IFP 2016/17 Silver Dagger Long List

Literary aficionados,

IFP have just published their eighteen nominations for this year's award and PussyNoMore knows three of them to be outstanding.

They are:

Spook Street by Mick Herron - this is the fourth novel in his sublime series about the Mi5 misfits called 'The Slow Horses'. PussyNoMore has read them all and can't recommend them highly enough. Herron is absolutely the best spy fiction writer working today and is truly up there with Fleming, Le Carre and Deighton. If you don't like his stuff, you've had your taste buds removed and haven't got a pulse. He should win, it's that simple!

A Hero In France by Alan Furst - PussyNoMore likes Furst's novels largely for the atmosphere. Nobody evokes war torn Europe quite like Furst (except perhaps Philip Kerr) and although his plots aren't - per se - always the most memorable his characters are and the sense of trepidation that he instills into the reader is something else. You expect the Gestapo to burst through the door at any minute.
Great stuff and this one is good. If Bogie and Bacall were still with us they'd be in the movie.

Jericho's War by Gerald Seymour - like Forsyth with 'Day Of The Jackal' , Seymour's best book remains his first, 'Harry's Game'. A bizarre phenomena because aren't writers supposed to get better. After all, Fleming's best was his fifth. That said Seymour's work is of a uniformly high standard and this one is no exception. It's about a plot to take out an Al Qaeda big wig. Definitely worth your time particularly if you like Le Carre.

PussyNoMore can't claim to have read the others and there may be a diamond in the rough. He does however know some of the other authors and puzzles over how they got onto any list - let alone this one.

If you read anything, read 'Spook Street' and you'll be buying PussyNoMore a Hendricks and tonic next time you see him.

Happy Reading,

PussyNoMore.

Comments

  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,538
    Not got round to Spook Street yet (Real Tigers is still on the To-Read pile) but I know where my vote would go.

    Always happy to share a Hendricks, too.
  • Posts: 514
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Not got round to Spook Street yet (Real Tigers is still on the To-Read pile) but I know where my vote would go.

    Always happy to share a Hendricks, too.

    Agent_99, don't let real life get in the way of your reading schedule.
    You must read 'Real Tigers' first. As you know, although they are stand alone, there is a serial aspect to them which makes them best read chronological.
    That said, 'Spook Street' is absolutely the best of a very fine vintage. Herron is just so good he really leaves his contemporaries for dead.
    And yes, make mine a large one!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,538
    Agent_99, don't let real life get in the way of your reading schedule.

    This is now my motto. I'll be translating it into Latin and drawing up a family crest.
  • Posts: 514
    PussyNoMore has more good news for the discerning cognoscenti.
    As well as being nominated for the Fleming Dagger, 'Spook Street' has also been long listed for a CWA Gold Dagger (their top award).
    Also, Herron's fifth Jackson Lamb thriller 'London Rules' will be published next February.
    PussyNoMore hopes that Herron cleans up at the awards. He is, without doubt, the spiritual successor to Fleming, Deighton and Le Carre. He has put the modern spy thriller on steroids and boy, can this guy write!
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    edited May 2017 Posts: 14,247
    I bought Slow Horses in Tesco recently.

    Could Herron be a future Bond continuation author I wonder?
  • Posts: 514
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I bought Slow Horses in Tesco recently.

    Could Herron be a future Bond continuation author I wonder?

    At the risk of being controversial, PussyNoMore thinks he is too good to walk in another man's shoes.

    That said, money sometimes talks and he certainly could do the job so who knows?

    The irony for Herron is that he has thus far published four wonderful spy novels (his earlier novels were crime thrillers) and yet he is still to achieve the notoriety that Fleming or Le Carre did at that stage in their careers.

    It's just so much more difficult these days for a quality writer to break through.

    Everybody that PussyNoMore has recommended Herron to has become hopelessly addicted so it's just a matter of time and hopefully the upcoming screen adaptation of 'Slow Horses' will accelerate the process.

    Despite PussyNoMore's love of literary Bond, he hopes that Herron concentrates on his own creations.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,247
    I quite understand. Just a random thought.
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