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Rip Tide: A Liz Carlyle novel [Hardcover]

Stella Rimington
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
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Book Description

18 July 2011

When pirates attack a cargo ship off the Somalian coast and one of them is found to be a British-born Pakistani, alarm bells start ringing at London's Thames House. MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is brought in to establish how and why a young British Muslim could go missing from his well-to-do family in Birmingham and end up on board a pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean, armed with a Kalashnikov.

After an undercover operative connected to the case turns up dead in the shipping office of an NGO in Athens it looks like piracy may be the least of the Service's problems. Liz and her team must unravel the connections between Pakistan, Greece and Somalia,relying on their wits - and the judicious use of force - to get to the truth.And they don't have long, as trouble is brewing closer to home: the kind of explosive trouble that MI5 could do without ...

Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, returns with a tense and heart-stopping spy thriller where the stakes are high and the enemy is always just out of sight.

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Rip Tide: A Liz Carlyle novel + Present Danger
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (18 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140881112X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408811122
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 255,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 three Liz Carlyle novels.

Product Description


This is something rare: the spy novel that prizes authenticity over fabrication, that is true to the character and spirit of intelligence work (Mail on Sunday)

Rip Tide marks a step forward as her first fully international thriller (Sunday Times)

A real slow burner ... Rimington's attention to detail is second to none (Sunday Herald)

The details of how MI5 conducts its business are fascinating ... Stella establishes a cracking pace and keeps you guessing right up until the end (Sunday Express)

For a pacy page-turner, she's a safe bet ... Rimington is particularly strong in her accounts of procedure, unsurprisingly, given her past role as Head of MI5 (Independent)

Liz Carlyle is an MI5 agent with the traditional thriller-heroine mix of dysfunctional personal life and steely ambition (Daily Telegraph)

She uses her knowledge of covert spy operations to create powerful story lines that are exciting yet plausible (Daily Express)

Book Description

To catch an enemy with nothing to lose, Liz Carlyle must venture into treacherous waters

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another excellent Liz Carlyle case 17 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This series gets better with each new case. The prose is blessedly free of cliche and sensationalism. Much like the protagonist, M15 agent Liz Carlyle. The plot is an absorbing one, about intelligence work in the present: exploring the issues of piracy of the Horn of Africa, seamlessly intermingling the global spread of Muslim extremism. The story moves along at a good pace, and is easy to read.The security services are peopled by credible, "grown up" characters.
Liz Carlyle's private life continues to unfold from the earlier books, but does not distract from the core of the book.
I finished this book in 2 sittings. Hurry up and write the next one, please, Ms Rimington!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sixth installment, at last ! 7 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had discovered Dame Stella's work with her previous Liz Carlyle's story, Present Danger. A bit disappointing as I had written back in 2010, but it had gotten me into wanting to read the first installements, and those were pretty good.

Rip Tide is better than Present Danger, but yet fails to find its footing in the likes of the first three novels.
The attention for detail is amazing and provides the story with a "real thing" flavour that makes the reader feels like an insider. The description of a briefing in Birmingham with the A4 surveillance teams for instance is a real gem. You can actually feel the author has been there and done that.
Far from the farfetched stories of some so called spy-writers, Dame Stella manages to instill details that make the story all the more believable. It almost reads like a documentary sometimes, by a credible witness who has been present at such events, has lived the long hours of surveillance, has attended the numerous liaison meetings ... No off the mark coups de theatre that might be the hallmark of Hollywood stuff, but basic procedures and realistic chains of events that make it all the more "real stuff".

Granted, some characters are somewhat rather dull (Dave Armstrong's character needs more work), but at least the insipide Charles has been let go... Good move Stella !

