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Real Tigers

On sale

3rd March 2022

Price: £9.99

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, 2017

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781399803298
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*Discover The Secret Hours, the gripping new thriller from Mick Herron and an unmissable read for Slough House fans*

*Now a major TV series starring Gary Oldman*


‘The finest British spy fiction of the past 20 years’ Metro

Slough House is the Intelligence Service outpost for failed spies, former high-fliers now dubbed the ‘slow horses’. Catherine Standish, one of their number, worked in Regent’s Park long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back, and she’s known Jackson Lamb long enough to have learned that old sins cast long shadows. And she also knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks, even recovering drunks whose careers have crashed and burned.

What she doesn’t know is why anyone would target her.

So whoever’s holding her hostage, it can’t be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it’s about Jackson Lamb. And say what you like about Lamb, he’ll never leave a joe in the lurch.

He might even be someone you could trust with your life.

‘Masterful’ Daily Mail

‘A pulsating spy thriller’ Daily Express

What's Inside

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Reviews

Daily Express
A pulsating spy thriller
Irish Times
All the action you might want from an espionage thriller is to be found in Real Tigers, with betrayal, double-dealing and a fantastically violent climax in an underground facility but the true pleasures of Mick Herron's Gold Dagger-winning Slough House series lie elsewhere: in the sharp wit and dry irony and elegant grace of the prose, the razor-sharp characterisation; and above all, the authorial overview: sophisticated and intelligent, satirical but never tipping into pastiche . . . Think Le Carré with fewer posh people and laugh-out-loud funny. Mick Herron is the real deal
Andrew Taylor, The Spectator
Herron, like all good novelists, manufactures his own form of reality and persuades his readers to subscribe to it. The satire is streaked with violence, which itself has elements of visual comedy. The dialogue is sharp and the prose is dark and sardonic. Underlying everything is a sense of outrage about the corruption within the Establishment. This is not the sort of novel where you're likely to find positive portraits of Old Etonians. But if you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers. Better still, read the whole series
Daily Mail
A masterful third spy novel from the gifted Herron . . . He has been published only by an American firm until now, in spite of the fact that he is British and his stories are set in this country. Now, all three books appear here, and Herron will, at last, receive the recognition that his talent richly deserves . . . Deliciously tongue-in-cheek and with a striking serpentine construction, it is a thriller that moves Herron close to the class of Graham Greene
Independent
In the grand tradition of British espionage writing: no 007-style mayhem, but a narrative involving rogue agents and a kidnapped spy that is both sardonically funny and pleasingly complex
Metro
The Slough House series of which Real Tigers is the third instalment, is surely among the finest British spy fiction of the past 20 years. Where Mick Herron's contemporaries stumble through thickets of cliché, his fiction feels fresh and real . . . a narrative of breathtaking ingenuity. Brilliant
Sunday Times
Satire, verbal sparring and gunfights are deftly combined in an excellently written novel permeated by Herron's sly, dry and very English sense of humour - rather as if Philip Larkin or Alan Bennett had had a go at spy fiction
Daily Telegraph
The great spy novelists - Ambler, Greene, le Carré, Deighton - pull off the difficult double act of showing that the business of espionage is simultaneously deadly serious and highly risible: office politics on a grand scale. These writers, without downplaying the dangers of spying, refuse to take the spies as seriously as they take themselves. They have a kindred spirit in Mick Herron . . . There is a near-constant stream of crackling, scabrous dialogue . . . Herron's casual observations are beautifully phrased . . . With his poet's eye for detail, his comic timing and relish for violence, Herron fills a gap that has been yawning ever since Len Deighton retired
Mail on Sunday
Herron's Slough House novels are the finest new crime series this Millennium . . . Funny and thrilling in equal measure, Real Tigers is an absolute joy
Sunday Express
Real Tigers has revitalised the spy thriller genre
Literary Review
