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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less fantasy than Bond; a lively page-turner
No James Bond smoothie knocking off the baddies and knocking up the birds, Liz Carlyle's character is far more down to earth, far more credible. The women in the book don't fall about screaming when they see something iffy, but get on with the job. Mind you, the blokes in power are often represented as arrogant tossers--the male equivalent of the cardboard hysterical...
Published on 20 Nov. 2008 by I. A. Wright

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine for the beach but not her best effort
As `Illegal Action' begins, Liz Carlyle is being transferred to Counter-espionage within MI5 a move she views as a demotion. However, soon after she arrives, word leaks of a plot by the Russians to kill one of their influential oligarchs here in London. Intelligence leads Liz to carry out an undercover operation where she must pose as an art history student and spend time...
Published on 17 Aug. 2008 by Sarah Durston


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine for the beach but not her best effort, 17 Aug. 2008
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Illegal Action (Hardcover)
As `Illegal Action' begins, Liz Carlyle is being transferred to Counter-espionage within MI5 a move she views as a demotion. However, soon after she arrives, word leaks of a plot by the Russians to kill one of their influential oligarchs here in London. Intelligence leads Liz to carry out an undercover operation where she must pose as an art history student and spend time in the home of Brunovsky, a charismatic and incredibly wealthy man who could be under threat. It seems that none of the people in Brunovsky's intimate circle are who they say they are and it's up to Liz to get to the truth.

I have read and enjoyed Stella Rimington's other books, but for some reason i found this one slightly lack lustre. The plot was Ok, but fell apart towards the end and I didn't find myself engaged with the characters as much as I had been in previous books. This novel might be OK for the book and is an easy read, but it certainly isn't the best example of her writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best book!, 17 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Illegal Action (Hardcover)
Stella Rimington is clearly an intelligent person (and she should be - given her former job!) - her language is brilliant.
I was, however, disappointed with this her third spy-novel. Not as exciting as the two first. When finished I sat back with a feeling that either the author didn't really have anything to say, or didn't have time enough time to write this book. It build up quite well, but then ended so suddenly, and never became really thrilling.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less fantasy than Bond; a lively page-turner, 20 Nov. 2008
By 
I. A. Wright "Ian Wright" (Didcot, Oxon, England) - See all my reviews
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No James Bond smoothie knocking off the baddies and knocking up the birds, Liz Carlyle's character is far more down to earth, far more credible. The women in the book don't fall about screaming when they see something iffy, but get on with the job. Mind you, the blokes in power are often represented as arrogant tossers--the male equivalent of the cardboard hysterical woman, the kind of people we all recognize from the workplace.

The pace of the story is good and fast, making the book something of a page-turner. Just don't compare Rimington with Le Carré, yet.

Some voyeurs might whinge at the lack of sex scenes in the story, but such scenes would only have delayed the important stuff, weakening the tale.

Rimington is certainly improving as an author and spinner of yarns. Good for her. Knowing the Service as thoroughly as she does, she must surely be at great pains not to tell too much, not to give away some "useful" information, lest she be branded "another Peter Wright". But within the limits of what she can safely divulge, she presents us with a credible view of some aspects of work in MI5. If anything's missing, it's the sheer drudgery of some of the analytical work. But who'd be interested in that?

Good on yer, Stella. Keep 'em coming.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read., 7 Nov. 2008
By 
Ann Fairweather (England) - See all my reviews
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Just finished this book after reading all others by Stella Remington. Again there is much to enjoy, the good characterisation, the locations in London, the inner life of MI5 and MI6, and a very contemporary plot. But also, there is much to find a bit short-changed ( as in the other books_) mostly here this anti-climax ending, utterly unprobable, unconvincing endings that Remington seems to be so good at.
The story I found a bit far-fetched, and stretching belief. Still I would recommend it for a journey or a long airport delay.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An authentic spy novel, 1 Dec. 2007
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Illegal Action (Hardcover)
This is the third thriller penned by Stella Rimington, the former Director General of Britain's MI5. Rimington's first hand experience in the Secret Service comes through in her writing and gives her novels a very authentic feel. When she writes about the way that a surveillance operation is conducted, for example, you know that this is really how it goes down.

This is an enjoyable book that takes off fast and holds your attention. The plot takes off where "Secret Asset" left off (though it's not necessary to have read that book) and again centres on Liz Carlyle, now transferred to the Counter Espionage division within MI5. Her team become aware of a Russian Government plot to silence a Russian oligarch living in the UK. Liz goes undercover in a bid to prevent the plot, but quickly becomes a target herself. Can she and her team find the potential assassin before it's too late?

It's hard to find a thriller that has a good ending and unfortunately this book is yet another that loses its way around the 90% mark. The resolution is ultimately weak but it's still a good book that keeps you hooked throughout, and while some of the key plot elements are very predictable, there are a couple of twists that most definitely aren't. The main characters are well thought out and the premise feels realistic. Rimington has written another winner and I look forward to her next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russian Oligarchs in new Rimington winner, 5 Mar. 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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Illegal Action

In her third Liz Carlyle novel Stella moves to modern Russia and the London based oligarchs, in this case billionaire Brunovsky on a mission to buy a newly discovered modern Russian painting.

In her third Liz Carlyle novel Rimington has firmly settled into her new career, and provides an authentic background and page turning read with a new maturity of plot and character development.

As usual this is the more laid back whodunit style of spy fiction, and highly recommended if you enjoy that approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illegal Action, 7 Nov. 2009
By 
I. Q. Lumsden (Swanage, England) - See all my reviews
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The first time round I borrowed all five novels from the library. After reading they immediately went to the top of my "must have" list, so I bought the whole set plus the autobiography. Written with authority, credibility and humour they really do fit into the category of unputdownable! I can't wait for the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good read, 1 April 2013
Always moves at a good pace and keeps you guessing (almost) to the end....I shall keep reading more Liz Carlyle stories
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3.0 out of 5 stars shame, I hope the next is better., 18 Mar. 2012
I am working my way through the author's books in order so this is the third I have read. I really enjoyed the first two but this is not in the same league. The main problem for me is there are too many characters so the plot is difficult to understand especially if you put the book down for a couple of days. Ms Rimington does not have the knack of being able to remind you of the plot as you go along. Robert B Parker was a master of this. I didnt find the ending too bad because it is quite thorough but it is a bit simplistic. I hope her next books are better than this as I do like her writing style.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read, 14 Sept. 2009
By 
Mrs. RM KLEPPMANN (Germany) - See all my reviews
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I found some of the characters rather unrealistic and there were also inaccuracies in the material but I still found it a good holiday read.
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Illegal Action: (Liz Carlyle 3)
Illegal Action: (Liz Carlyle 3) by Stella Rimington (Audio CD - 2 Aug. 2007)
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