'Our concern - and we've communicated this over the weekend to all stations - is that the opposition may be about to deploy an invisible.' An invisible is CIA speak for the ultimate intelligence nightmare: the terrorist who, because he or she is an ethnic native of the target country, can cross its borders unchecked, move around that country unquestioned and infiltrate its institutions with ease. An invisible on mainland Britain was the worst possible news. For Liz Carlyle, an MI5 Intelligence officer, this report from MI6 marks the start of an operation which will test her to the limit and put her own life in jeopardy. As she sifts the incoming evidence and gets reports from her agents she realizes there is an immanent terrorist threat. But who or what is the target? And who and where is the invisible? Time is of the essence in this desperate search and it becomes clear that it is Liz's intuitive skills, her ability to get inside her enemy's head, which offer the only hope of averting disaster. In this terrifying and tautly drawn debut thriller Stella Rimington takes us to the heart of the Intelligence world. It is a place she is uniquely qualified to describe.
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With At Risk, Dame Stella Rimington's first novel, she is probably aware that she'll be under negative pressure for her literary efforts quite as she was for her true-life revelations concerning the world of spooks in her autobiography Open Secret. In fact At Risk is a strikingly assured debut, with a female perspective on the secret world (via Rimington's heroine Liz) that is as fresh as it is plausible. Rimington's position in MI5 led to the inevitable comparisons with Judi Dench's performances as the first female M in the James Bond films, but what we're shown here is clearly a picture of the author in her early days--Liz is an overworked lower-echelon secret service operative, dealing with both the casual chauvinism of her colleagues and a potentially devastating terrorist plot. The latter is handled with terrifying verisimilitude (one senses the author's intimate knowledge of this world here), and the chapters involving the activities of the 'invisible' (a terrorist who passes as a native of the host country) is probably the most chillingly handled section of the book.
At Risk appears to be partly autobiographical--a novel with a female intelligence officer as its heroine will be construed that way--but it wouldn't be enough to carry an indifferently written book--and this is anything but that. In a plot that mixes East End gangsters, hierarchy and the role of women in government organisations, the central theme here is terrorism. Rimington clearly sees this as the major threat to homeland security in this day and age. Liz Carlisle is a very promising character--and the fact that a series is pending is welcome news. --Barry ForshawReview:
Praise for Stella Rimington's autobiography "Open Secret: "The story of MI5's transformation is fascinating. So too is Rimington's account of her rise in what was very definitely a man's world."--"Guardian
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 'Women's Weekly' promotional sticker to front cover. New copy. Order before 11am for same (working) day dispatch. Orders will be dispatched by 1st Class post, heavier items by 2nd Class or courier. Standard mail will be dispatched by 2nd Class post or Parcel Force. Overseas orders will be dispatched by priority airmail. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000011473
Book Description Hutchinson, London, 2004. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition first printing in tradepaper format, published at the same time as the hardcover. Former head of M15. In fine unread condition. Language: eng. Bookseller Inventory # 4712
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800917996011.0
Book Description Hutchinson, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0091799600