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Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle Novels Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Stella Rimington
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The fiercely intelligent, ambitious MI5 officer Liz Carlyle returns in a spy novel of arresting psychological complexity and unflagging suspense.

In the most recent installment in the Liz Carlyle series, Liz has been transferred to counter-espionage—the hub of MI5 operations during the Cold War. Her mission: protect Nikita Brunovsky, an increasingly vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin, who has been targeted for assassination and is seeking refuge in the UK. The Foreign Office is adamant about forestalling a crime that could become a full-blown international incident. So Liz goes undercover, attaching herself to Brunovsky's retinue: racing against the clock to determine who betrayed him and suddenly facing a wholly unexpected second task—unmasking a Russian operative working undercover alongside her.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. MI5 officer Liz Carlyle tries to make the best of it after she's unwillingly transferred from counterterrorism to counterespionage in Rimington's excellent third novel (after Secret Asset). Assigned to a case involving a rich Moscow oligarch living in London, Liz quickly realizes that there's considerable evidence the oligarch's been targeted for death by someone in Russia—perhaps with the assistance of the Russian government, perhaps not. Matters become more complicated when it becomes evident Liz herself may wind up a target. Rimington's command of espionage and counterespionage history and techniques (derived from long personal experience at the same British agency as Carlyle's) enables her to bring enormous believability to her well-paced narrative. Her dialogue moves as swiftly as the action, and her characters are as believable as the world in which they—and we—live. Fans of intelligent spy thrillers are in for a treat. Author tour.(July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This is the third entry in the British spy series by Rimington, herself a former director general of MI5, featuring the smart and daring intelligence-operative Liz Carlyle. Along with her sidekick, Peggy Kingsolving, Carlyle has been transferred to the Counter-Espionage division, which, in the terrorist-obsessed modern world, is no longer the plum assignment it was during the height of East-West rivalries. She is surprised to find that there are more spies lurking around the current London scene than there were during the cold war—no longer in pursuit of military intelligence but the rich stakes of the global business community. After discovering a plot to assassinate a Russian billionaire, Nikita Brunovsky, who has been strident in his public criticism of Vladimir Putin, Carlyle goes undercover as a member of the financier’s entourage only to find herself in danger from a Russian spy who is also masquerading as an innocuous associate of Brunovsky. Elements of the old-fashioned spy novel—sudden twists and characters with hidden agendas—combine with James Patterson’s secret to success (short chapters) to create an ideal beach read for the upcoming vacation season. --Michael Gannon

Product Details

  • File Size: 304 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307389065
  • Publisher: Vintage (July 1, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017SWQY2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An authentic spy novel October 13, 2007
This is the third thriller penned by Stella Rimington, the former Director General of Britain's MI5. Rimington's first hand experience in the Secret Service comes through in her writing and gives her novels a very authentic feel. When she writes about the way that a surveillance operation is conducted, for example, you know that this is really how it goes down.

This is an enjoyable book that takes off fast and holds your attention. The plot takes off where "Secret Asset" left off (though it's not necessary to have read that book) and again centres on Liz Carlyle, now transferred to the Counter Espionage division within MI5. Her team become aware of a Russian Government plot to silence a Russian oligarch living in the UK. Liz goes undercover in a bid to prevent the plot, but quickly becomes a target herself. Can she and her team find the potential assassin before it's too late?

It's hard to find a thriller that has a good ending and unfortunately this book is yet another that loses its way around the 90% mark. The resolution is ultimately weak but it's still a good book that keeps you hooked throughout, and while some of the key plot elements are very predictable, there are a couple of twists that most definitely aren't. The main characters are well thought out and the premise feels realistic. Rimington has written another winner and I look forward to her next.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DG just keeps getting better February 8, 2008
By Bryan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The author, a former MI5 Director General, is at the top of her form in this third Liz Carlyle novel. Unlike so many fictional spies, Carlyle lives in a real world, with paperwork and budget cuts and manpower shortages. It's so refreshing to read about characters who could actually be human. The plot is intricate as well as educational regarding the extent of Russian espionage in the post-Yeltsin era. The Russians may not exactly be our enemies, but they're not allies either.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `..truth was an abstract notion..' August 21, 2008
Liz Carlyle, MI5 agent, is now working in the Counter-Espionage Branch. While it was once the hub of MI5 operations, Counter-Espionage has been reduced in size since the end of the Cold War - even though there are significantly more spies operating in London. Drawn in part by London's status as the base of the international financial community, Russian agents are particularly focussed on the Russian oligarchs intent on wielding their influence and spending their millions.

