The Secret Hours – Cover and description revealed

More information and a US cover for The Secret Hours have arrived.

Here’s the latest book description via Amazon –

Two years ago, a hostile Prime Minister launched the Monochrome inquiry, an auditing of the British Secret Service “to investigate historical over-reaching.” Monochrome’s mission was to ferret out any hint of misconduct by any MI5 officer—and allowed Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kite, the two civil servants seconded to the project, unfettered access to any and all confidential information in the Service archives in order to do so.

But MI5’s formidable First Desk did not become Britain’s top spy by accident, and she has succeeded thwarting the inquiry at every turn. Now the administration that brought Monochrome into being has been ousted, the investigation is a total bust—and Griselda and Malcolm are stuck watching as their career prospects swirl down the drain in the pounding London rain.

Until the eve of Monochrome’s shuttering, when an MI5 case file appears without explanation. It is the buried history of a highly classified operation in 1994 Berlin—an operation that ended in tragedy and scandal, whose cover-up has rewritten thirty years of Service history.

The Secret Hours is a dazzling entry point into Mick Herron’s body of work, a standalone spy thriller that is at once unnerving, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny. It is also the breathtaking secret history that Slough House fans have been waiting for.

The book has a US release date of September 5th, 2023. This book very much follows up on hints dropped in Standing By The Wall, so I recommend folks pick that up. Reading between the lines, we may get some glimpses of Jackson Lamb’s hazy past.

Here’s the older description from Amazon

Monochrome is a busted flush – an inquiry into the misdeeds of the intelligence services, established by a vindictive prime minister but rendered toothless by a wily chief spook. For years it has ground away uselessly, interviewing witnesses with nothing to offer, producing a report with nothing to say, while the civil servants at its helm see their careers disappearing into a black hole.

And then the OTIS file falls into their hands . . .

What secrets does this hold that see a long-redundant spy being chased through Devon’s green lanes in the dark? What happened in a newly reunified Berlin that someone is desperate to keep under wraps? And who will win the battle for the soul of the secret service – or was that decided a long time ago?

Spies and pen-pushers, politicians and PAs, high-flyers, time-servers and burn-outs . . . They all have jobs to do in the daylight.

But what they do in the secret hours reveals who they really are.

Once the UK cover is revealed, I’ll be sure to post an update.

10 thoughts on “The Secret Hours – Cover and description revealed

  1. Jeff, As it so happens, yesterday I had decided to pre-order “The Secret Hours” ($14.99 on Amazon) for my Kindle this Friday. I am currently reading the seventh novel, “Slough House” in Mick’s “Slough House” series, having also previously read all of the “Slough House” novellas and short stories.

    I already have Mick’s “Bad Actors” and “Dolphin Junction” on my Kindle, but can you suggest which of his other standalone novels, i.e., “Nobody Walks,” or “This is What Happened” I should grab for my Kindle next? “The Secret Hours” will be coming to me in September. I am totally obsessed with Mick’s writing. His stories are not only original, intriguing, and at times delightfully humorous but also evocative and so very beautifully written. I’m in love with his work ❤️

      1. Thanks, Jeff. “Nobody Walks” will be next for my Kindle, as I have read all the “Slough House” novellas. My plan is to finish up #7 “Slough House,” read #8 “Bad Actors,” and then tackle “Nobody Walks” waiting for “The Secret Hours” in September. There are some short stories in “Dolphin Junction,” (which is already on my Kindle) and after finishing them, I may try “Reconstruction.” I am unsure about Mick’s earlier Zoe Boehm books. Would they be a letdown after his later work? Thanks again for your input. Margaret Schwartz ~ iamportia2 😊🤗

  2. LPalagi

    Hi, Jeff. I’m getting ready to reread the Slough House books, but now, given the comment about learning the secret history of Slough House, I wonder if I should wait until The Secret Hours comes out, read that, and then start on the Slough House books. What do you think? I’ve found your site invaluable for deciphering “what goes where” in the timelines of Herron’s books. As an aside, I’m reading the Zoe Boehm books now and, while really well written, they are not as engrossing as the Slough House books. You can see, however, the start of Herron’s ability to create the most amazingly complex and interesting characters.

    1. It sounds like it’s set in the present with some flashbacks? So a reread probably wouldn’t be a problem, but I also think there’s no bad time to read Herron. I liked the Boehm books, especially the later ones but yes, a different style.

      1. LPalagi

        Spent the weekend finishing up the Boehm books and, I agree, they get better toward the end. Flashes of the Slough House series excellent humor and character development. Am going to go ahead and reread all of the Slough House books in time for The Secret Hours’ publication. Can’t wait!

    2. Anne Ayres

      I would definitely just START them! They are SO funny , but NOT comedy – also so beautifully written – Herron seems to understand his characters from the inside out, problems, grief, addictions, boredom, resentment – he gets IN their heads, without consciously and clumsily needing to state “He thought, ‘I hate it here’ ” or “‘What’s she playing at?’ he wondered.” – none of that type of thing.
      And the long-awaited possible answers to Lamb’s Berlin experiences and his self-disgust and persona – well, it’s all part of the pleasure of the books as you go through; tiny little bits of insight, building an imagined background. I’m rereading all of them from the beginning for the umpteenth time, because nothing else comes close…

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