Set in the same fictional London as his CWA Gold Dagger Award-winning Slough House spy series, Mick Herron now introduces Tom Bettany, a man with a violent past and only one thing to live for: Avenging his son’s death.
Tom Bettany is working at a meat processing plant in France when he gets a voicemail from an Englishwoman he doesn’t know telling him that his estranged 26-year-old son is dead—Liam Bettany fell from his London balcony, where he was smoking pot.
Now for the first time since he cut all ties years ago, Bettany returns home to London to find out the truth about his son’s death. Maybe it’s the guilt he feels about losing touch with Liam that’s gnawing at him, or maybe he’s actually put his finger on a labyrinthine plot, but either way he’ll get to the bottom of the tragedy, no matter whose feathers he has to ruffle. But more than a few people are interested to hear Bettany is back in town, from incarcerated mob bosses to those in the highest echelons of MI5. He might have thought he’d left it all behind when he first skipped town, but nobody ever really walks away.
|Publisher:||Soho Press, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Mick Herron is a British novelist and short story writer who was born in Newcastle and studied English at Oxford. He is the author of six books in the Slough House series (Slow Horses, Dead Lions, Real Tigers, Spook Street, London Rules, and the novella The List) and four Oxford mysteries (Down Cemetery Road, The Last Voice You Hear, Why We Die, and Smoke and Whispers), as well as the standalone novels Reconstruction, Nobody Walks and This Is What Happened. His work has won the CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel, the Steel Dagger for Best Thriller, and the Ellery Queen Readers Award, and been nominated for the Macavity, Barry, Shamus, and Theakstons Novel of the Year Awards. He currently lives in Oxford and writes full-time.
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Excerpted from "Nobody Walks"
Copyright © 2015 Mick Herron.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nobody Walks is the second stand-alone novel by award-winning British author, Mick Herron. Tom Bettany barely makes it back to London for his son, Liam’s funeral. They were estranged for four years, Tom was out of the country, and a colleague of Liam’s rang to let him know. The calls from the police had been more vague, but when he arrived, DS Welles told him that Liam’s death was accidental: high on a particularly potent type of dope, he fell off his balcony. Tom, though, had been ex-Service before he severed all ties and, at his son’s flat, something sets off an alarm bell for him. He is soon convinced that Liam was murdered, and is determined to find out who is responsible. But his questions are upsetting quite a few people, and equipping himself with the necessary announces his return the crime bosses whose long incarceration he effected during his “joe” days. Then someone on high at Regent’s Park sends young J.K. Coe (unofficially) with a message: a “do not disturb” on one name, an implication of responsibility for another. The source alone flags the information with a high index of suspicion, so Bettany sets out to verify, while ensuring to stay under the radar of the various parties eager to get up close and physical with him. Fans of the Jackson Lamb series will be pleased to know that this story is set in the same universe, with at least six names known from that series playing roles or rating mentions here, one of whom comprehensively proves that the fate meted out to them in a later book is absolutely a just desert, if insufficiently punitive. Coe was introduced in the novella, The List, and took his place in Slough House in Spook Street; in this novel, the reader learns the details of the ordeal that landed him under Jackson Lamb’s supervision. Once again, Herron produces a fast-paced crime novel with twists and red herrings to keep the reader guessing and the pages turning right up to the jaw-dropping revelations of the final chapters. Outstanding British crime fiction.
From the publisher: “Tom Bettany is working at a meat processing plant in France when he gets a voicemail from an Englishwoman he doesn’t know telling him that his estranged 26-year-old son, Liam, fell to his death from his London balcony, where he was smoking pot. Now for the first time since he cut all ties years ago, Bettany returns home to London to find out the truth about his son’s death. Maybe it’s the guilt he feels about losing touch with his son that’s gnawing at him, or maybe he’s actually put his finger on a labyrinthine plot. Either way he’ll get to the bottom of the tragedy, no matter whose feathers he has to ruffle. But more than a few people are interested to hear Bettany is back in town, from incarcerated mob bosses to those in the highest echelons of MI5. He might have thought he’d left it all behind when he first skipped town, but nobody really just walks away.” “Labyrinthine” is an apt adjective, because there is a lot going on in this novel. But that doesn’t mean that it’s difficult to follow, and the author ties up [almost] all of the loose ends before the conclusion. Tom Bettany is a complex man, having been a member of the Intelligence Service and spending the best part of a decade undercover before dropping out of the game and reverting to his own name and persona. But as the title indicates, and as the author repeats, here reflecting on those who have been in the clandestine services, “He didn’t often think about his past, but that too was the undercover mentality. The person you used to be was sealed off, boxed tight, locked shut, and you walked away. But nobody really walked. . . His past was a collage of different identities, none of them realer than any other. And none, in the end, walked away from.” And not to put too fine a point on it, “Nobody walks away, though. Everyone comes home in the end, one way or another.” Now Bettany has returned to England after seven years, having left after his wife’s death from an inoperable brain tumor and his son turning his grief into irrationally holding his father to blame. They hadn’t spoken in four years, and now he is dead. There is a slow but rising undercurrent of suspense, the reader knowing that there is danger ahead but when it arrives, it is from theretofore unexpected sources. I loved the writing. Just to give a few snippets: “Bettany had forgotten that getting round London resembled descriptions of warfare. Long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of panic . . . He liked being at home in the city, glass of wine in hand, looking out at the lights of London, tracing in their winkings and blinkings thousands of stories he’d never know. It made him feel like a poet, if not the kind who ever wrote a poem . . . To utter threats would have been the little boy boasting that he wasn’t scared of wolves, because he wasn’t in a forest. But wolves had a way of bringing the forest with them. It didn’t matter where you were. It was where they were that counted.” The novel is cannily plotted, and thoroughly enjoyable. This may be my first Mick Herron novel, but it certainly won’t be my last. Recommended.