Two years ago, a Prime Minister launched the Monochrome inquiry, an auditing of the British Secret Service. It gave Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle, the two civil servants seconded to the project, unfettered access to any and all confidential information in the Service archives. But MI5's formidable First Desk has succeeded thwarting the inquiry at every turn. But on the eve of Monochrome's shuttering, an MI5 case file appears without explanation.
Secret Hours delights in complicated plotting that occasionally makes you despair whether you're understanding as much as you should be. Don't worry. You are ... There's wit and suspense on almost every page of The Secret Hours, where the good guys are bad, the bad guys are worse and the reader is in luck.
Herron’s cultivated air of default world-weariness doesn’t preclude outbreaks of icy cynicism and admirable idealism as well as a certain wry self-awareness ... Maybe the politicos are a bit on the nose and readers would have grasped that events are taking place in the present day without needing asides about kale smoothies and Wordle. But Herron obviously relishes his digs at the many real-life shambles that have played out so garishly since, say, 2016 ... And if there is any sense that Herron has filled in his background with broad brushstrokes, as ever he has reserved his most delicate and affecting work for his characters in the foreground.