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Secret Asset


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The second thriller from the former head of MI5, featuring MI5 officer Liz Carlyle.

About the Author

Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1965 and was appointed Director-General in 1992.She was the first woman to hold the post and the first Director-General whose name was publicly announced on appointment. Following her retirement from MI5 in 1996, she became a non-executive director of Marks and Spencer and published her autobiography, Open Secret. The first Liz Carlyle novel, At Risk, was published in 2004.


Talented M15 intelligence officer Liza Carlyle is asked to stake out a probable terrorist cell at an Islamic bookstore and then asked to pull back; it seems that there's a mole in the system. From former M15 director general Rimington. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

A cracking good thriller -- Lynn Barber * Observer *
Intelligent... Undeniably pacey * Guardian *
This is something rare: the spy novel that prizes authenticity over fabrication * Mail on Sunday *
Tense and terrifying * Cosmopolitan *
The Security Service background is exceedingly convincing * Evening Standard *

After four months' convalescent leave, MI5 spy Liz Carlyle, returning from her debut in Rimington's At Risk, confers with her agent Marzipan, an Islamic bookshop clerk who has discovered a probable terror plot in the making. Soon after, Liz is charged with finding an IRA mole within the ranks of MI5. With the aid of fresh-faced co-worker Peggy Kinsolving, Liz goes about the task of ferreting out the mole, despite disappointment at being taken off the terror case, which she can't quite let go-with, it turns out, good reason. Much is made of the authenticity of Rimington's tradecraft (she was the first female head of MI5 in real life), and rightly so. But lots of writers get the details right, and for many readers, Rimington's ratio of action to personal detail will seem skewed: every character, no matter how minor, gets heavily profiled, and it slows things down. Still, those interested in old school British intelligence thrillers will find much to like in the smart, enterprising Carlyle. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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