Dead Lions (Slough House #2) by Mick Herron

Published 2013 1. First lines 2. Publisher: Ulverscroft (Imprint: ISIS Publishing) 3. Spy Image by Roberto Lee Cortes [Public Domain] via Pixabay 4. London underground. [Public Domain] Photo by Anna Dziubinska [Public Domain] on StockSnap 5. Man smoking. [Public Domain] via Unsplash

A group of failed MI5 spies at Slough House pick up the trail of a Cold War spy when he is found dead of apparently natural causes on the London Underground. Jackson Lamb, head of the Slough House group believes that he was murdered. Old Cold War secrets are uncovered as they piece together the mystery.

“With deadpan wit, this author has written a very entertaining spy story with enough twists and turns to keep the reader in suspense.”

  • Kirkus: “Herron (Down Cemetery Road, 2009, etc.) provides a dour, twisty spy thriller with something for everyone: part post–Cold War miasma, part James Bond heroics, and elliptical withal.”
  • Crime Writers’ Association Judges’ report: “…a well written, wickedly clever send-up of the classic British spy novel featuring a shadowy department in M15, home to various spooks who have in some way failed or messed up in their work for the security services. This collection of misfits and eccentrics is unexpectedly faced with a major and two-fold challenge: the re-emergence of a whole history of Cold War secrets entangled with a very modern enemy and the possibility of a major terrorist attack on London.”

“Dead lions … It’s kid’s party game. You have to pretend to be dead. Lie still. Do nothing.”


“The air is heavy with a dog’s olfactory daydream: takeaway food, illicit cigarettes, day-old farts and stale beer. . .”

“She started drawing up a mental list of everyone she didn’t trust, and had to stop immediately. She didn’t have all day.”

“It was an ancient thing, a Nokia, black-and-grey, with about as many functions as a bottle opener. You could no more take a photo with it than send an e-mail with a stapler.”

“You smoke too much,” he said. “Remind me what the right amount is?”

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