By Stella Rimington
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9781400043958, 336pp.)
Publication Date: June 19, 2007
List Price: $24.95*
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With her debut novel, At Risk, Stella Rimington established herself as a top-notch thriller writer, and introduced us to Liz Carlyle—a smart, impassioned MI5 intelligence officer whose talents and ambitions are counterbalanced by an abiding awareness of her job’s moral complexities. In Secret Asset, we are plunged back into her high-stakes, high-tension world.
Liz has always been particularly skilled at “assessing people,” and when one of her agents reports suspicious meetings taking place at an Islamic bookshop, she trusts her instinct that a terrorist cell is at work. Her boss, Charles Wetherby, Director of Counter-Terrorism, knows to trust Liz’s instincts as well: he immediately puts a surveillance operation into place.
So Liz is surprised when Wetherby suddenly takes her off the case. And she’s shocked to hear why: Wetherby has received a tip-off that a mole—a “secret asset”—has been planted in one of the branches of British Intelligence. If this is true, the potential damage to the Service is immeasurable. As her colleagues work to avert an impending terrorist strike, Liz is charged with the momentous task of uncovering and exposing the mole before it’s too late.
As she did in At Risk, Stella Rimington once again brings all her experience as the first woman Director General of MI5 to bear in a heart-stopping thriller that takes us deep into a “wilderness of mirrors” where nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.
Stella Rimington joined Britain’s Security Service (MI5) in 1969. During her nearly thirty-year career she worked in all the main fields of the Service’s responsibilities—counter-subversion, counter-espionage, and counter-terrorism—and successively became Director of all three branches. Appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, she was the first woman to hold the post and the first Director General whose name was publicly announced on appointment. Following her retirement from MI5 in 1996, she became a nonexecutive director of Marks & Spencer and published her autobiography, Open Secret, in the United Kingdom. She is also the author of At Risk, the first Liz Carlyle novel. Rimington lives in London.