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Illegal Action: (Liz Carlyle 3) Mass Market Paperback – 2 Oct 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099502135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099502135
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Rimington's plot, as one should expect from a former head of MI5, bristles with subterfuge and splices in allusions to Litvinenko's poisoning to give Illegal Action a contemporary feel . . . Gripping . . . Carlyle, in her third outing, has depth and tenacity" (Financial Times)

"The thing about Ms Rimington's stories is that they have the smack of authenticity" (Baz Bamingboye Daily Mail)

"There is every sign of inside knowledge about this spying business as our hero Liz enters the world of mega-rich and mega-eccentric Russian 'oligarchs' in London" (Guardian)

"Rimington's command of espionage and counterespionage history and techniques enables her to bring enormous believability to her well-paced narrative. Her dialogue moves as swiftly as the action, and her characters are as believable as the world in which they - and we - live. Fans of intelligent spy thrillers are in for a treat" (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

"An ideal beach read for the upcoming vacation season . . . Elements of the old-fashioned spy novel -sudden twists and characters with hidden agendas-combine with James Patterson's secret to success" (Booklist)

Book Description

The third thriller from the former head of MI5, featuring MI5 officer Liz Carlyle

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I first met liz Carlyle when I was given the book by a friend, and continued to read, this is the 3rd book of the series, and I have to admit it took me a while to get into the book, at one point I nearly stopped, but am glad I didn't.
With Charles on sick leave, Liz is moved departments, although not happy she puts her head down and tries to get on with it. However, she comes across some bosses who are both feminists and quite demeaning. She is tasked with going undercover to track down a Russian Spy who is after assassinating a wealthy business man who lives in London. Although initially Liz does not think there is much point to being undercover, various snippits of information come to light which changes her mind. A new man in her life may not be all he seems to be either, but what are the consequences of having a new boss who is to be frank a bit of an idiot?
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By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Dec. 2007
Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was very good and although like all good books of this type you know the ending is going to be different from the beginning, it still kept me enthralled and interested. The many twists and turns made it so enjoyable. I feel it warrants the four stars for the plot and sub plot lines. Stella yet again brings her knowledge of the content to very good use. Thoroughly recommend the book and author.
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Format: 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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