Mick Herron's fifth instalment of his Jackson Lamb series, London Rules (John Murray), will be set in the aftermath of Brexit and with the UK dealing with a string of terror attacks.
Last Thursday (26th October) Herron picked up the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger at the CWA awards for the fourth in the series, Spook Street, making it the second CWA Dagger he has won for the Jackson Lamb series, along with four further shortlistings.
Richards praised the book's "red-hot and sharp-edged topicality" he said would bring even more readers to the series.
Publishing in hardback in February 2018, London Rules will see the head of MI5’s intelligence services Claude Whelan tasked with protecting a beleaguered Prime Minister who is feeling the heat. There is pressure 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 him in print; from the PM's favourite Muslim politician, who's about to be elected mayor of the West Midlands, despite the dark secret he's hiding. And, meanwhile, the UK is suffering from a string of terror attacks, which eventually embroil Jackson Lamb and his team at Slough House.
According to John Murray, since it began publishing Herron’s books they have sold a quarter of a million copies across all formats. John Murray publisher Mark Richards originally bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the first four Jackson Lamb thrillers from Soho Press in the US, after picking up a copy of their edition of Slow Horses in WHSmith in Liverpool Street station. Richards then bought world rights, excluding US, from Juliet Burton Literary Agency for books five (London Rules) and six (as yet untitled).
John Murray started selling rights in the series a year ago, and have so far sold Dutch rights to Prometheus, German to Diogenes, Italian to Feltrinelli and Estonian to Varrak. Rights are also sold in France to Actes Sud, Spain to Salamandra and Japan to Hayakawa. The Jackson Lamb series has also been optioned for TV after an auction won by See Saw Films, the production company behind "The King’s Speech", "Top of the Lake", "Macbeth" and "Love, Nina".
Herron commented: "Winning the Ian Fleming Dagger is a huge thrill - all spy writers are forever in Fleming's debt, and any association with him is to be treasured. The world of Slough House may seem a long way from James Bond's universe, but in the end we're all on the same mission: to entertain readers. I hope London Rules does just that."