Mick Herron (1968) is an English writer, known for his crime and spy novels. His debut Down Cemetery Road (2003) introduces the Oxford private detective Zoë Boehm who features in three more novels by Herron. His 2010 novel Slow Horses began the Slough House series that centres on the agents of the British intelligence service MI5. Namely, Slough House is where all members of the intelligence service who have messed up are sent – the black sheep, slow horses of the service. The Slough House books have been characterised as lacking in illusions, with a cynical outlook on politics, intelligence, technology and human nature in general – however, this attitude is served up in an exciting, entertaining form. Herron’s world of spies is also notable for his inventive use of language – partly thanks to the jargon used by its characters. Mick Herron will talk at the HeadRead festival to crime writer and the guardian angel of HeadRead Jason Goodwin.