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London Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one.
Cover your arse.
Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble.
Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone's trying to kill Roddy Ho.
Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength - that of making a bad situation much, much worse.
It's a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves.
352 pages, Kindle Edition
First published February 1, 2018
Sooner or later, all the sins of the past fell into the keeping of the present.
[Lady Di] was waiting for his fall, not to be ready to catch him, but to be sure when he hit the ground he never got back on his feet.
Which was why she was his usual sounding board when sh*t hit the fan. At least when she was there in front of him, he could be sure that she wasn't behind his back.
Besides, she had a wealth of experience of sh*t hitting the fans. In her time, she'd lobbed more of the stuff around than a teenage chimpanzee.
The biggest threat Parliament faces is democracy. It's been a necessary evil for centuries, and for the most part we've been able to use it to our advantage. But one f*cking referendum later and it's like someone gave a loaded gun to a drunk toddler.
London rules were written down nowhere, but everyone knew rule one.
"Cover your arse."
London rules meant build your walls high, and the order in which you chucked your people over them was in inverse proportion to their usefulness.
But that was London rules for you: force others to take you on your own terms. And if they didn't like it, stay in their face until they did.
“If you’re after a raise,” he said, still with his eyes closed, “just think of me as Santa Claus.”
“. . . You’re giving me a raise?”
“I’m saying ho ho ho.”
Eight months of anger fucking management sessions, and this evening she'd officially be declared anger free. It had been hinted she might even get a badge. That could be a problem--if anyone stuck a badge on her, they'd be carrying their teeth home in a hanky.
'We're talking about a bunch of mindless bottom-feeders whose general ignorance of our way of life is tempered only by their indifference to human suffering, we're all agreed on that?'
'Is this the politicians or the killers?'
'Good point, but I meant the killers.'