Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle Series #3)

Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle Series #3)

by Stella Rimington
3.3 6

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Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle Series #3) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
NoNonsenseReader More than 1 year ago
I liked the first two novels by Stella Rimington about Liz Carlyle - At Risk and Sectet Asset, despite the lack of fast action and high quality plot - mostly because of their realistic description of the hard work of people in Security Service. However, this latest novel, Illegal Action, is a step back for the author.

She felt it necessary to pull out the old anti-Russian stereotypes, slightly modified from the Cold War era, but still borderline racist. At first it almost seems that the author thies to say that not all Russians are actually that bad, but by the end of the story the reader is assured -ALL Russians are either KGB agents, or murderers, or both.

The action is lacking for the most part. The plot is simply preposterous. The author was obviously inspired by the Litvinenko affair and the fashionable theme of Russian government actions against freedom loving oligarchs who are in fact big-time thieves and schemers. But whatever is going on with the characters in this book is just ridiculous. It is worthy of a cheap Hollywood movie, but not the book by a former MI5 chief who already created a couple of decent books.

Also, why in the age of Internet and globalization do the English authors still feel a need to make up Russian-sounding names that are not actually Russian? Well, I guess this is the least of the book's problems.
azbloke More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book if you are into English mysteries/thrillers. The first Liz Carlyle book I read was #5. I have been going back and reading all of them to keep abreast of exactly how she got where she is. I have found that you are not sure of who the evildoer is until the last chapter or 2. Enjoy that. Also helps that I spent 8 years in England and really enjoy these types of books.
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TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
When Stella Rimington first published a novel in 2004, I was pleased, surprised, and interested. It was kind of cool, watching the watchers, and seeing what she decided to share with us of her life and her work as the first Director General of Britain's domestic security service, MI-5. Her earlier work, particularly her first novel At Risk, was good. But a really great editor wouldn't have let her get away with this latest narrative, which did not quite reach the mark. Perhaps writing is a stress-reliever for her and we should not ask for more than is offered. But all novelists must run the guantlet of reviewers. The story here is has Russian actors, and it seems to be reminiscent, in the beginning at least, of the real-life murder of the Soviet citizen Alexander Litvinenko. The ripped-from-the-headlines quality Rimington can bring to her writing certainly adds cachet, but unfortunately her main character was an ice queen who inspired little confidence and no loyalty. I am not at all sure the reserve and secrecy so useful to the DG of MI-5 are particularly useful characteristics for novelists. One must reveal deep truths about characters if we would be willing to walk a distance with them in an alternate universe.
harstan More than 1 year ago
MI5 officer Liz Carlyle is unhappy with the management directed reassignment from the counterterrorism department to the backwater counterespionage dept., but vows to excel in her new office. Her first major project involves surveillance of an affluent Russian expatriate residing in London. Apparently a drunken Stakhov mentioned a nebulous plot that worries the M16 leadership as the war on terrorism supersedes the counter espionage so much so that a caught spy is not expelled from the country out of fear of harming the partnership with the Russians. The assignment is to monitor Stakhov and the other oligarchs in order to learn what their plot is.---------- Liz concludes that someone has targeted the wealthy oligarch for assassination. She follows up on clues and begins to believe the hit was called by someone powerful in Russia perhaps a person connected to the Putin government. However, unbeknownst to Liz is that some is watching her sleuthing and is considering her as a potential threat worth eliminating.------------ This modern day espionage thriller is excellent from the onset as a disappointed Liz realizes in spite of the pay being the same she was demoted when the brass transferred her from the top gun department to yesterday¿s new department. The story line is fast-paced as Liz begins to unravel the complex truth, which makes her a strong secondary target. Spy thriller fans will fully relish Stella Rimington¿s terrific tale as ILLEGAL ACTION may mean nothing in the current counterespionage world.------------- Harriet Klausner