Saturday, 17 August 2019

London Rules - Mick Herron

The Jackson Lamb series really hits its stride with London Rules. The regular characters have been whittled down to the best, extraneous or one-off characters are kept in their place. The plot is excellent - a bunch of terrorists working through a destabilisation scheme stolen from MI5 - but Lamb novels are not about plot. No, the interplay of dysfunctional characters is what makes it work.

Take for example Roderick Ho. We don't care how good he is at computer stuff. We take his digital prowess as read. What matters to us is what a wazzock he is - and in London Rules he is the wazzock to end all wazzocks. Shirley Dander has been to compulsory anger management classes, which is like an arsonist stocking up on firelighters. And J K Coe is starting to emerge from his shell. All these are great ideas. Recent instalments have centred on River and Louisa; here they take more of a backseat. I personally enjoyed the reappearance of Molly Doran, the legless archivist of Regent's Park.

Excellent. I would say Herron is currently top of his genre. But the thought occurs, is he not the inventor and sole practitioner of this genre?

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