Books Reviews

Slow Horses, First Grave on the Right

Slow Horses by Mick Herron, First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

It’s been some time since I posted a review. Although I have been reading books, I didn’t feel like writing about them.

I read the first books of two series: Slow Horses (Slough House by Mick Herron) and First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones).

Blurb (Slow Horses): The first book in CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning British espionage series starring a team of MI5 agents united by one common bond: They’ve screwed up royally and will do anything to redeem themselves.

London, England: Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there─even if it means having to collaborate with one another.

River Cartwright, one such “slow horse,” is bitter about his failure and about his tedious assignment transcribing cell phone conversations. When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself. But is the victim who he first appears to be? And what’s the kidnappers’ connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone has his own agenda.

Thoughts: Slow Horses had an interesting style and set of characters, but the plot was chaotic and slow-paced. I finished reading it because it is about a group of losers and misfits trying to have a second chance at a meaningful existence. Probably because of that, I want to read the other books in the series.

Blurb (First Grave on the Right): Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can’t she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

Thoughts: Although I laughed while reading First Grave on the Right, the book did not work for me. I have read far better urban fantasy series. Besides, it is less actual detective work and more talking to ghosts.

Maybe the series warms up and the books that follow are brilliant. However, I don’t expect a drastic change in the setting of the story or its premise. So, I don’t want to read them.

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