Slow Horses by Mick Herron

Twentysomething River Cartwright has a promising career in MI5 until a catastrophic error allows a terrorist attack to take place at King’s Cross. He is sent to Slough House (‘slow horse’), a nondescript office in east London where spy rejects end up. There it is made clear to them that they are out of the…

Conclave by Robert Harris

Robert Harris just can’t help himself. After 282 pages of taut thriller about a lot of very old men sitting in a darkened room and putting names in a (papal) hat, he goes and throws in an unnecessary complication. I won’t name the silliness that creeps in right at the death, but believe me it is ludicrous.…

A Social History of England by Asa Briggs

‘Don’t you find this book a little bit boring?’ ‘Umm…to be honest, yes I do a bit.’ My daughter put her finger on the problem. A Social History of England by Asa Briggs is indeed a touch dull in parts but till then I had not admitted this to myself. Much as I am fascinated by history,…