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At Risk: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 30, 2006
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This is a tightly drawn, expertly told tale that wastes few words in describing the shadowy world of the intelligence services, the turf battles and infighting, and even the romantic entanglements that attend the lives of those involved. It marks a promising second career for its author, whose future success will doubtless be much more public than her earlier accomplishments. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
When Liz gets together with her colleagues in the Joint Counter-Terrorism Group, she learns that Islamic terrorists may be deploying an "invisible" to stage an attack in Great Britain. An "invisible" is an individual who is Western in appearance and has the credentials to blend into his or her surroundings undetected by the authorities. When the mysterious killing of a shadowy figure named Ray Gunter occurs soon after this information is released, alarm bells go off. Gunter was shot with a special type of sophisticated weapon that would unavailable to an ordinary street thug. In addition, Gunter may have been involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants into England. Could one of these illegals be a terrorist at large? This gives Liz and her team all of the ammunition that they need to start an investigation into a possible act of violence to be carried out in the near future on English soil.
The characters in "At Risk" are all skillfully depicted. Besides Liz, there is her steady boss, Wetherby, who seems to understand Liz better than she does herself. Much to her chagrin, Liz is suddenly forced to work with Bruno Mackay, a member of M16, Britain's foreign military intelligence division, who knows a great deal about the Pakistani terrorist scene.Read more ›
Dame Stella Rimington has, to my way of thinking, a very attractive cast of mind, at least to the extent that it shows in this book. By her own admission her 'narrator' (to all intents and purposes) has a lot of herself in her. If she had tried to suggest otherwise I would not have believed her for an instant. I enjoyed the ironic little asides, especially the one about publishing memoirs in the teeth of official disapproval. I liked this kind of professionalism in respect of the job too. It is the mind-set of a reasonable, dedicated but level-headed woman with a sense of humour and a sense of proportion, making the best sense she can of the terrorist mentality without either ideological blindness on the one hand or fuzzy-headed liberalism on the other. She even shows an engaging detachment regarding her 'narrator's own emotional involvement, and it may be that organising that side of it into a story was a help to her personally. The character-drawing is distinctly good, I should say, although I am curious to know why she chose the name Ray Gunter in one case.Read more ›
Her primary terrorist is not from the usual hate-the-west-in- general school. Instead, he has a particular event to avenge. The other terrorist is well-drawn as a young woman whose life has so starved her emotionally that she needs a cause to make herself whole. Both of these are perfectly understandable and make good sense.
The Brits are drawn from various types, with a moderated version of the vicious turf fights recounted in other Brit spy novels and which make American readers wonder how they ever get anything done.
The heroine is competent, clever, and has streaks of genius, which are to be expected in someone who has risen to her level. You can't get there by plodding.
There are a couple of problems with the book. The first hard clue that gives a starting point to the search for the "invisible" terrorist is the discovery of an armor-piercing bullet at the scene of a murder. It was also a silent shooting. Those who know something of guns are going to be puzzled. Armor-piercing from a pistol? Silent? How do you do that? Rimington attempts to explain it in terms which are hard to follow unless you simply accept the premise. And if you know something about guns, you won't accept the premise without considerably more and clearer explanation. I think I know something about guns and I don't think you can fire a silenced AP round from a pistol, and if you can, Rimington's explanation was unclear. The explanation should have been done better or a different clue should have been used.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have a new heroine, Liz Carlyle, a savvy young woman from British Intelligence, MI5. This is an intricate plot which needs the readers wits thoroughly engaged. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Diana M. Hockley
As the book was published in 2004 (close to it), is like reading a history book on the rise in terrorism worldwide. Plot is excellent. Read morePublished 12 days ago by M. Sullivan
COMPELLING, page turner...sometimes hard to keep all of the characters together, all in all a great read and the series is new to me, so I hope to continue reading more of Stella... Read morePublished 6 months ago by sue knarr
This book kept me fully engaged - if I weren't reading it on a Kindle, I would have called it a page-turner! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Marcia Diorio
This book was terrible. Boring, and then more boring, and then more boring. definately a book riding on its authors background, not on the book's merits.Published 6 months ago by Michael
I gave the book two stars only because I did keep trying to find an interest to continue. Sadly the characters lacked depth and without some likeable personality I couldn't... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Marple
As the author was a 30 year veteran of MI5 and ended up as its Director, she knows a bit more about espionage and counter-terrorism than the average author of spy thrillers. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dr. Frank Stech