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Publisher's Summary

MI5 officer Liz Carlyle is posted to Northern Ireland. From the moment she lands in Belfast, danger follows. She soon discovers that the peace process in the province is precarious.

Then a source reports strange goings-on at a house on the Irish Sea owned by the Fraternity, an organisation Liz suspects of being a front for renegade former IRA men. Its head is Seamus Piggott, an Irish-American with a gun-running past.

When another informant reports a plot is being hatched against the security forces, Liz and her colleague Dave Armstrong suspect Piggott is involved, along with a former French Intelligence officer.

Moving from London to Belfast to the South of France, the latest Stella Rimington Liz Carlyle novel is a propulsive thriller filled with action and nail-biting suspense.

©2009 Stella Rimington (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing read from retired head of MI5

Viewing a TV interview with author Stella Rimmington, I was impressed by her personal authority, and the fact that she had mixed parenthood (single parenthood 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?

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • CC
  • 02-28-11

A bit let down

I listened to the last Book Dead line which I really enjoyed, It had good character development, a good sense of suspense and a feeling that the author really knows what she?s talking about and I think she did. She's on shakier ground with this book however, its not as well researched and the characters did things which just didn't make sense or were just so blindingly obvious, I felt a little insulted as a listener. I don't think I'll be buying any more Stella Rimington?s books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • 02-16-18

Awful narration

Not a bad story per se and whilst the narrator was OK during the general free flow of the story her efforts at characterisation were so poor as to ruin the book for me. Very poor efforts at dialect, accent, intonation and tempo. I didn’t enjoy the book and that was entirely down to the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • I
  • 02-02-18

Good story ruined by the narrator

What would have made Present Danger better?

Having previously read and enjoyed Stella Rimmington's novels I wished to obtain them by talking boots. The narrator has ruined the experience. There are far better women narrators

What did you like best about this story?

Good paced tale with twists and turns that you would expect

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As stated its a quality novel only spoiled by the narrator

Any additional comments?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DJS
  • 10-18-16

Great story

Really enjoyed the story line but the narration was wooden and robotic at times which was disappointing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • KateS
  • 07-06-18

Good but

The story line was a bit weak at the end. Less credible. But the rest was good.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MrsM
  • 04-08-18

A good yarn but...

The background to life pre and post Peace talks is thinly covered and the technical aspects of the rescue mission are poorly conceived even for the French! A good yarn but don’t expect reality.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • D. Carver
  • 03-22-18

Seriously disappointing

I enjoyed Stella Rimington's first novel so thought I'd give this a try. Bad mistake. The plot is weak and relies on some barely credible actions. The characters are very thinly painted. often two dimensional and mostly improbable. Several sections serve neither plot nor character development and could easily have been left out. The editing is poor with plenty of errors left in the text. One of them an absolute cracker.
However, the thing that destroyed this for me was the atrocious narration. To be fair, the straight narration was adequate, but whenever she has to use an accent - which is often - things plummet. It's not just that she hasn't mastered French and Irish accents, even some of the English speakers suffer the same strangled treatment. So much of the speech is chronically slow because Mash seems to use three basic accents concussed, constipated and mentally challenged. Even then the same characters will often vary in how they speak.
Maggie Mash seems to have narrated a lot of books, so I have to assume this is just an aberration but it was too much for me to stomach.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • sarah a bennett
  • 03-11-18

Awful narration

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The story wasn't too bad (as far as I got with it) so it might be ok to read it yourself. But on Audible it was terrible.

What didn’t you like about Maggie Mash’s performance?

The narration was fine until she adopted voices of different characters. The only technique she deployed was to slow down her delivery unnaturally. This became so annoying I had to stop listening.