This book is odd for two main reasons: there’s not one main character but a group; and none of them are really likeable. I know I’ve said this before, but I need at least one likeable character to root for! So this was an interesting read, but I don’t think I’ll seek out others in the series.
The Slow Horses are MI5 agents who have been disgraced by mistakes and shuffled off to Slough House – a place for spies who have embarrassed themselves, but can’t be outright fired for one reason or another. They all hate their jobs (pushing paper and listening to tedious surveillance videos when they used to be in on the action) and each other and their boss. Then one day, a college kid is kidnapped, and his captors tell the world they’re going to “cut his head off and put it on the web” in three days. The Slow Horses decide, kind of piecemeal and on accident, that saving the kid will right all their wrongs and save their reputations. Things get convoluted quickly, with double-crosses and shootings and plots and backstories layering one on top of the other. By the end, they’re an actual team, including their feared and hated boss.
I did like the way everything came together, and the way they coalesced as a team almost in spite of themselves. Maybe in future books (there are six), they’re less bitter and angry and therefore more likeable. I may have just talked myself into giving the second one a chance.