Rimington's experience as top "spook" makes this a gripping, if a bit disjointed story. It's a bit slow to get going but gathers pace to a thrilling a..Show More »nd unexpected conclusion. My greatest disappointment was to find that Jennifer McMahon does not narrate Stella's other works - in fact she is listed as narrator for only two other books. McMahon's narration is delightful and her characterisation excellent - quite the best I've heard. Please Audible, give us more Jennifer McMahon!
I really liked "At Risk," the first book in the series, but was disappointed in this one. The timing was off; the identity of the asset was plain almo..Show More »st from the beginning, and although some interesting ambiguities emerged, it was s slog to the end. Probably very much like real Intel work.
I don't really know. Things moved at a snail's pace; too many characters were introduced too quickly; supposed main character was not the focus; conve..Show More »rsations between characters were boring and recounted in too much detail. I kept waiting for it to pick up. A lot like waiting for paint to dry. Avoid. I've had to stop listening. Couldn't take it any more and fell like I wasted my credit.
Viewing a TV interview with author Stella Rimmington, I was impressed by her personal authority, and the fact that she had mixed parenthood (single pa..Show More »renthood at that) and top leadership in British espionage. So, I reasoned, her fictionalised accounts of life in MI5 had to be laced with authentic details and situations.
But this was not to be the case. It was a hard-work listen, but I persisted believing that, given the author's history, there had to be something engaging ahead. But why was it hard work: maybe it was the reader, I thought -- earnest, sententious and heavy going interpretations of some voices and other voices trivialised. Maybe it was the heroine, Liz Carlyle: impeccably moral, looking for love, brave, conscious of establishing herself as a woman in a previously male world. I thought that it was all fair enough that she shakes, she flutters, needs a hand from her strong males from time to time, is emotional. But Rimmington wasn't establishing her as successfully mixing these traits with professional leadership. In fact, quite the reverse: the actions of this poor woman are used as a pivot for the plot -- Rimmington has her switching off her mobile phone for a day, and deleting unheard phone messages, while she is away from her post. What does that say about what I assume to be the author's goal of demonstrating that women can be effective leaders. Yes, the plot lines continue to be laboured: in addition to the phone aberrations, we also have a trained and experienced operator make reckless decisions as a result of disappointment in love.
But on we go. By now the listener can almost predict what the characters are going to say and how the plot is going to resolve. The baddies are very bad, the goodies are very....well, very dull. The underlying message is very real ('the Irish troubles' are not fully over -- Britain, you are still in danger). And we must suppose that some of the operational details are authentic.
We now move to islands, and cellars, and rescues -- and there's the reader, still sounding as if she is reading a children's story book -- dialogue becomes more clich??d, the plot more inevitable and transparent.
And now it is all over. And Rimmington has disappointed. Was it lack of confidence as a writer? Were there qualities missed entirely due to the way it was read? Did some sort of official secrets act stop her from creating a strong, authentic saga?
I heard an interview with Stella Rimington on the New York Times Book Review Podcast and was intrigued enough to order the book from Audible. What in..Show More »terests me most was Rimington writing about a job she knew well. Stella Rimington is the former Director General of MI5. I discovered after buying the book it is book eight in the Liz Carlyle series.
In this story Liz Carlyle and her counter terrorism unit in MI5 have been assigned to watch the international under- the- counter arms trade. The British Intelligence has become concerned the extremist AL-Qaeda Jihadist are building their power base. Liz and team must intercept illegal weapons before Al-Qaeda obtains them. We are taken on a tour of Paris and Berlin in the hunt for the weapons.
The author has managed to choose a hot button issue on which to base her story on. There is a suggestion of significant moral or psychological depth to the story. There is action added to the intelligence gather operation. I feel the story has been grabbed right out of today’s headlines. I might go back and read the other books in this series. Julie Barrie narrated the novel.