratings, 921 reviews)
“London Rules” may be unwritten, but everyone understands the primary one: Cover yourself. Claude Whelan, the First Desk of Regent’s Park, grapples with this as he’s tasked with guarding a vulnerable prime minister.
As threats mount from a grandstanding MP responsible for the Brexit vote and the MP’s journalist wife, Whelan is particularly wary of his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner. The nation is simultaneously shaken by a sequence of seemingly random terrorist attacks, and there’s a target on Roddy Ho.
Over in Slough House, the team is entangled in personal challenges ranging from unexpressed sorrow to suspicions about their latest team member’s sanity. Despite this, they are about to epitomize their expertise in escalating bad situations. Thankfully, Jackson Lamb understands the rules, ensuring they aren’t unintentionally broken.
6. Joe Country
- Logline: In Slough House, memories stir, and the slow horses are sent on a perilous mission into joe country.
- Publishing Year: 2019
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.28 (10,138 ratings, 798 reviews)
At Slough House, the past haunts its inhabitants. Catherine Standish is sliding back into alcoholism, Louisa Guy can’t move past her previous relationship, and newcomer Lech Wicinski, already an outcast among the slow horses due to his past deeds, is on a personal mission to find out who ruined his professional life.
Diana Taverner, stationed at Regent’s Park, faces challenges in her role as First Desk. She’s considering alliances with some old and dubious acquaintances. As winter descends, Jackson Lamb wants nothing more than to be left to his dark thoughts, but he can’t overlook the signs of violence surrounding him. When the person responsible emerges, Lamb dispatches the slow horses on a mission of revenge. Their destination: joe country. However, not all of them are expected to return.
7. Slough House
- Logline: Amidst Brexit, Slough House faces mysterious accidents and a threat from the Russian secret service.
- Publishing Year: 2021
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.41 (10,506 ratings, 794 reviews)
In the backdrop of a fully engaged Brexit, the Slough House faces a reduction in its members due to unexplained mishaps. The seventh book in this series remains as compelling and timely as its predecessors.
A year following a significant mistake by the Russian secret service, which resulted in a British citizen’s death due to novichok poisoning, Diana Taverner is determined to take matters into her own hands. Her dissatisfaction with the government’s lackluster response pushes her to strike a deal with the shrewd Peter Judd, risking losing everything she has worked for. Concurrently, the ‘slow horses’ of Slough House, grappling with their recent losses and fearing their obscurity, grow suspicious.
As they are omitted from Service records and face continuous fatal incidents, their anxiety increases. While the changing world puts up everything for sale to the topmost bidder, it becomes hostile for those seen as excess. The ideal approach would be to find refuge and wait for the storm to subside, but the slow horses are not known for wise decisions. With adversaries surrounding them, even Jackson Lamb struggles to shield his team.
8. Bad Actors
- Logline: Claude Whelan searches for a missing think-tank member, leading to suspicion within the MI5 and chaos in Slough House.
- Publishing Year: 2022
- Goodreads Ratings: 4.38 (8,991 ratings, 634 reviews)
Claude Whelan, former head of MI5’s Regent’s Park, is assigned the duty of finding a missing member from a governmental think-tank. Unexpectedly, the search points back to Regent’s Park, placing Diana Taverner under suspicion. With her potential overreach and the appearance of Moscow’s First Desk in London, uncertainties arise.
Additionally, Jackson Lamb’s elusive nature adds to the mystery. At Slough House, with some members absent and new recruit Ashley Khan stirring things up, the slow horses amplify the turmoil. The world of politics is messy, with deceit and treachery as standard. In such a realm, even the good guys might find themselves outmatched.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is Mick Herron?
Mick Herron is a renowned British mystery and thriller novelist, best known for his Slough House series.
- What is the Slough House series by Mick Herron?
The Slough House series revolves around MI5 agents who are sidelined due to various failures. The series has been adapted into the television show “Slow Horses.”
- Has Mick Herron won any awards for his novels?
Yes, Mick Herron has received numerous accolades, including the Crime Writers’ Association 2013 Gold Dagger award for “Dead Lions.”
- Where was Mick Herron educated?
Mick Herron was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he pursued a degree in English.
- What was Mick Herron’s debut novel?
Mick Herron’s first novel is “Down Cemetery Road,” which was published in 2003. It’s the inaugural volume in a series about Zoë Boehm, an Oxford private detective.
- How many books are in the Slough House series as of December 2022?
As of December 2022, the Slough House series comprises eight novels, along with several related novellas and events in associated novels.
- Who is the lead character in the Slough House series?
The lead character of the Slough House series is Jackson Lamb. Herron has mentioned that this character was inspired by Reginald Hill’s Andy Dalziel.
- Has the Slough House series been adapted for television?
Yes, the Slough House series has been adapted into a TV series titled “Slow Horses,” with Gary Oldman playing the role of Jackson Lamb. The show is available on Apple TV+.
- Which publishers have released Mick Herron’s novels?
Mick Herron’s “Slow Horses” was initially published by Constable in 2010. However, due to sales concerns, Soho took over the publishing rights in the United States. From 2015, John Murray began republishing the series in the UK.
- Where does Mick Herron currently reside?
Mick Herron lives in Oxford, England, and in his free time, he enjoys playing squash.