Former Director of MI5 Stella Rimington brings the high-stakes world of intelligence to life in AT RISK – the first novel in her bestselling series featuring MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle.
For MI5 officer Liz Carlyle, the nagging complications of her private life are quickly forgotten at Monday’s counter-terrorism meeting. An invisible may have entered mainland Britain.
An ‘invisible’ is a terrorist who is an ethnic native of the target country, who can cross its borders unchecked and move about unnoticed – the ultimate nightmare. By the time they're identified, it may be too late.
The intelligence operation that follows will test Liz to the limit. Who or what is the target? Where and who is the invisible? With each passing hour the danger increases.
But as Liz desperately sifts through the incoming intelligence, she finally realises a truth that could prove deadly: her ability to get inside her enemy’s head is the only hope of averting disaster...
But the clock is ticking - and anyone could be at risk.
The first woman director general of Britain's MI5, Rimington speaks smartly about workplace issues while ratcheting the tension high in her authoritative debut thriller. Enter Liz Carlyle, an agent-runner with a taste for vintage clothes; her married lover, Mark Callendar, whom she doesn't love; and an appealing head of section, Charles Wetherby. You don't need Liz's deductive powers to figure out that Wetherby will eventually succeed Mark, who terminally annoys Liz by leaving his wife. Liz is married to her job. Small wonder: it doesn't get more exciting than this. The Islamic Terror Syndicate (ITS) may be about to deploy an "invisible" "an ethnic native of the target country" and only Liz can pull together all the threads. Rimington infuses the chase with moral complexity by making the invisible a real human being, no matter that she boasts a fake name and has "become a cipher, a selfless instrument of vengeance, a Child of Heaven." Most of the characters feel authentic, although Rimington occasionally goes on about strangers briefly glimpsed and introduces several wryly flirtatious male agents too many. She is open about having had an assist with the structure of the book, but the voice rings true, and she keeps faith with a genre she clearly venerates. 150,000 first printing; five-city author tour.