The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross [Book Review]
Bob is back, and the whole Laundry series just levelled up a couple of notches. I’m a major fan of Charlie Stross and have read his entire output. The Laundry is right up my street (being a civil servant with more than a passing interest in IT). This novel even more so, because it gets into other areas that I’ve got a professional interest in too.
The Delirium Brief
In terms of broad storyline, the Delirium Brief brings back some old characters and uncovers secrets that were compartmented away from Bob in the earlier stories. It also shows more of the inner workings and rationale for the Laundry that Bob wouldn’t have either known about or cared much about if he had known.
The Delirium Brief of the title is a file passed to the Laundry by the US Postal inspectorate. They’ve got an occult watching brief and have been taken out by internal rivals just as the story starts. The file is shared because the Laundry might be about to share the same fate.
In parallel Mo and Bob are trying to work on their marriage. We see more of how they are becoming powerful in their own ways, and how they try to deal with it and support each other. It’s an interesting meta story laying across several of the recent novels.
There’s an end of days feel to the entire book. Even the ending isn’t quite a we saved the world again. It’s more of a case of survival and wondering if that can work again.