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Dead Line Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Rimington's fine fourth spy thriller to feature MI5 officer Liz Carlyle (after Illegal Asset), the 35-year-old counterespionage agent takes the lead in unraveling disturbing intelligence received from MI6 regarding a plot to disrupt an upcoming Middle East peace conference in Scotland. According to a Syrian source, a Lebanese businessman living in London and a freelance journalist are suspected of planning to lay the blame for the projected attack on Syria. With the high-profile conference quickly approaching, every clue raises more questions for Liz, who begins to wonder if the intelligence wasn't all just disinformation. Liz's intuition proves correct when she uncovers an ingenious conspiracy that, if successful, could throw the entire Middle East into chaos. Rimington, the former director general of MI5, can be a bit methodical at points, but the impressively Ludlumesque plot will keep readers blissfully turning the pages until the end. (July)
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From Booklist

Rimington brings a great deal of credibility to her espionage thrillers—she worked in MI,5, Britain’s intelligence agency, for 27 years and was serving as director general of the agency at the time of her retirement in 1996. She has mined that experience in an autobiography published in the UK, Open Secret (2001), and three previous spy novels starring MI5 officer Liz Carlyle. This time Carlyle is the pivot point for a tale involving a plot to disrupt an upcoming Mideast peace conference in Gleneagles, Scotland. Much of the novel constitutes MI5’s build-up to the conference. What could be tedious in another author’s hands is absolutely sweat-inducing in Rimington’s, as she guides readers through the terrorist plot, the intelligence counterplot, and the protocol involved in staging a conference. A secondary story line stems from Carlyle herself—an old friend asks her to check out the young admirer of the mother-in-law, who may be involved in Israeli intelligence. Fast moving, engrossing, and well constructed. --Connie Fletcher

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307272540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272546
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
M16 Agent Templeton in Cyprus reports that a contact Abboud insists Syrian deputy director of dreaded Idarat al-Mukhabarat Tibshirani believes that a London based Lebanese expatriate Sami Veshara and Chris Marcham intend to devastate the upcoming Middle East peace conference being held in Scotland. Disrupting efforts is expected by most counterterrorist groups, but what makes this allegation different is that the credit (and consequently the blame) will be given to Syria. With the leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran participating, MI5 officer Liz Carlyle is assigned to investigate the plausibility and if affirmed who they belong to.

As she follows leads, Liz fears time is running out. Clues either go nowhere or lead to more questions. She begins to revise her theory from these two nonentities to hypothesize whether the original source is using a ploy to cause some other unknown havoc although why remains out of reach. Liz knows a major incident could lead to devastating chaos in the Middle East and the end of peace negotiations for years to come.

This is a great espionage thriller that readers will fully appreciate. Thirtyish Liz is at her best in her latest tale (see At Risk, Illegal Action and Secret Asset) trying to connect dots that not only do not link but add more points to the increasingly convoluted equation. Readers will join Liz as she races to prevent a disaster but by whom and why remain just outside her analysis.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Oakley on June 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have become somewhat addicted to Rimington’s books. Having read all the rest, this one got out of order, so I am now up to speed on Liz Carlyle’s complete private life as well as her MI5 escapades. This is a pleasant casual read that with all the exotic locations and intrigue might make a good movie. We follow the lives of multiple characters, Fane, Charles, Peggy at MI5, along with Liz’s Mum and her romantic entanglements.

At some places in the timeline, Liz’s powers seem a bit implausible but this is a good yarn. You do get a good insight into what life is really like in the UK, with the class distinctions and the attitudes to foreigners and everything else.
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Format: Paperback
The head of MI6 at Britain's embassy in Cyprus has just gotten a tip from one of his most trusted agents that there will be an attempt to ruin a vitally important Middle East peace conference coming up in Scotland in just a few weeks and that it will be done in such a way that blame falls on the Syrians. A secret meeting is scheduled, but the agent is killed enroute before he can reveal anything more--like who might be behind this, what exactly is it they are planning to do, and why.

All MI5 knows is that whatever it is, they must stop it.

Our heroine, Liz Carlyle, is no sooner put on the case than someone tries to kill her. She survives the attempt, others do not. Meanwhile Liz learns that her mom has a new beau, which she finds worrisome, but not as worrisome as her friend Sophie's discovery that her mother, visiting from Israel, has somehow attracted the interest of a much much younger man from the Israeli embassy who is clearly not who or what he seems. Sad to say, Liz's own love life has been pretty much nonexistent lately; one of her counterparts at the American embassy is showing hints of having a more than professional interest--but could he have an ulterior motive? And what's this about his CIA colleague, who's showing signs of being in kahoots with some guy from the Israeli security service, Mossad?

This fourth in the Liz Carlyle series by Stella Rimington, the former real-life head of Britain's security services, is another taut, complex and riveting read and I recommend it. Here's the series list, in chronological order: 1. At Risk, 2. Secret Asset, 3. Illegal Action, 4. Dead Line, 5. Present Danger 6. Rip Tide, 7. The Geneva Trap (due out 10/2/12)
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Format: Hardcover
I've read Rimington's MI5 series since it first came out, and -- while I'd recommend all of the books to thriller-lovers -- this is far and away the best novel. Rimington has always been good at characters; even her minor figures are memorable and interesting. I can remember the young Muslim man -- code name Marizpan -- from the second book as vividly as I can recall the Irish cleaning woman in the 5th book I just finished (here's to Amazon UK). The plots, also, are always gripping and well-constructed.

In Deadline, however, Rimington gives us something close to a multi-plot novel, with all of the narrative lines converging on a massive peace conference in Scotland. It's her most ambitious book and she pulls it off well. The ideology of the characters is more fully explored than in other books and this gives some needed weight to the action.

Rimington's weak point has always been endings. In the first three books she virtually throws up her narrative hands and gives the reader loud bangs and settling dust. Here she is more thoughtful, in both senses of the word, considering motives of the losers and the feelings of the survivors. The 5th book, Present Danger, while maybe not worth ordering from the UK unless you are addicted to thrillers, isn't quite as complexly constructed, but the up-tick in endings continues with the best action sequence yet followed by a satisfying reflection on consequences.

The series was marketed early on the strength of Rimington's MI5 past, but along the way she has turned from a successful spy into a successful writer.
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