Mick Herron



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In this chillingly plausible thriller, CWA Gold Dagger winner Mick Herron proves he “never tells a suspense story in the expected way” (The New York Times Book Review).

When a highly classified espionage operation breaks down, an MI5 prisoner escapes from a transport vehicle on the busy ring road outside Oxford. Now an armed and desperate man is on the loose. He has taken refuge in a preschool, where a collection of teachers, parents, and students were about to start their day. No one understands what Jaime Segura wants, and he refuses to speak to anyone but an MI6 spy named Ben Whistler, a coworker of Jaime’s boyfriend, Milo, who has gone missing. Now, as law enforcement descends upon this quiet corner of Oxfordshire, Jaime holds the preschool hostage as his collateral, and one teacher, Louise Kennedy, finds herself in the terrifying position of protecting innocent children from the terrible decisions of the adults around them. As Louise steels her nerves and weighs her every decision, she also begins to put together the fragments the truth from the chaos around her—and no one is fiercer or more resourceful than a teacher on the trail of justice.

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Soho Crime


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 HorsesDead LionsReal TigersSpook StreetLondon Rules, and the novella The List) and four Oxford mysteries (Down Cemetery RoadThe Last Voice You HearWhy 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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