From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Rimington, Stella: At Risk

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

Thirty-four-year-old Liz Carlyle, the protagonist of Stella Rimington's debut novel, is an intelligence officer with MI5, Britain's Secret Service. At Risk finds Liz heading up an investigation into the possible infiltration of Britain by an "invisible," a terrorist who is or can pass as English and so not arouse suspicion: a nightmare, in other words. Rimington leads readers through the investigation, following Liz as she and her team track and analyze the terrorists' activity, and following the terrorists as they make small but significant errors that render them vulnerable to capture.

Rimington tells her story from multiple perspectives, including that of the invisible, whom she is able to make three-dimensional--not sympathetic, surely, but human. Among the good guys, Liz is a well-rounded character, and those working around her emerge as distinct personalities, though they are not explored in depth. The interaction between Liz and her colleagues feels right, in part because Rimington writes dialogue well, weaving together the personal and work-related threads of small encounters realistically. Rimington's writing also shines when she is introducing background information--most noticeably in the first chapter--which she does very deftly.

It should hardly surprise us if the intelligence-related details in Rimington's thriller ring true. The author worked for the Secret Service for almost thirty years prior to her retirement in 1996, and she was appointed director general of MI5 in 1992. What is surprising is that Rimington has pulled off such a great piece of fiction her first time out, telling a complex story that is both riveting and well-written. The only criticism I have is minor, that Liz's problematic personal relationship--an affair with a married man who cannot know the nature of her work--plays as an afterthought and might well have been omitted. (Perhaps this relationship will be explored further in Rimington's sequel, Secret Asset.) Fans of spy novels take note: this smart intelligence procedural is a great read.

Review summary: Thirty-four-year-old Liz Carlyle is an intelligence officer with MI5, Britain's Secret Service. At Risk finds Liz heading up an investigation into the infiltration of Britain by an "invisible," a terrorist who is or can pass as English and so not arouse suspicion. Rimington leads readers through the investigation, following Liz as she and her team track and analyze the terrorists' activity, and following the terrorists as they make small but significant errors that render them vulnerable to capture. It should hardly surprise us if the intelligence-related details in Rimington's thriller ring true. The author worked for the Secret Service for almost thirty years prior to her retirement in 1996. What is surprising is that Rimington has pulled off such a great piece of fiction her first time out, telling a complex story that is both riveting and well-written.

Comments

1.

This sounds like an excellent read, and one that I probably wouldn't have found without you. Thanks!

2.

I'm glad! If you wind up reading it and you remember, let us know what you think.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In