I’ve spent the last few weeks plugging the gaps in my Charles Stross collection by reading his 3 Laundry novels back to back.

Best classified as spy/sci-fi/horror, the inital book ‘The Atrocity Archives’ seems to be a collection of 3 novellas with stories 1 and 2 linking together better than to 3. As such it’s a little patchy in places but serves as an excellent introduction to  Bob Howard and his position as a Computational Demonologist.

Essentially our world is linked to a multiverse of universes which contain some very bad things indeed. The Laundry is a secret intelligence agency which tries as best as it can to deal with this threat.

The second book, ‘The Jennifer Morgue’ is a cracking read with a Bond-esque plot complete with insane villain. Trouble is this time the insane villain risks waking up an  ancient and deadly species in the depths of the world’s oceans.

The most recent book ‘The Fuller Memorandum’ ups the ante considerably bringing the end of the world a whole lot nearer. There’s a real sense of dread hanging throughout the book (which Stross likens to the Cold War threat in the spy novels of the 1970s) with Russians and Brits trying to harness the power described in the aforementioned Memorandum.

By advancing the plot several years with each story I do feel that Stross is going to bring the saga to a conclusion if not in the next book then the one after that. Given the horrors that Bob is exposed to this time, that conclusion may not be for the faint hearted! Certainly with the usual Stross inventiveness on display, it seems certain that a gruseome finale is planned.

Buy the Laundry series here.