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Queen and Country does for espionage what The Wire (and, to a lesser extent, Homicide) did for policework--radically deglamorize it. In both cases, the professions are shown to be mostly boring, futile and dominated by jostling careerists and departmental politics. Thrilling genre adventure!

I also love just how budget Chace's division is. This is the most important spy agency in Britain and there's, like, only five people in that dingy office (and they don't seem especially well paid). That seems much more plausible than "Q" and all those exploding cuff-links that shoot acid when they turn into high-power magnets with the bees in their mouths.

Have you read the most recent collection, which is, apparently, also the final one, at least for the foreseeable future?

I have read that one-i enjoyed it, but i felt like it went a little far down a road Rucka had already explored with a bit more subtlety earlier in the series--Tara's relationship with violence. When I first read it, in issue format, i was surprised how far he'd taken it--now, i feel like it might have even been too much. Pregnancy? Fisticuffs?

Since writing this piece-it's a few months old, actually-i've had the chance to see the first series of Sandbaggers, the BBC show Rucka used as inspiration for his treatment of the security service. While Rucka clearly brings exceptional creativity to the story, I think he'd agree that the deglamorization is something that's taking, in whole cloth, from that series. It's an incredibly bleak show, set to a very low tempo that makes even The Wire look frenetic. Dingy offices, a tiny staff, and an overriding sense of bureaucratic natterings--all of that is pure Sandbaggers.

All that aside, Queen & Country is a pretty wonderful series--i've found myself lately trying to seek out more in this genre, and it holds up in comparison to some of the masters, like Lawton and even Le Carre.

Great to hear from you Jones. Thanks for reading.

Yeah, I agree. It was a bit too much bang, not enough whimper. A more fitting finale would have been four issues of Chace getting drunk, falling over and crying.

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