|The Jennifer Morgue is the second book in
Charles Strosss series that began with The Atrocity Archives,
and continues the story of Bob Hudson field operative and computer support technician for
that branch of Her Majestys secret service: the occult division a.k.a The Laundry.
this volume Bob is saved from mind wiping during a routine inter-agency briefing meeting
and then soul-linked with a demon-ridden agent from another agency in the interests
of furthering his bosss secret and very, hidden agenda. All Bob knows is that
something is going on and it involves him, a soul eating demon he is psychically linked
with and a deep sea recovery plan that violates a very secret treaty.
The narrative is very much H P Lovecraft meets spy thriller a la Ian Fleming and John
le Carre (with hints of modern management theory thrown in), and manages to satirise both
genres. The humour was deftly done often bordering on the gallows e.g. an atomic bomb was
casually referred to in conversation as "a big white one", and never over the
top. Our hero Bob was always one step behind the real reveal and forever playing catch up
as his understanding of his mission changed; with the consequence that his inherent
paranoia was justified "they" were out to get him.
The Jennifer Morgue comes with a bonus novelette, whereby Bob gains an
office assistant (the barbs are thrown at computer gamers and management theory), and an
essay on the golden age of spying; both of which are well worth reading. The
Jennifer Morgue is an excellent diversion for a rainy day or a transTasman
flight, I enjoyed it immensely.