Slow Horses & The Mermaids Singing


I was recommended Slow Horses by a member of the RMT Bookchat group on Facebook and I will admit to having initial reservations since at first glance it seems to be a spy book, which is  not something I usually read.

Slow Horses refers to the group of failed spies who are put out to pasture at Slough House.  Jackson Lamb is their “fearless leader”, a man who  knows where the bodies are buried and rules over his kingdom of failures in a somewhat benevolent manner.  River is the newest inductee and is chomping at the bit to be released from his “punishment” to get back to the “real” action.  The slow horses find themselves being used to run errands and do clerical work until they get a little too close to some shady dealings.  Then, they find themselves in some real trouble.

Great characters and pacing, lots of tension built up to the conclusion, and  an intriguing storyline in general, I really enjoyed this one and will read more in the series.

The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid is this month’s read at the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads.  I have hardly read any Val McDermid, which is surprising being that she has tons of #1 bestsellers, has won international awards and is in general considered a great crime writer.  I have to say that I almost put this one down over an animal scene (writers can kill all the people they want but when they hurt animals I’m generally done).  I did continue and while the writing is well done, I just didn’t get pulled into this  as much as other mysteries that I have read.  I thought that the serial killer’s connection to Tony was pretty obvious from the outset and the sexual torture scenes were a little too graphic  for me.  I am curious about Tony Hill and the budding relationship with Carol Jordan but I don’t think that is enough for me to continue with the series.