Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

This iteration of the Laundry Files takes us back to when Bob goes on his first field assignment, and meets Mo, his future wife. It's probably in chronological sequence if I'd read it when it was published, but somehow or other I missed it the first time around. Bob gets sent to the United States to help repatriate a British scientist who is working for a university, and who has strayed into some sensitive areas with her research.

While he is there, she is kidnapped by Mukhabarat agents led by a possessed human with a German accent. Bob, being the impulsive sort that he is, tries to rescue her from the kidnappers, with the not exactly unexpected (from our POV) result of getting bonked on the head and put out of business until the whole rescue has run its course. When he returns to jolly old England, his boss, Angleton, briefs him in on some top secret material that indicates that some necromancers of the Third Reich are not as dead as previously supposed, and are perhaps hiding out in a pocket universe.

Mo, who has made it back to England as well, and who is rooming with Bob and his other roommates, Pinky and the Brain, is used as a stalking goat to lure the bad guys out of hiding. When she is kidnapped again, Bob and the Laundry swat team head off through a gate to a dying universe to fight the Nazis and other evil creatures.

There's a bonus story in this book about one of Bob's other adventures wherein he investigates the mystery of the concrete cows.

All in all, a fun read as expected from Stross.

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