I really enjoyed this book. I was a little suspicious seeing the "From the former head of MI5" written on the cover. These marketing ploys by publishers get worse and worse lately. So, I picked it up with some reservations. But, I was not at all dissapointed. The story is wonderfully crafted. A whole lot of apparently unrelated bits and pieces of information get pulled togther, and this story was wonderfully realistic. One wonders if it perhaps comes from some MI5 files that the public will, of course, never get to hear about!!
AT RISK opens with an introduction to Liz Carlyle, the key character in the novel, currently an agent-runner with the counter-terrorism unit of MI5. Liz, while bumping heads with colleagues thanks to the usual inter-offfice, and indeed, intra-office politics in a male-dominated workplace, is also confidently supported by Charles Wetherby, her superior at MI5. We then witness the entrance into the UK of an "invisible", a terrorist and/or terrorist aid who can pass off for a local, and this invisible facilitates the entry into the UK of an arab terrorist. The plot takes off from there, and any further information would be a plot spoiler! It is certainly a fascinating and exciting story. And, with so much coverage of terrorism in the popular fiction today, this was a refreshingly original piece of story-telling (listen up, Vince Flynn!).
One cannot help but wonder how much the key character, Liz Carlyle, is actually Stella Rimmington. Carlyle's character is extremely well developed, and we get to learn a lot about her. In fact, all of the characters in the novel felt very real to me. I wholeheartedly recommend it!