Welcome to my review on another fine work by Charles Stross.
Today's subject is "The Fuller Memorandum", oh boy!
Bob finally has a manager he respects and gets along with. If the universe of Charles Stross has proven anything, it is that Bob cannot have a happy work life. Keep in mind that while Bob reports to his manager on the organization chart, he works for the Eater of Souls, in the person of Angelton. While this distinction is subtle, it places Bob in a position that is grooming him for greater responsibilities while teaching him (the hard way) about following the demands of a rigorous civil service command protocol that relies on a seemingly arcane chain of command.
This book is so much more though!
From the previous books we've been treated to tidbits about Angelton and his power both within the organization and his supposed arcane might (which is routinely hinted at). Angelton is so much more than he appears though, and this book grants the reader some firm insight into the depth of this character. In other words, PAY ATTENTION to Angelton!!! There will be a test afterward that will jeopardize the sanctity of your sanity.
There are bad guys in this story too, and they are of the most devious and dangerous sort. In any intelligence organization personnel are always a concern. You trust people with secrets even though humans are notoriously terrible at KEEPING secrets. So when reading this book enjoy the irony of the vulnerability of an organization which routinely defends the Crown against alien intelligences from beyond space-time, which finds itself in jeopardy from human actors.
There is a lot going on in this novel, and all of it is important. I'm going to keep this short, with no spoilers. You'll thank me after you read the book.
This book, like all works by Stross, is a masterpiece of the writer's craft.
This book stands well on its own even without the support of the previous books to bring you into the world Stross has crafted.
That said, if you haven't read the series yet ... start at the beginning. Seriously, you'll be grateful you did.
Bob ends this book with a large dose of mental and physical trauma. The effects of the Fuller Memorandum haunt him (literally) through the series to date. This is a book you absolutely must read if you intend to go any further in the series. Savor the experience.
Fans of the previous Laundry Files novels, law enforcement officers (seriously, you'll enjoy this), people in the intelligence community, IT personnel, fans of Lovecraft's work, anyone who loves a good spy thriller, and Sidney (please read these... please).
Not Recommended For:
Fascists, Nazis, traitors, real life cult leaders (this book will give you ideas I don't want you to have), Putin, people with psychiatric disorders, and alien entities from beyond space-time.