This Is What Happened: Book summary and reviews of This Is What Happened by Mick Herron

This Is What Happened

by Mick Herron

This Is What Happened by Mick Herron X
This Is What Happened by Mick Herron
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  • Published Jan 2018
    272 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

From CWA Gold & Steel Dagger winner Mick Herron comes a shocking, twisted novel of thrilling suspense about one woman's attempt to be better than ordinary.

Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in the huge city of London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice. Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to infiltrate the establishment and thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk.

Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero - if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Beautifully written and ingeniously plotted ... This dark thriller is rife with the deadpan wit and trenchant observation that Herron's readers relish." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Profoundly disturbing ... Fans who miss the startling and compelling psychological suspense of Ruth Rendell will relish this unsettling tale." - Booklist

"Herron has some fantastical twists in mind that Agatha Christie never dreamed of." - Kirkus

"Terrific spy novel ... Sublime dialogue, frictionless plotting." - Ian Rankin, bestselling author of the Inspector Rebus books

This information about This Is What Happened was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Excellent British crime fiction.
This Is What Happened is the third stand-alone novel by award-winning British author, Mick Herron. Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes hadn't made any friends in the time she'd been in London. She lived in a tiny flat and worked a fairly boring job in the post room down in the basement of the Quilp House. A toxic ex-boyfriend had her avoiding Facebook; she'd dipped a toe into the Twittersphere and had seven followers, several of those probably bots.

When Harvey Wells came along to the café she frequented in the park, Maggie was at first wary. But he knew all about her, and when he explained what he needed her to do, and why, she was both flattered and excited. The idea that she could do something worthwhile for her country was rather thrilling.

Dickon Broom had a not-quite PhD in Philosophy at Cambridge, and worked as a language instructor. He’d had a good position at Marylebone Intensive School of English until a student made trouble for him. That rather queered the pitch at his last interview for a teaching position, and these days he relied on giving private lessons (not ideal) for an income. But now he had another problem to deal with, one that stood in the way of the life he deserved to have

Meredith’s younger sister had apparently been missing for two years. She felt bad about that: they'd lost contact after their parents’ funeral. The police didn't seem interested, treating the whole thing as a case of someone who had decided to disappear, so Meredith was making her own enquiries, and now she had someone in her sights.

Herron’s third stand alone is a little different, but still has many of his trademarks: it has all his careful scene setting; his characters are quite believable; their dialogue natural. While the astute reader will, by the first third of the story, have figured out much of what is going on, there are still a good number of twists, surprises and red herrings to keep it interesting.

The humour is there, but much more subtle than the often laugh-out-loud moments in his Jackson Lamb series, and mostly quite black. Readers hoping for any Slough House character cameos will be disappointed, but fans knowing Herron’s tendency to kill off characters will be racing to the dramatic final pages to discover who survives. Excellent British crime fiction.

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Author Information

Mick Herron Author Biography

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 Horses, Dead Lions, Real Tigers, Spook Street, London Rules, and the novella The List) and four Oxford mysteries (Down Cemetery Road, The Last Voice You Hear, Why 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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Mick Herron: http://www.mickherron.com/

Other books by Mick Herron at BookBrowse

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