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The Geneva Trap: A Liz Carlyle novel (Liz Carlyle 7) Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; First Edition edition (19 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781408828663
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408828663
  • ASIN: 1408828669
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,464 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



'Rimington's best work demonstrates a flair for narrative, with a sense of authenticity and an insider's grasp on the pressing issues of the day

(Washington Post)

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)

Rich with authentic details from Rimington's own life as director general of MI5, this is a must-read for fans of contemporary spy fiction (Publishers Weekly)

Book Description

When a rogue Russian spy warns her of a plot to hack into the West's military satellite systems, MI5's Liz Carlyle finds her past catching up with her...

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is called to Geneva when a Russian intelligence agent approaches MI5 and demanding to speak to her. He has news about the infiltration of a top secret US/UK defence project. As Liz and her team hunt for the mole hidden somewhere within the Ministry of Defence, the Swiss authorities are conducting parallel enquiries into another Russian intelligence officer based in Geneva. At the same time, Liz is trying to assist her mother's partner with a family problem associated with an anarchist group in Southern France. There are some connections between these storylines, although the connections are not as straightforward as it will initially appear.

What I always like about Stella Rimington's books are the way that they ooze authenticity. Even little throwaway lines like describing the MI6 headquarters as "a mixture of understated gloom and grandiose pomp." When she describes surveillance operations or the way that agencies exchange information, you know that it's grounded in the reality of how these things are actually done. While there is action and violence in her stories, it doesn't stretch beyond the limits of all credibility.

Rimington's weakness as an author has always been character development. She has a knack for writing extremely wooden conversations, but this story is very much investigation based so it's less of an issue than it is in some of her other books. The relationship between Liz and her French counterpart is still very much on, but it's a relationship that's entirely devoid of any spark. We are told of their feelings for one another without ever feeling them.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story. It's not a "can't put down" thriller, but it develops at a good pace and keeps some connections withheld until the very end.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Jim J-R on 24 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In former MI5 director-general Dame Stella Rimington's seventh Liz Carlyle novel, the counter-espionage officer is called to Geneva when a Russian agent insists on talking only to her. It continues the style of the previous books, focussing heavily on depicting the realism of life in the security service while presenting a compelling tale.

The characterisation moves up a notch in this novel, with a significant sub-plot around elements of Liz's private life, and more of her backstory is revealed. The other characters are used more than in earlier books, with several of them getting significant portions of the narrative.

The plot is compelling and moves at a good pace - the realistic nature of the storyline may put some readers off as it's certainly not 'action packed', but I enjoy the insight into the actual workings of the security services that Rimington's real-life experience brings.

I found this to be one of the best in the series, with a good strong plot and compelling characters. I look forward to more adventures and finding out how the characters' lives will change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Marjorie Ainley on 24 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, it was a book and I read it. It wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. It was a lazy book. We were given sketches of the characters rather than portraits and there were no layers or convolutions to the plot which just plodded on in a pretty straight line. Something could have been made of the two cities, Geneva and London but we got no sense of place whatsoever. The book felt like the first draft of a book which was going to be developed into something rather interesting and I was left with a feeling of disappointment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD
The Geneva Trap, Stella Rimington, Bloomsbury, 2013 (2012), 328p.

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' with heroes running around with machine guns and bombs shooting up villains and blowing things up, having spectacular car chases and escaping from deadly traps and situations, while high-tech weapons are stolen or taken over for nefarious purposes. Having said all that, all the above does actually happen, but in the context of a structured intelligence-gathering operation that happens to coincide with some unrelated counter-terrorism operations, due to personal interactions between the main characters. The story begins with two apparently unrelated incidents in Switzerland, when a Swiss intelligence officer spots a suspected Russian intelligence officer and decides to follow him to see what he's up to; and another Russian contacts MI6 in Switzerland and asks to meet Liz Carlyle. The Russian contact reveals that there is a third-party mole in the MoD interfering with a top-secret Anglo-American drone project. As MI5 investigates, small pieces of information are gathered that are slowly woven into a bigger and bigger picture. Meanwhile, Liz's prospective step-sister returns to England from several years in a French commune, which Liz's boyfriend is investigating. This grows into a separate and unrelated plot that gives us something to watch while the other one gestates, but is interwoven so carefully that we don't notice or even care, as this is the more `human' side of Liz's life. The two stories eventually reach a climax and conclusion, in an excellently constructed and seamless story. This is not Bond or Bourne, but it is its own more `real' world.
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