Over the course of the Slough House series, there have been a number of plot threads that have been left open for future stories. Below are some of the ones I’m most interested in seeing addressed.
Warning – Spoilers ahead for all books in the series!
- Sid Baker – One of the most shocking reveals in Slow Horses was the fate of Sid Baker who a fellow agent sent to spy on Slough House but who River slowly got to know throughout the course of the book. We left her severely injured and MIA until a shocking phone call at the end of Spook Street. Is she alive? Is she dead? If alive what’s she been up to since Slow Horses?
- Peter Judd – In the book series he’s bounced in and out of power but with his thinly veiled real life counterpart now in 10 Downing Street, can Herron resist doing the same with Judd? And just how bad will Judd be as Prime Minister? Finally, Lamb killed his bagman at the end of Real Tigers. Will he look to even the score if he gets even more power?
- Tom Beattany – Beattany was a father out to avenge his son’s death who ended up tangling with Dame Ingrid Tearney. He disappears, presumably killed at the end of Nobody Walks, but there’s a tantalizing line in Real Tigers that hints he might still be out there. “There’s rumours Tearney’s used [these prisons] to vanish people for personal reasons.” Is Beattany locked up waiting for Herron to spring him and set him loose on the slow horses?
- John Bachelor – John Bachelor is the down at heels MI5 also ran in charge of keeping track of former assets. He’s also the lead character of three novellas Herron has written set in the Slough House as yet to cross paths with the slow horses, but certainly would fit right in.
- How did Molly Brennan lose her legs? It’s a running joke, but will we ever learn the truth? And was it somehow related to Jackson Lamb and the Cold War?
- Shirley Dander’s drug issues – We’ve seen Catherine in recovery and Louisa pulled herself from the brink, but Shirley seems more in the danger zone. Will drugs help or hinder her AFM?
- Jackson Lamb’s health – For the past couple of novels, we’ve seen Lamb coughing and facing some symptoms of a serious health problem. Can we envision Lamb going to the doctor? The last time we saw him in a hospital he cold cocked one of MI5’s internal security staff, the Dogs. I wouldn’t want to be his nurse, that’s for sure.
- Jackson Lamb’s background – Herron has repeatedly said that we won’t get any sort of prequel to a young Jackson Lamb. However we have gotten some tantalizing glimpses. A burning church in an eastern bloc country was a reoccurring motif in Slow Horses. He was hired by t as mirror man, wet work for the hire ups, Partner mentee. Anything more?
- Will we see characters from one of Herron’s other books? Herron’s Oxford series gets a few connective mentions in Reconstruction which also leads directly into Slow Horses with some characters. Will we see any other characters make an appearance? The Oxford Series being optioned for television makes that slightly more unlikely but not out of the question. I could also see Victor Driscoll, a quirky computer genius from Nobody Walks popping up in a Slough House book. The longest shot might be seeing characters from This is What Happened show up but given Herron’s love of cross pollinating his creations, anything is possible!
Questions that we will likely get answered right away in Slough House –
What’s Diana Taverner like as First Desk? She clawed her way to the top but was David Cartwright’s choice to be the perpetual number two the smarter move?
Will one of the slow horses die this book? one of the things always on the mind of any reader of the series is whether all the characters will make it out alive. Since Dead Lions, Herron has setup an every other book dynamic of killing off slow horses. Joe Country was particularly bloody for some of them. That means Slough House would normally be a safe book for the characters. However the book description gives reason to be nervous saying that “[t]he “slow horses” have been pushed further into the cold, Slough House wiped from Service records—and fatal accidents keep happening.” Herron loves to keep his readers off balance so I won’t be surprised if not everyone makes it.
Who is the new Head Dog? The mortality rate for Head Dog is nearly as bad as being a slow horse. Will Devon Welles get a promotion or will we see a new character take the job?
How is River handling patricide? The end of Joe Country saw River’s father/nemesis Frank Harkness dead. Although River hated him, I would still imagine him being dead might be something to work through psychologically.
Has Louisa finally been able to put her past with Min behind her? After spiraling following the death of Min, Louisa seemed to recover and gain her footing. However, when Min’s son went missing and she took on the role of detective, old feelings resurfaced. Did keeping Min’s son safe finally allow her to be at peace with Min’s death?
Not crucial questions but worth thinking about –
Will we ever see WW Henderson return to his Aldergate building?
Who will be the new Second Desk of Ops?