Book review – Real Tigers

Real Tigers (2016) is the third book in Mick Herron’s Jackson Lamb series.  Unlike my previous book review (of Malice) I didn’t jump in halfway through the series.  I read the first two in the Jackson Lamb series earlier this year and reviewed them subsequently.  While I ended that review by saying that I prefer the style of Charles Cumming to that of Mick Herron, I nevertheless said I’d plan on reading more Herron, so I’m nothing if not true to my word!

This time round the proverbial race track, one of the ‘slow horses’ is kidnapped and the cost of releasing them means the other horses breaking into MI5 HQ to steal certain politically charged information.  As ever, there’s more than meets the eye here, with plotting going on everywhere and at all levels.  Herron seems to have ramped-up the political conniving as well as the action factor, which in my opinion is a good thing on both fronts.   We also get to spend more time with the ensemble and it seems here that the characters are growing bit by bit.  You’ll have to have read the first two books to have noticed, and I think this is probably the right thing to do here, as the book carries with it sufficient history to make it hard to read as a standalone novel, albeit not impossible.

I enjoyed this as much as, if not more so, than the first two books and I’m sure that I’ll have read the fourth and most recent installment by the end of the year.  I’m still waiting to explore more of Jackson Lamb’s past and hope that we’ll get there soon enough.