This is a biography of the woman who ran MI5. It isn't a novel by Tom Clancy and it isn't a full analysis of the structure and methods of the Security Services. It gives insight into the mind and values of the woman who was very successful within the security services of the 1970's and 1980's. She shows modesty and commitment - rising from part-time Office junior to Head of the Service via hard work and personal sacrifice (especially family relationships and financial). The book tells us much about English attitudes, the cult of the 'Amateur,' and how many fall by the wayside on the path to the top - lacking commitment or realising that the effort is not justified by the reward. It will make you question how and why people get to the top in British politics and administration. Americans, in particular, will be stunned by her candour (and poverty) We need more books like this - real biographies talking about genuine biographical issues as opposed to post-rationalised self-promotion. With more women taking the top roles in Society, let's hope we will get these more honest stories.