What a find! It is the third in a series of witty, cynical and immensely original books . . . The story, though good is not the main reason to read this book. Rather, it is its elegant style, original viewpoint, dry wit and spring-to-life characters, some recognisable. I think Herron's is the next big name in crime fiction
Choice
Probably the best literary spy fiction you'll read this year
i
Both sardonically funny and pleasingly complex
Sun
Authentic espionage thriller
Roger Hobbs, author of GHOSTMAN
I absolutely loved Real Tigers. It's a decidedly British spy novel written with distinctly American noir panache. Herron has a natural talent for creating and portraying characters that are instantly understandable, relatable, and more than occasionally despicable. A real treat
Harry Bingham, author of THIS THING OF DARKNESS
Beautiful, wicked writing married to a wonderful black cynicism. You won't want to think the world works like this but Herron's version is horribly persuasive
Helen Giltrow, author of THE DISTANCE
Damn it, this man's good. This is the espionage game stripped of its posturing and played out without a James Bond or a Jason Bourne in sight, but with a keener wit, a telling conscience, and better jokes. I loved it
Martyn Waites, author of THE MERCY SEAT
This tale of rogue spies is brilliantly written, excellently plotted and darkly funny. One of the best crime novels of the year
Stav Sherez, author of ELEVEN DAYS
Sizzlingly stylish, ferociously funny and fiercely intelligent, Mick Herron has managed to breathe new life into the spy novel. With its deft, elaborate plotting and brilliantly flawed characters, Real Tigers is a one hell of a ride
Chris Ewan, author of SAFE HOUSE
In Real Tigers, Mick Herron has crafted a truly standout spy thriller. Witty, urbane, filled with acute observations, endlessly quotable lines and a cast of wonderfully jaded agents who I look forward to spending time with for many more books to come. An utter delight
Publisher's Weekly
The disgraced spies at MI5's Slough House must try to save one of their own in CWA Gold Dagger Award-winner Herron's outstanding third thriller featuring uncouth Jackson Lamb and crew . . . Herron expertly juggles multiple plot lines and fully formed characters, injecting everything with a jolt of black humour
lovereading
The latest instalment in the eventful days and sleepless nights of the denizens of Slough House is another sheer delight . . . Herron wonderfully blends the thriller element and the humane as he orchestrates a most complex but believable plot like a watchmaker. At times darkly hilarious, at others gripping and intense, this confirms Herron and his series as a future classic. Get onboard now
Esquire
[A] twisted tale of real intelligence . . . Herron's second Slough House book, Dead Lions was the Crime Writers' Association's Novel of the Year in 2013 but it, and he, remained under the radar. With this new work, the third in the series, he's unlikely to stay a secret for much longer
Shots
CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger Winner, Mick Herron employs a quick filmic cross-cutting method in the third of his Slough House series . . . If Herron could manipulate the Service the way he has constructed Real Tigers many of us might feel more secure about the future. In the meantime, quake
Sunday Telegraph
This third Slough House novel proves Herron has the comedy and eye to rival Len Deighton
Crime Fiction Lover
Herron has written another cracker. He won the CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger in 2013 for Dead Lions, and it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination to think he might win it again. All the things that made the other books in the series such a success are present again. Machiavellian plotting, sly humour, characters so compromised but so well-drawn you won't be sure if he wants them to win or lose, and topical satire - this time the thorny issue of extraordinary rendition. All in all Real Tigers is another dazzling effort and I can't wait to read what Mick Herron writes next
crimewarp.co.uk
Simply loved love the writing style, particularly the narrator's occasional asides that are wry, humorous and more than once make you giggle with their sharp, dry wit. I will, however, say that in common with all the other Slough House novels, it's a genuine rollercoaster of a ride and best of all Heron has no qualms about body count and killing off established characters, so expect to squeal occasionally and gasp "No!!!" when a body turns up
Crime Review
It is impossible not to be impressed by Herron's use of language. He is able to express himself so neatly and frequently presents the reader with epigrammatic comments . . . a thoroughly entertaining tale
Evening Standard
Combines the spy thriller with farce in a manner befitting a country that puts Coco the Clown in charge of the Secret Intelligence Service