Secret Asset Hardcover – Aug 17 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
How smart of Random House Audio to hire as a reader noted British stage and television actress Fielding, whose prowess brings to life Rimington's own stint as director of the British spy outfit called MI5. (If Remington were brought to the screen, Judi Dench would play her as she plays M in the recent James Bond movies.) With perfect British reserve, Fielding catches the hard-driving Liz Carlyle-Rimington's alter ego-without sacrificing any of Carlyle's energy or excitement. Fielding does the same cool job on all the other characters, from an Islamic bookseller nicknamed Marzipan (no jokes about him being a sweet guy: he's not) to Liz's young assistant, Peggy Kinsolving. This well-edited abridgment cleverly removes some of the book's talkier sections. The result is a perfect choice for listeners who love political thrillers but have only a limited time to enjoy them. A simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 30).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Rimington, the former head of Britain's MI5, follows up her spy-novel debut, At Risk (2005), with this fast-moving thriller. We rejoin intelligence officer Liz Carlyle as she gets a hot tip that a terrorist cell is operating in London. But before she can begin her investigation, Liz is pulled off the case by her boss, the director of counter terrorism, who blindsides her with a startling revelation: there is a mole in British Intelligence. Racing against time to expose the traitor before he (or she?) can reveal more secrets, Liz realizes that her colleagues' success in busting the new terrorist cell may depend on how fast she can accomplish her mission. Rimington continues to deliver on the promise of spy fiction written not only by a former spy but also by the head of British intelligence. This is a smartly constructed, sharply written thriller that exudes realism and a professional's eye for detail. More surprisingly, Rimington also proves adept at building characters and constructing plots. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
As former head of MI5, she write real spy stories. You can feel it. The plot is tight and has no "artifice" (like unexpected twists in the plot) and her heroes are truly human.
I also like the fact to see how two seemingly unrelated plots merge together.
But... the ending is like "too real", as in it probably what would happen in real life but I kind of read books to get away from real life...
I read her two first books and will probably not repeat.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters are great and the story cracks along at a terrific pace. There are the usual twists and turns, and although I did guess who the mole was about half way through, there was always the chance that I was wrong (!) and it did nothing to spoil my enjoyment of the book.
Rimington also adds in some nice touches. Even characters who are only bit part players are well drawn and we find out small details about their lives and why they were in that place at that time.
If this is the kind of thing you usually enjoy then buy it! Safe houses, surveillance techniques, the inner workings of the terrorist mind, IRA informers.....this book has it all.
And that brings me to the one problem. Rimington doesn't end well. In her first novel, she practically threw up her hands and offered the reader an explosive version of "whatever." Here she spends more time and ink, but it is still a weak ending for such a strong narrative.
But it's well worth your time and pocket change: lots of British-isms for Anglophiles.
somewhat along the lines of P.D.James style .
Sorry i finished the book.