Customer Review

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Account of the Abuse of Power, 7 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Big Breach: From Top Secret to Maximum Security (Paperback)
I found this book gripping, and very disturbing. The first half of the
book charts the author's career in Britain's Secret Intelligence
Service (MI6). Tomlinson's description of his MI6 training is
fascinating, and often amusing. On completion of his training, the
author serves in Moscow and Bosnia. As Tomlinson is a former member of
the Territorial SAS (volunteer branch of the UK special forces), one
would expect him to keep a clear head in a war zone and, indeed, his
activities in Bosnia in 1993-94 testify to his personal courage and
professional commitment.
While serving in Bosnia, Tomlinson is
involved in an operation in which a British army Land Rover rolls over
into a ditch. No one is hurt, and the mission is not compromised, but
Tomlinson's silk tie is destroyed during the subsequent attempt to
restart the engine. Consequently, he is obliged to meet a group of
VIPs wearing an open-necked shirt. Despite the broad success of his
mission to Bosnia, the open-necked shirt incident earns him a bad
performance appraisal on his return to London.
Later, while working
to infiltrate a plot to sell chemical weapons manufacturing equipment
to Iran, Tomlinson is fired by MI6, with no warning and no
explanation. Yet he has received fulsome praise from his new manager
for his work on the chemical weapons project, and cannot understand
why he has been fired. The second half of the book describes
Tomlinson's attempts to discover the reason for his dismissal and take
MI6 to an employment tribunal, and MI6's heavy handed campaign to
resist this...The book is poorly edited and contains numerous typographical
errors that should have been caught by even the most cursory
proof-reading. Nevertheless, it makes compelling and disturbing
reading, and deserves a five-star rating.
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Review Details

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3.8 out of 5 stars (19 customer reviews)
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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