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The Secret Hours

Mick Herron

$22.99

Paperback

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English
Hachette
12 March 2024
THE INSTANT SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
*
*A 'Book of the Year' in The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph, Spectator, Sunday Express, TLS, Irish Times
*

'Pure class' Ian Rankin

'Pitch-perfect' Lee Child

'A powerful standalone spy thriller from a true contemporary master' Daily Telegraph

Trying to investigate the Secret Service is like trying to get rid of the stink of dead badger. Hard.

For two years the government's Monochrome inquiry has produced nothing more than a series of dead ends.

The Service has kept what happened in the newly reunified Berlin under wraps for decades, and intends for it to stay that way.

But then the OTIS file turns up.

What classified secrets does it hold? And what damage will it create?

All Max Janacek knows is that someone is chasing him through the pitch-dark country lanes and they want him gone.

WE ALL HAVE JOBS TO DO IN THE DAYLIGHT. IT'S WHAT YOU DO IN THE SECRET HOURS THAT REVEALS WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

'Wonderful . . . high action, a spinning moral compass, and hidden motives on every page' Michael Connelly
*Mick Herron's The Secret Hours was a Sunday Times Number Four bestseller in hardback in the second week of September 2023

By:  
Imprint:   Hachette
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   310g
ISBN:   9781399800549
ISBN 10:   139980054X
Pages:   400
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mick Herron is the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Slough House thrillers, which have won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, two CWA Daggers, been published in over 20 languages, and are the basis of a major TV series starring Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. He is also the author of the Zoe Boehm series, and the standalone novels Reconstruction and This is What Happened. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

Reviews for The Secret Hours

[Mick Herron] proves himself a modern rival to Ian Fleming and John Le Carré . . . This satire-flecked thriller should establish Herron as an institution * Sunday Times * [A] terrific new novel . . . Herron's traditional tradecraft is on show - the Blackadderesque relish of words, the spy-like manipulation of the reader, the understanding of how the English fend off the serious with humour * The Times * Never has a work of popular fiction delighted me more . . . The Secret Hours will become not so much a novel as a machine for delivering pleasure * The Spectator * I'll be amazed if I read a better book this year. Tense and darkly comic, with razor-sharp prose that revels in the absurdity of modern-day Britain, The Secret Hours achieves the seemingly impossible by improving on the Slough House series * Daily Express * Herron keeps up his gravity-defying balancing act: belly-laugh spy spoof on one side, elegiac state-of-the-nation satire on the other, with a thin, taut line of polished prose between * Financial Times * Herron has become something of a laureate of decrepitude * Guardian * This is a stand-alone thriller of extreme brilliance (obviously), but it also works as a deeply satisfying origin story for aspects of the existing books * The Times * The Secret Hours has all of Herron's tight plotting and characteristically low-key humour . . . It's an excellent standalone, but fans of his Slough House books would do well to pick it up too * Observer * Mick Herron is one of the beadiest satirists of our times . . . one of his best books yet * Daily Telegraph * A fascinating insight into the machinations of the secret service and the witty writing lifts it above the average thriller * Good Housekeeping * A very clever and often darkly funny tale of espionage . . . A thoroughly enjoyable spy romp * Radio Times * Herron is a subtle writer who offers a great deal, including psychological insights that stay with you long after the clever plot is complete * Literary Review * With all the contemporary wit and humour that fans have come to love, as well as his deeply flawed and believable characters, Herron weaves another unputdownable tale as he follows two civil servants tasked with investigating misconduct in the British secret service. A perfect cat-and-mouse chase from this very modern master of the espionage thriller. It's easy to see why Herron is often called the heir to John Le Carré -- Gloss Herron steps away from his Slow Horses, but not the world of espionage, for this thriller . . . offering a revealing sidelight into the pre-history of Slough House. More sombre than usual but still compelling * Mail on Sunday * Twisty, intriguing fun * The i * Blisteringly exciting and darkly funny * Radio Times * Wryly humorous in places, well written and full of tension * Irish Examiner * Nobody does disenchanted spies quite like Mick Herron, and in the standalone thriller The Secret Hours, read by the always impressive Sean Barrett, he is on top form. Fans of the Slough House series will be delighted by this tale of a cold war mission in Berlin gone wrong . . . A rich seam of disillusion is baked into Barrett's rendition; you can almost see the anonymous corridors of power shutting doors in the investigators' faces * Financial Times * Great Britain has a long, rich history of how-it-really-works espionage fiction, and Mick Herron - stealthy as a secret agent - has written himself to the very top of the list. If you haven't already been recruited, start with The Secret Hours - all Herron's trademark strengths are here: tension, intrigue, observation, humour, absurdity . . . and pitch-perfect prose -- Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels I doubt I'll read a more enjoyable novel all year. The Secret Hours has it all: thrilling action scenes, crackling dialogue, characters to infuriate and beguile, and a neatly intricate plot. And through it all cuts Herron's acerbic wit, its effect heightened by the glimpses he allows us, from time to time, from his world to ours -- Paula Hawkins, author of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN For a novel about a government inquiry called Monochrome, nothing is black and white in The Secret Hours by Mick Herron. Stunningly plotted and written, this masterclass in intrigue is brimming with tension and paranoid energy. A meaty, breathe-if-you-dare spy thriller with teeth, heart and a sense of humour. An absolute addiction of a read -- Janice Hallett, author of THE APPEAL The Secret Hours is wonderful. It's Mick Herron at his best, taking us into a dark world where there is high action, a spinning moral compass, and hidden motives on every page. And, oh, yes, the fun - Herron's greatest talent may be the examination of serious things with a perfectly wry sense of humour -- Michael Connelly, author of DESERT STAR A deft knockout of a story, with an arc of history, written with humour and style. Mick Herron is one of the best writers of spy fiction working today -- Martin Cruz Smith, author of GORKY PARK A fantastic book that kept me up all night. Unputdownable! -- Philippa Perry, author of THE BOOK YOU WISH YOUR PARENTS HAD READ Positively pulses with misdirection, deception and deep truths. Mick Herron is a genius -- Sarah Hilary, author of BLACK THORN Mick Herron is not just one of the best spy writers working today, but one of our best writers -- Charlotte Philby, author of EDITH AND KIM Safe to say Herron's trademark humour is woven in throughout . . . Big issues come under the spotlight - who owns your data, identity, loyalty, truth and realpolitik, but all the characters feel human and individual. Though it's described as a standalone and can easily be read as such, lovers of the Slough House series will pick up on some familiar characters being illuminated in new ways * Aberdeen Journal * Superbly, breathtakingly, well-plotted -- Alice O'Keeffe * Bookseller * Fans of the Slough House series will rejoice at this standalone thriller, once again set in a world of espionage, from which all glamour is largely expunged . . . Beginning with a breathlessly exciting pursuit, and moving on to a separate timeline set in post-reunification Berlin, the author's mordant wit is finely deployed on every page - just one of the familiar elements that will delight readers. Watch out for a terrific twist * Bookseller * Herron's narrative moves with ease between present and past, England and Germany, action and satire * Dow Jones ‘Mysteries’ * Praise for Mick Herron: Herron is at the summit of a new golden age of spy fiction * Sunday Times * Herron has certainly devised the most completely realised espionage universe since that peopled by George Smiley * The Times * Herron's novels are genuinely thrilling * Daily Telegraph * Britain's finest living thriller writer * Sunday Express *


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