The Geneva Trap (Liz Carlyle Series #7)

Overview

When a Russian intelligence officer comes to MI5 with vital information about the imminent cyber-sabotage of an Anglo-American Defense program, he refuses to talk to anyone but Liz Carlyle. But who is he, and what is his connection to the British agent?

At a tracking station in Nevada, U.S. Navy officers watch in horror as one of their unmanned drones plummets out of the sky, and panic spreads through the British and American intelligence ...

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The Geneva Trap: A Liz Carlyle novel

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Overview

When a Russian intelligence officer comes to MI5 with vital information about the imminent cyber-sabotage of an Anglo-American Defense program, he refuses to talk to anyone but Liz Carlyle. But who is he, and what is his connection to the British agent?

At a tracking station in Nevada, U.S. Navy officers watch in horror as one of their unmanned drones plummets out of the sky, and panic spreads through the British and American intelligence services. Is this a Russian plot to disable the West's defenses? Or is the threat coming from elsewhere?

As Liz and her team hunt for a mole inside the Defense Ministry, the trail leads from Geneva to Marseilles and into a labyrinth of international intrigue, in a race against time to stop the Cold War from heating up once again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Near the start of Rimington’s compelling seventh Liz Carlyle novel (after 2011’s Rip Tide), a Russian agent, Alexander Petrov, tells a British agent he approaches in a Swiss tennis club that he wants a meeting with “Lees Carlisle.” Liz, who barely remembers the Soviet dissident she encountered at university at the time of perestroika and the collapse of the Eastern bloc, agrees to meet Petrov in a Geneva cafe, where he warns her of a cyberattack on a joint U.S./U.K. software project for controlling unmanned drone aircraft. Fearing another cold war if the attack succeeds, Petrov claims that an unknown country, not Russia, is behind the scheme. Once the Brits alert Andy Bokus, the no-nonsense head of the CIA’s London office, this intelligent spy thriller is off and running. A family matter involving Liz dilutes the urgency of the primary plot somewhat, but the machinations of the intelligence business, which Rimington knows well as the former MI5 chief, fascinate. Agent: Georgina Capel. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Someone's threatening the security of the U.S. drone program, and according to MI5's best information, it seems to be a combination of--wait for it--the Russians, the North Koreans and the South Koreans. Before she ever applied to the Security Service, Liz Carlyle (Rip Tide, 2011, etc.) heard a lecture by political theorist Alexander Petrov that made a profound impression on her. Now, years after he joined Russian intelligence, he pops up in Geneva with an urgent message he's only willing to deliver to "Lees Carlisle." The message is that unauthorized outsiders have managed to breach the encryption codes of Operation Clarity, the U.S.-led program that governs the operation of drone aircraft. Already, unbeknownst to Liz or Petrov, computer jockeys in Nevada have watched in horror as one of their drones in the Mideast suddenly seemed to take on a mind of its own and ignore their commands. Naturally, Henry Pennington, Liz's sniveling contact at the Clarity Secretariat, refuses to believe that anyone could have infiltrated the agency's defenses. So Liz, seeking a clue to the real motives and identities of the conspirators, looks to Charlie Fielding, of the Ministry of Defense, and Andy Bokus, the CIA's Station Chief in London, for help. As if Liz didn't have enough on her plate already, Cathy Treglown, whose father has been keeping company with Liz's mother, is being pressed by members of the French commune she just left to cough up a serious donation to their arms-purchasing fund--unless she wants one of their thugs to go after her little boy. Considering the magnitude of the threat and the echoes of From Russia with Love and Diamonds Are Forever (the film, not the book), everything gets wrapped up suspiciously neatly, even though, as Liz sagely remarks, "I wonder if we'll ever know what this was really all about."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620401194
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Series: Liz Carlyle Series , #7
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 450,790
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Dame Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1968. During her career she worked in all the main fields of the Service: counter-subversion, counter-espionage, and counter-terrorism. She was appointed director general in 1992, the first woman to hold the post. She has written her autobiography and six previous Liz Carlyle novels. She lives in London and Norfolk, England.

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Read an Excerpt

The Geneva Trap

A Liz Carlyle Novel
By Stella Rimington

BLOOMSBURY

Copyright © 2012 Stella Rimington
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60819-872-6


Chapter One

It all began by accident.

Early one evening, Dieter Steinmetz of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service was at Geneva airport, seeing off his daughter Anna who was flying to Florence on a school exchange visit. Mireille, his wife, had seized the opportunity to go and see her mother in Basle, and had left the day before. So now he had a week on his own, and as he emerged from the departures hall, he was wondering whether he should go back to the flat, put a pizza in the oven and watch the football on television, or eat something more interesting in his neighbourhood café and watch the football there. He was pondering the choice when he spotted a familiar face coming out of the arrivals hall.

Steinmetz clocked him right away. He didn't remember the name, but he did remember the face and the figure. Steinmetz rarely went out with the surveillance teams nowadays – he had twenty years' seniority in the job and most of his work was done in the office – but they had been a man short recently, and he'd been happy to make up the numbers, glad to keep his hand in.

The man he was looking at now had been the target of the surveillance; a member of the large Russian Trade Delegation in Geneva and a suspected intelligence officer. The teams had watched the Russian for two days, and though nothing of particular interest had emerged on that occasion, there had been some suspicious sightings in the recent past – he had been seen twice with a Pole they strongly suspected of drug running – so he was still very much on their target list, along with at least half a dozen other Russian so-called 'diplomats' posted to Geneva.

