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Posted December 9, 2008
exciting counter-terrorist espionage thriller
At Thames House, the Joint Counter-Terrorist Group employees learn that the al-Safa organization of the Islamic Terror Syndicate is planting an ¿Invisible¿. Pakistan cooperates and the Immigration Office combs the lists for possible suspects. However, the M-15 and M-16 attendees know how difficult to uncover an Invisible is as these terrorists are a special breed being a native of the host nation. An agent just in from Islamabad corroborates that al-Safa is a rare Islamic terrorist organization because it welcomes full blood Caucasians.--- M-15 agent-runner Liz Carlyle sees her work as a means to avoid her matchmaking mother and a place to hide from her married lover, Mark Callendar, who is no longer convenient. The need to track down the Invisible becomes imminent as the evidence mounts that something big is about to occur. Liz starts to put a human face that seems increasingly female to the trigger, but who she is and who is her handler remains just out of visible scope especially since agents allegedly on her side decide not to share information with anyone.--- This exciting counter-terrorist espionage thriller travels on two story lines that connect via the heroine. Readers receive an exciting race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe while also seeing the inner office shenanigans of hiding critical information behind a need not to know façade and sexual harassment towards the token estrogen in a testosterone world. The prime plot is typical of the sub-genre with its adrenaline rush to climax, but is slowed down somewhat by the office side, which is more interestingly unique (and perhaps autobiographical) though not as exhilarating. Spy fans are not AT RISK reading this fine tale.--- Harriet Klausner
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Posted December 29, 2008
Even though Stella Rimington is not a professional writer (well, at least not yet, when writing this book), and it shows, I still give this novel the high mark. <BR/><BR/>First of all, the story is very believable. There are too many books in this genre today that are action-packed, but are full of stuff that has nothing to do with reality, as well as stereotypes beaten to death, and for an intelligent reader that makes it impossible to enjoy the book.<BR/> <BR/>Ms Rimington is, of course, the former head of the British Security Service, so that alone is a good reason to believe her description of the work of a female MI5 officer, the terminology, technical stuff, etc. Also, the plot itself is very believable, especially taking into consideration all the news reports of terrorist acts prevented in Europe, including Britain, since the book was written, and the news reports of tragic events in Afghanistan shockingly similar to those described in the book. The only piece that I found to be questionable, was the background of the terrorist: it is highly unlikely that an educated family from Dushanbe (the capital of Tajikistan) would decide to cross a heavily guarded border with dirt-poor war-torn Afghanand to join local Tajiks in a fight against Taleban. But this actually is a very minor part, and does not specifically affect the rest of the story.<BR/><BR/>Some of the details in the book are actually quite interesting, for example, the silent PSS pistol, it really does exist (even though the translation of its full name is inaccurate in the book); the book gives readers a chance to learn a little about East Anglia geography, even though inexperienced American readers might need need some help with things like Vauxhall Astra (same as Saturn Astra) or car park (parking lot), RAF (Royal Air Force), etc, I am sure most will do just fine. <BR/><BR/>One other thing struck me while I was reading the book (actually, listening to an audiobook, and narrator Jennifer McMahon does an excellent job), it reminded me of the best parts of Ken Follett's novel "Eye of the Needle", a lot of similarities there.<BR/><BR/>Taking into consideration that this is Stella Rimington's debut, I think it is a good novel, I highly recommend it to those who like intelligent modern realistic thrillers.
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Posted August 17, 2011
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Posted November 6, 2012
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