Book review – Spook Street

Spook Street (2017) is the fourth and latest of Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series.  I’ve read (and reviewed) all four of them this year, so I guess it’s fair to say that I’m a fan.

Spook Street finds us revisiting Slough House, complete with our regular Slow Horses and some new Horses thrown in for good measure.  The story makes reference throughout to events or characters in previous books, so it’s probably a good idea not to start off your Slow Horses journey (or should that be canter?) with this one.

So where does Spook Street start and what is it about?  David Cartwright (a hero of the Secret Service and River Cartwright’s grandfather) thinks he’s being targeted by agents, foreign or domestic, either for what he knows or doesn’t know, as the agents could be living in his ageing imagination.  When Cartwright Senior’s panic button raises the alarm at Secret Service HQ we’re set for a series of twists and turns, shocking family revelations (can there be any other type?), the return of some fan favourites and the demise of others!

As ever, you can’t say a lot for fear of spoiling the fun.  What I can say is that Lamb is at his antagonistic, brilliant and cynical best (the ABC according to Lamb!).  If he were on stage he would steal the show.  But what keeps things interesting and you wanting to keep turning the page, is the other characters.  Lamb is surrounded by a bunch of misfits who aren’t as incompetent as HQ would have you believe.  Over four books I’ve grown close to these misfits as well as regular characters such as ‘Lady Di’, without whom the book would be lacking in skulduggery of the highest order.

I recommend Spook Street highly and can’t wait to read London Rules, the fifth in the series, when it hits the streets in February next year.