All I ever really need is a good book. I’m talking physical media: hardcovers, paperbacks, whichever. Kindles are convenient, sure, but I’m much more likely to pick up print on paper and settle in for the long haul.

Are early Black Friday sales a good time to buy?

Many retailers start “Black Friday” sales as early as Halloween, or even earlier. The quality of deals can vary early on, but as November progresses, many of the deals are as good as the deep discounts you’ll see during Thanksgiving weekend. See the best Black Friday deals we’ve found, and keep up with all the latest deals with our full Black Friday live blog coverage.

Which is why I’m thrilled to see that right now, with Black Friday just around the corner, the paperback edition of Mick Herron‘s Slow Horses is on sale for just $10, down from $17 — that’s 40% off. Maybe you’re familiar with the Apple TV Plus show of the same name. It’s one of my very favorite streaming shows of the last few years, with Gary Oldman as the rumpled, tart-tongued and boozy boss of a shabby stable of spies in career purgatory. Herron’s book is what started it all off. 

This isn’t just fun stuff for me: I spent my teen years gobbling up spy thrillers, both books and movies, and it literally got me into the intelligence business back in my 20s.

Until this fall, I hadn’t read any of Herron’s books. Then I picked up his latest, The Secret Hours, and it’s amazing. It’s not part of the Slough House series per se, but another view into that same world of modern-day British intelligence and London politics (with untrustworthy sorts from both those fields). It is every bit as sharply observed as the TV version of Slow Horses, and it’s as fun to read as the show is to watch. Plus it’s got a flashback to spying in Berlin where something important happened. As the book jacket says, it’s the “secret history that Slough House fans have been waiting for.”

I’m curious now to go to the original source material: Slow Horses, the book. I don’t have any problem whatsoever reading the book knowing how the TV series has played out so far. (TV programming note: Season 3 of Slow Horses starts up on Apple TV Plus at the end of this month.) The pleasure is in the reading itself, plus seeing how what’s on the page got translated to the screen. I suspect that will lead me directly into the rest of the book series.

Plus: The book that’s on sale is the 10th anniversary edition with a foreword by Herron and “an exclusive short story” featuring the Slow Horses characters.

Listen, I bought The Secret Hours in hardcover at full price. I’m ecstatic to see this Slow Horses edition at a big discount. I’d be tempted anyway, but that just seals the deal.

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