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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complicated plot grounded in authenticity
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...
Published on 7 Aug 2012 by Julia Flyte

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea spoilt by sloppy ending
I normally like Stella Rimington's Liz Carlyle books and have read a number of them. She's not up there with the likes of Le Carre but still normally a very good read. Moreover her experience must incur respect in this genre.

However in this book she has spoilt the plot: the ending incurs a development (which I won't reveal here) that is unrealistic. It...
Published 7 months ago by Mr. Stephen F. Male


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A complicated plot grounded in authenticity, 7 Aug 2012
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, and one of the best in the series, 24 July 2012
By 
J. R. Johnson-Rollings (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal, 30 Aug 2012
Not many spy writers have actually run an intelligence agency but Stella Rimmington has. The depth of her knowledge shines through on every page of this compelling thriller. Excellent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels quite realistic, 25 Nov 2012
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NJB (Aberdeen, UK) - See all my reviews
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Relatively low key compared to more American type novels but giving a feeling of authenticity. It was a good story
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the geneva trap, 26 Aug 2012
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Jp Smith (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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The seventh Liz Carlyle novel and Stella still keeps coming up with new authentic and believeable plots. Don't know where she gets them from but hope she keeps them coming. One of the rare authors that I can't put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expert on context, 12 Dec 2012
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Rimmington knows the world she writes about, can deliver a fair plot with Liz C a good female hero (we need more) but the climax isn't her best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Liz Carlyle yet., 4 Dec 2012
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I have read all the Liz Carlyle books and unquestionably this provides continuous intrigue ,excitement and grips you throughout.
Excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea spoilt by sloppy ending, 30 Dec 2013
By 
Mr. Stephen F. Male "Steve" (England) - See all my reviews
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I normally like Stella Rimington's Liz Carlyle books and have read a number of them. She's not up there with the likes of Le Carre but still normally a very good read. Moreover her experience must incur respect in this genre.

However in this book she has spoilt the plot: the ending incurs a development (which I won't reveal here) that is unrealistic. It enables a high tension culmination to the story but I cannot see any reason why the antagonist would behave as he does and plenty of good reasons why he wouldn't. This seems to be a device inserted simply to end the book on a crisis but as it is transparently disconnected with the rest of the plot then, to me, it badly jars.

Obviously one takes any fiction on the basis of suspension of belief to an extent, but when a plot is internally incoherent to this extent then the whole edifice crumbles.

I will continue to buy her books as I have previously enjoyed her output, but this one should be avoided.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable romp, 10 Sep 2012
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The first Stella Rimington book I've read, and probably not the last. A little silly towards the end, but in keeping with most spy jaunts. I was guided by the other customer reviews, which at the time, were positive. Other books in the series have not faired so well, so I shall choose my next installment with care. A good holiday read which temporarily allows you to feel like a spy, but no big surprises at the end.
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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 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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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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The Geneva Trap: A Liz Carlyle novel (Liz Carlyle 7)
The Geneva Trap: A Liz Carlyle novel (Liz Carlyle 7) by Stella Rimington (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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