Quick and ap­peas­ing read

The Witness - - INSIGHT - THE DROP MICK HER­RON HOD­DER & STOUGHTON BOOK RE­VIEWER: ANN IVES

MICK Her­ron is one of my favourite au­thors, so I was in­trigued to see whether his novella would live up to ex­pec­ta­tions. It did!

A stylish segue from the Slough House se­ries, The Drop tells the story of re­tired spy, Solomon Dort­mund, who wit­nesses what he is con­vinced is an il­licit ex­change of in­for­ma­tion be­tween two spies (a Drop in es­pi­onage par­lance). al­most de­press­ing read­ing

He re­ports this up the chain of com­mand to his one-time con­troller, John Bach­e­lor (a dys­func­tional char­ac­ter if ever there was one), and un­wit­tingly sets in mo­tion a train of bizarre events.

It’s a grat­i­fy­ingly quick read and Her­ron’s inim­itable writ­ing style (good plot, cu­ri­ous char­ac­ters, quick hu­mour and evoca­tive de­scrip­tions) will keep most read­ers hooked.

An added bonus for Slough House fans is the ap­pear­ance of vit­ri­olic Di­ana Tav­erner, in fine fet­tle and as ma­li­cious as ever.

This might keep me go­ing as I wait in an­tic­i­pa­tion for Her­ron’s next Slough House novel. Grab a copy and a box of choco­lates and while away a rainy af­ter­noon with this lit­tle gem.

• Ann Ives is a his­tory teacher of 30 years, a cat-lover, reader and gar­dener.

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