Steinmetz filed this sighting away in his mind, resolving to report it the next day, then bought a paper and walked across to the short-term car park where he climbed into his ancient Renault and drove off to join the back of the queue at the exit. As he was waiting, he noticed with admiration the car in front of his, a large, shiny, black Mercedes saloon. An arm emerged from the driver's window and pushed a ticket into the machine, but it must have been the wrong way up because it fell out of the slot on to the ground. The car door opened and it was the Russian who got out, picked up the ticket and impatiently stabbed it back into the machine. Steinmetz watched as the barrier lifted and the Mercedes accelerated fast out of the car park.

The Russian seemed bad-tempered and in a hurry; Steinmetz wondered why. He pushed in his own ticket and, as the barrier lifted, drove off towards the airport exit. To his surprise he saw that the Mercedes was heading towards the motorway leading north, rather than back into Geneva.

This seemed odd to Steinmetz, who was in the business of noticing unexpected behaviour. On a sudden impulse, he also took the northbound exit, hanging back a little to make sure he wouldn't be spotted by the Russian.

The Mercedes joined the Ai, skirting the lake's edge and heading towards Lausanne. Steinmetz hoped that wasn't where he was going; it would be a nightmare trying to follow him on his own in that town's narrow streets. But less than a quarter of an hour later, about five miles short of Lausanne, the Russian turned off the Swiss autoroute, and headed north. On the outskirts of the small town of Aubonne, he stopped at a petrol station and filled up, while Steinmetz parked discreetly off the road a hundred yards behind him.

While he waited, he looked around the car for a pen and a piece of paper. He found a pencil stub in the door pocket but no paper. Searching further, he discovered a paperback novel in the glove compartment. Anna had left it behind. To Kill A Mockingbird – one of the set texts in her English class. On a blank page at the back of the book he scribbled down the licence number of the Mercedes saloon: GE 672931. If he lost his target, at least he'd be able to check whether the car was registered to the Russian Trade Delegation or whether it was privately owned, information that might be some use to the surveillance teams in future. He'd just finished when the Mercedes pulled out, so he stuffed the book back into the glove compartment, and slammed it shut.

The Mercedes drove into Aubonne, through the square with its ancient hôtel de ville, past a pretty church and a turreted castle, leaving the village on its north side. It would be getting dark in an hour or so; surely this couldn't be just a sightseeing trip. Anyway, why would he come straight off a flight and drive up here? He must be meeting someone. The more Steinmetz thought about it, the more likely this seemed. What had been casual impulsiveness, triggered by the appearance of the Mercedes in front of his own car at the barrier, was now growing serious. Steinmetz wished he wasn't on his own. Single-handed surveillance in this terrain was very difficult. There was not much other traffic around so he'd have to hang back, but he was determined not to lose his quarry.

Yet he almost did – the black saloon was moving quickly through the countryside, and Steinmetz had to struggle to keep up. As he passed the Aubonne arboretum, the road entered a pocket of dense woodland. When he emerged from the trees the lowering sun came straight through the windscreen into his eyes. He pulled down the sun visor, blinking to help his eyes adjust to the sudden brightness, and realised that there was no sign of the Mercedes ahead of him. Damn! He pushed the accelerator down to the floor as the road climbed sharply out of the valley.

As he crested the hill, he was relieved to see the Mercedes again. It had slowed down dramatically, so much so that although Steinmetz braked sharply, he was soon only a hundred yards behind the other car. They were on an unusually straight stretch of road; nothing was coming from the other direction. Any normal driver would take the opportunity to pass the dawdling Mercedes, and Steinmetz realised that if he didn't do that his cover would certainly be blown. It would be obvious that he was following.

There was nothing for it, so he started to swing out to overtake. The road here ran like a causeway on top of an embankment, with the land sloping away to form a steep drop on either side. Mireille would hate this, he thought – his wife had a terrible fear of heights.

He kept his eyes straight ahead as he started to overtake. But as he did so the Mercedes picked up speed; it was taking Steinmetz longer than expected to pass. Then suddenly he saw a shadow coming from the passenger's side, and he realised that the Mercedes was pulling out on to his side of the road.

Steinmetz hit his horn and jammed on the brakes. But it was too late – the Mercedes's front wing smashed into the Renault, knocking the smaller car towards the flimsy barrier on the left side of the road. Steinmetz desperately swung the steering wheel to the right, but the Mercedes was still pushing against his car, making a terrible grinding noise of clashing steel. As his car slid left towards the barrier, Steinmetz saw with a helpless sense of dread what was going to happen next.

The Renault hit the thin barrier like a bullet going through a paper bag, and hurtled off the road. The front of the car dipped in the air, lifting Steinmetz up in his seat.

The Renault landed and flipped on to its side. It rolled over once, twice, and then a third and final time, until it sat crookedly upright on its one remaining wheel. It had lost both front doors, and its roof was crushed like a concertina.

Forty minutes later, a fireman attending the scene remarked to a colleague that it was a miracle that the car hadn't caught fire. His colleague looked at the body being removed from the Renault's front seat, and said softly, 'Some miracle.'

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington Copyright © 2012 by Stella Rimington. Excerpted by permission of BLOOMSBURY. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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