From the Intelligence Service purgatory that is Slough House, where disgraced spies are sent to see out the dregs of their careers, Jackson Lamb is on his way to Oxford, where a former spook has turned up dead on a bus. Dickie Bow was a talented streetwalker once, good at following people and bringing home their secrets. He was in Berlin with Lamb, back in the day. But he's not an obvious target for assassination in the here and now.
On Dickie's phone Lamb finds the last message he ever left, which hints that an old-time Moscow-style op is being run in the Intelligence Service's back-yard. Once a spook, always a spook, and even being dead doesn't mean you can't uncover secrets.
Dickie Bow might have tailed his last target, but Lamb and his crew of no-hopers are about to go live.
'Mick Herron is an incredible writer' Mark Billingham
'The spycraft of le Carré refracted through the blackly comic vision of Joseph Heller's Catch-22' Financial Times