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The Apocalypse Codex: Book 4 in The Laundry Files [Paperback]

Charles Stross
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

19 July 2012 Laundry Files (Book 4)

Bob Howard used to fix computers for the Laundry - the branch of the British Secret Service that deals with otherworldly threats - but those days are over. He's not only been promoted to active service but actually survived missions against cultists, enemy spies and tentacled horrors from other dimensions. Willingly or not, he's on his way up in this dangerous organisation.

When a televangelist with connections to 10 Downing Street seems able to work miracles, the Laundry takes an interest. But an agency that answers to the Prime Minister can't spy on him themselves, and Bob's shadowy superiors come up with a compromise - they hire 'freelancers', with Bob in charge.

British citizens who discover the occult are either forcibly recruited by the Laundry or disposed of, and Bob's never heard of freelancers before. Officially they don't exist. Anyone who's big and bad enough to remain independent is going to be hard to handle, and Bob's not too sure that the one-week 'people management' course he was sent on in Milton Keynes is going to be enough . . .

Frequently Bought Together

The Apocalypse Codex: Book 4 in The Laundry Files + The Fuller Memorandum: Book 3 in The Laundry Files + The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files
Price For All Three: 18.60

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356500985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356500980
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 65,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England, in 1964. He has worked as a pharmacist, software engineer and freelance journalist, but now writes full time.

Product Description

Book Description

A smart and fast-paced supernatural spy thriller from the Laundry, the secret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Winner of the 2013 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

From the Back Cover

Fighting cultists, enemy spies and tentacled horrors from other dimensions is all in a day's work for Bob Howard. Once he fixed computers for the Laundry, the branch of the Secret Service dealing with otherworldly threats. Now he's on the front line.

When a televangelist connected to the Prime Minister seems able to work miracles, the Laundry investigates. Technically the agency can't spy on 10 Downing Street, so they hire 'freelancers' - with Bob in charge.

Which is fine, save for the fact that freelancers don't officially exist: British occultists either join the Laundry or conveniently disappear. Anyone clever enough to remain independent will be troublesome indeed - and it's up to Bob to keep them in line. He just hopes the corporate 'people management' course he was sent on in Milton Keynes is going to be enough . . .

Praise for the Laundry novels:

'Beautifully handled, believable and well envisioned - a highly enjoyable bit of spy-fi'


'This dark, funny blend of SF and horror reads like James Bond written in the style of H.P. Lovecraft' Waterstones Books Quarterly

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-powered Apocrypha 10 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bob Howard has got the True Religion: he knows there are horrors from beyond that don't believe in any of our holy books and he needs to stop them. So when a TV evangelist who seems to have genuine holy powers appears, Bob has to find out what is going on

The Apocalypse Codex is the fourth instalment in The Laundry Files series, and you'd be well advised to start by reading The Atrocity Archives (The Laundry Files). Stross lays out the background and gets readers up to speed with his usual dry wit, and a new reader will probably get along ok, but there are frequent references to previous books.

For anyone who hasn't read the previous instalments in this excellent series: there are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, but the computing revolution has made it all too easy to Find Them Out, with the result that Lovecraftian horrors can be summoned from the vasty depths of the Mandelbrot set with the right iPhone app. The Laundry is the British secret occult service, saving the UK from itself, but being a civil service department its agents need to succeed despite poor intel, outdated equipment, and the need to submit expense claims in triplicate The series has a strong vein of dry humour, usually from the narration of protagonist Bob Howard: civil service IT guy, reluctant spy, and computational demonologist.

Previous books have drawn inspiration from classic spy writers, and so The Apocalypse Codex features Persephone Hazard, a loving tribute to Modesty Blaise, the 1960s answer to James Bond.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite at the races. 29 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nicely written as usual but lacking in plot and character develoment, still got some great characters (mostly from previous laundry files) unfortunately they all seemed caught up in race to the last page.
The best analogy i can think of is that it was like watching a bunch of competent actors rushing through a sunday matinee because it was one of the casts birthday and they were all going to the pub afterwards.
I hope that whatever was taking most of Mr Stross's time and attention when he wrote this one, is another book that better displays his normally excellent,and original,story telling and writing skills.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Apocalypse Codex is the fourth in the `Laundry' series, best described as spy novels meet HP Lovecraft, with a hero who works in IT support and demonology (which, as everyone knows, are basically the same thing). The Laundry is the nickname for the ultra-secret part of British intelligence that deals with things beyond the usual universe, and the people who worship or try to use them.

The series started out as spy novel pastiches - The Atrocity Archives was a homage to the Harry Palmer novels of Len Deighton, and The Jennifer Morgue was a full-on James Bond romp, but that element seems to have fallen away a bit in the last two - The Fuller Memorandum was, according to Wikipedia, inspired by the works of Anthony Price, but I've never read any of those so couldn't confirm, and I'm fairly sure The Apocalypse Codex is at least referencing the Modesty Blaise comics and novels (in the central character of freelance witch Persephone Hazard), but the author seems to be getting into elaborating the universe of the Laundry itself, rather than riffing on other works.

Since that universe is shortly facing a full-scale apocalypse in the uncertain shape of the Great Old Ones who are due to return some time Real Soon Now and eat everyone's brains, it's not suprising that the last two entries in the series have been considerably darker in tone than the fun action of The Jennifer Morgue.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good fun 11 July 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
If like me you've been enjoying the lighter side of the Urban Fantasy genre, then you've more than likely read the other Laundry books by Charles Stross (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum) and been awaiting the next outing for the principle player and hero of the series Bob Howard.

What occurs within the pages is another light hearted romp that has some great characters, a new addition to the Laundry and of course a whole heap of trouble to challenge the newly promoted Bob. As usual with Charles' writing, its crisp has a great sense of humour coming through and when added to razor sharp prose, top notch pace and backed with an author who clearly has affection for his world, makes this a title hard to put down with the humour cheering you up despite whatever type of day you've had. All in a cracking story and one I wished had gone on longer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ok, so what's the next one called?
Loving this series! Must go hunt out the next one and maybe even try out other titles by Stross. Great read!
Published 11 days ago by A. Weston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by hayley
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tale - but bring back Mo!
“F***ing netbooks; you can't even use one to beat an alien brain parasite to death without it breaking. Read more
Published 24 days ago by C. Bathgate
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Howard is in the building
Exactly what I wanted from the next in this excellent series - fast paced, bleak in places, introducing some interesting new characters and taking Bob off in interesting directions... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Tim Chant
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Stross delivers again
This is number 4 including the laundry files series and we see Bob's career develop as he is given a secondment into "external assests" and has to deal with a charismatic US... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic by Charles Stross
If you're already a fan of the laundry series (or Peter O' Donnell or Lovecraft) then you'll love the latest fast paced and intelligent offering from Charles Strode.
Published 5 months ago by Chris Carchrie
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I've read all Charlie's books published in the UK, and some US imports, many of his excellent blog postings and even some of his magazine columns, but this is the first I've given... Read more
Published 7 months ago by 3D71
5.0 out of 5 stars very decent re-readable escapism
Very slick and polished story telling!
More urgently, please! There are few speakers of this quality, you and Macleod, K.
(We miss Ian M.B.)
Published 8 months ago by Jill Prince
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, as always
Not much more to say, really - except don't start with this one. Go for the first Laundry novel and work your way up to this, because the series builds astonishingly. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brunneria
5.0 out of 5 stars Typically tentacular
I love this series, more, more, more! This was all I was going to write, but they made me I tell you, the voices! the voices!
Published 14 months ago by I. Baxter
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