Liz learns of an apparent Russian government plot to `silence' one of the oligarchs who is becoming an increasing vocal opponent of the Putin regime. The Foreign Office is concerned about the negative consequences of any such incident and Liz is assigned to prevent the incident from occurring. First, though, she needs to learn who the target is. At the same time, it becomes apparent that there may be a Russian illegal in London: is there a connection to the government plot? In order to uncover the plot, Liz goes undercover as a member of the oligarch's retinue.

Ms Rimington is a former director of MI5, and this lends her novels a sense of credibility. This is the third novel to feature Liz Carlyle: a likeable but dedicated career officer who knows her tradecraft. I've read the novels out of order, and will hasten to remedy this by reading the second novel.

I especially enjoyed this novel because it features believably human characters.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old style and gripping January 6, 2008
MI5 officer, Liz Carlyle is now working in Counter Espionage since the end of the Cold War reduced the size of her department. Liz hears of a supposed Russian government plot to eliminate one of the millionaire oligarchs who now live lives of super luxury in London.She is about to be planted in the millionaire's home as an art student and so takes a crash course in modern Russian art, enough to give her a convincing cover story to pass as the real thing. An attempt is made on her life in the guise of a street mugging but she's determined to go ahead with the plan. The household consists of a strange mixture of people with mysterious pasts and complete innocents so Liz continues to probe secretly into the cast of characters in an attempt to foil any attempt at murder which would cause a political crisis on the eve of the British PM's trip to Russia. It's a good, old fashioned spy story and my only criticism is the unbelievable number of times that the word oligarch is used in the story, but I'll still be looking for more books by Stella Rimington.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cold War heats up. August 29, 2008
In Stella Rimington's "Illegal Action," Liz Carlyle of M15, Britain's domestic military intelligence division, is chagrined when her boss, Charles Wetherby, takes a sabbatical to spend more time with his terminally ill wife. She is even more discomfited when he tells her that she has been temporarily transferred to Counter-Espionage, a division that has been overshadowed by Counter-Terrorism ever since the 9/11 attacks. Liz has no personal life to speak of; she spends an occasional weekend with a Dutch investment banker, but it is clear that there are no strings attached. For years, her work has taken the place of the husband and children she never had.

Liz is pleased to be taking a highly competent desk officer, Peggy Kinsolving, along with her on this assignment. They will be working with Brian Ackers, the assistant director of the Russian section, who takes his job very seriously. London has been overrun with a wave of Russian oligarchs--billionaires who buy ostentatious homes, expensive art works, and extravagant automobiles. Along with this influx of the nouveau riche, there has been an increase in the number underworld figures who have flocked to London. This makes for an unstable and potentially dangerous mix.

Someone passes a tip to Geoffrey Fane, a senior controller in M16, that Putin fears the expatriate Russian oligarchs, and has targeted one of them for assassination as an example to the others. In addition, at a meeting of security services from Western Europe, Peggy learns that the Russians may have planted an "illegal," an officer of an intelligence service who assumes a false identity and nationality. If this is true, who is this person and what does he plan to do? The case leads Liz to go undercover.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Liz Carlyle!
Another good spy story. Love them
Published 1 month ago by Clare Michell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Perspective of British Espionage
This series is a fresh departure from the British spy genre. There is a simplicity to some of Liz Carlyle's thinking that would not occur in a Le Carre or Deighton or Fleming... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Montoya
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Stella Rimington is just a good read
Published 2 months ago by Marilyn Wrigley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A realistic, adult tight story enhanced by Stella's intimate knowledge of how this world really works.
Published 5 months ago by Ray Coxon
3.0 out of 5 stars Worst so far of the Liz Carlyle-series, but still 3 stars. Better than...
(First published by me at Goodreads)
Read in December, 2013
A bit of a let down, at 44%, not enough action. But that may soon change. Read more
Published 5 months ago by I. Lembcke
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm loving Remington's books.
I like the character of Liz Carlyle, she's human, with faults and intelligence. The other characters are also colorful and complex. Please keep writing!
Published 6 months ago by Sandy H Sharp
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced thriller with unusual plot twists.
In Illegal Action, the third of Stella Rimington’s thrillers, Liz Carlyle is assigned to provide surveillance in the home of a Russian Oligarch living in London and thought to be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by James T Dakin
2.0 out of 5 stars Illegal Action
Unlikeable characters investigate a thoroughly uninteresting set of circumstances in Illegal Action, a mystery cozy masquerading as an espionage thriller. Read more
Published 12 months ago by JB
4.0 out of 5 stars Illegal Action
This was my first read with this author. I was prompted by two Lady friends whom have read most of the writer,s books . Read more
Published 13 months ago by William young
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read!
Another great read from Rimington! I can't wait until she writes another one. I think I have read everything she has written so far.
Published 15 months ago by Dottie
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