Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Laundry Files: The Jennifer Morgue, by Charles Stross

Welcome back!

Today I'll be reviewing another book by Charles Stross.

The Jennifer Morgue, is a fabulous story with elements that remind one of Ian Fleming's spy tales.  The difference here being that our poor protagonist, Bob Howard, turns out to not be the super spy of the story one would expect.

This book does a lot to flesh out the world setting of the Laundry Files.  Here we get glimpses into the interactions with other denizens of planet Earth, which live hidden among us.  This book also provides a sense of scale as to the power of the "magics" at work in the world, manipulating people and events toward particular goals.

Bob Howard stumbles through this book believing he has been cast in the role of super spy sent to foil a terrible plot (broadest terms here folks, stick with me).  His dashing companion being a not-quite human succubus he is metaphysically tied to.  This team-up brings a lot of havoc to poor Bob, and as he nears the conclusion of this supernatural spy thriller Bob finds himself doubting his ability to triumph.

Enter Mo.... 

When your love interest shows up to save your life, you should not be entangled with another woman.  You should definitely NOT be entangled with a succubus.  Alas, poor Bob, is in a no win position (which was precisely the point, on many levels).

Charles Stross once again proves he is a craftsman with words.  His narrative flows remarkably well, his grammatical choices are intriguing and his descriptions are evocative.  He proves that he is one of the most technically proficient writers alive today.

My Thoughts:
This volume of the Laundry Files is a great deal of fun wrapped up in the imminent doom of the world.  Add in a super villain, a beautiful and exotic femme fatale, demonically influenced cosmetics sales agents, dead people (lots and lots of dead people), alien horrors from beyond time, and the delicate machinations of multiple secret agencies and you've got a story worth reading.

Recommended for:
Fans of Ian Fleming's James Bond stories, anyone who liked The Atrocity Archives and Bob Howard, conspiracy theorists (this tale really hits on Project Azorian), people who work in the intelligence community (you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll have a good time), Lovecraft fans, Delta Green fans, X-Files fans, and anyone who enjoys a finely written novel.

Not Recommended for: Fascists, Nazis, real life cult leaders, Putin, people who plan intelligence ops (this book will hurt you the same way Fleming's work does), people with psychiatric disorders, and alien entities from beyond space-time.

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