Looking forward to the next story...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for more from this author 21 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Straightforward and complex at the same time, Rimington is a modern author with the knack of producing fast-paced action you simply must read. This is the first I've read - thanks to the price - but I will now look at the others by Stella Rimington.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, as usual 17 July 2012
By Frenchie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read Present Danger and Dead Line from Ms Rimington. I have enjoyed them all. I like the persona of Liz Carlyle. She is tough but human. I have also like the way her relationship with Martin develops.
I know some reviewers have mentioned some inconsistencies, but since I have never been to Birmingham, never went on a ship (except a dinghy) or to Greece, they did not bother me at all.
I do think the plot with the Birmingham guys could have been a bit more in depth and the dialogues were not that great, given that the guys were hard groomed and determined. You could not really feel the tension that the undercover agent was under.
But I have enjoyed the book, and for me, it had the same quality as the previous ones. Will I buy the next one? of course I will.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great yarn (and is it fiction) 17 Aug 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although it is a later part of the Liz Carlyle series of books written by Stella Rimington, it stands perfectly well by itself as a story. Having been part of the community upon which she is basing her book it is not surprising that it appears to have an underpinning foundation of fact. In addition, it brings to life some of the problems of today's political and social situations. It has encouraged me to keep my eyes open for the rest of the series (must be hardback so not so easy to buy of the shelf)
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Liz Carlyle returns in Stella Rimington's sixth novel. When a British Muslim is captured by the French navy on a Somali pirate ship, Liz is called in to investigate.

I've been looking forward to this book for a while - until now Rimington has released a new novel every 12 months but this one is 9 months later than that. I'm not, however, convinced that it was worth the wait.

There's little I can find to criticise though - the book just failed to grip. I didn't feel motivated at the end of each chapter to continue to the next, and the action was sparser even than in the previous books in the series. For the most part though the writing was good and everything (apart from some aspects of Birmingham) was utterly believable - as would be expected from an author with such first-hand experience.

The main problem with the plot I think is that it doesn't flow very well. It's very episodic and takes a while to build up to anything, and it really isn't until right at the end that things come together into a coherent adventure. It does leave plenty of scope for a sequel though, so I'm hoping there are plans for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good 25 Dec 2013
By nimby
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant,gripping,exciting,a real thrill,,a proper page turner,bored now I have said all I wish to say in praise of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story about intelligence operations 24 Dec 2013
By Gareth Simon TOP 100 REVIEWER
Rip Tide, Stella Rimington, Bloomsbury, 2012 (2011), 369pp.

This is an excellent story about intelligence operations, featuring the author's recurring character of Liz Carlyle and her regular supporting cast. This is not an action `thriller' as such, though there are many thriller elements, including agents being murdered and kidnapped, commando raids and pirate attacks, and suicide bombers at large in Birmingham, though that is kept for the finale, and is not the bread and butter of the story, as such. That is concerned with the detail of intelligence gathering and surveillance, which slowly builds up a picture that reveals what the baddies are up to, allowing for a response to be formulated. Though moving at the measured pace of the stories in this series, this is definitely thriller territory, but with plenty of time for Liz's private life to be interwoven into the action.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars recommeded
Well written and believable. Good character base and done at a pace that keeps both interest and detail intact. Great series
Published 1 month ago by aspflyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Enjoyed this book, MI5, M16, FBI, SAS, Seals pretty much every institution in it. Quite like the short chapters as it made it easy to read for someone who doesn't have the time to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Nikki Holley-Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Running out of steam?
I've enjoyed the Liz Carlyle series but this one suffers on a few credibility issues. Sure, you'd just speculatively get a train to Birmingham and instantaneously bump into... Read more
Published 2 months ago by tpryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Rip Tide
I enjoyed this book. The story held me and the characters are very realistic. The author obviously knows a great deal about this area.
Published 2 months ago by Colin Easton
4.0 out of 5 stars Rip Tide
Good read finding this author worth following I have now read 3 of her books. I have nothing further to say
Published 2 months ago by Brenda Lauderdale
5.0 out of 5 stars Birmingham based story
I found this story gripping and interesting, as I lived in Birmingham. It moved dramatically from UK to Africa, as the tale unfolded. Well worth reading.
Published 2 months ago by Brum-Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping stuff as always
As always from Stella Rimington, a good entertaining yarn. I like the Liz Carlyle character, nothing more to say except write faster please!
Published 2 months ago by Lullings
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spook with Looks & Brains
What Is apparent, apart from her obvious writing skills is Stella Rimington's encyclopedic knowledge of the security services. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MR J PEARSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Read it on holiday, took a day, as I couldn't put it down.

Made a rainy day on holiday pleasant.
Published 3 months ago by Dejay
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great story telling Very real plots and credible people in the story .extremely believable story line and back story of Liz
Published 3 months ago by John Jobling
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