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The new installment in Stella Rimington’s series of “frighteningly authentic” espionage thrillers () featuring the fiercely intelligent, ambitious MI5 officer Liz Carlyle.

Liz has been transferred to counter-espionage—the hub of MI5 operations during the Cold War, which has been scaled back as anti-terrorism has gained priority. But there’s plenty for her to do: there are more spies operating in London in the twenty-first century than there were during the height of East-West hostilities. Even the Russians still have a large contingent, although now they spy on the international financial community and on the wealthy ex-pat oligarchs who make England their domain.

In her new assignment, Liz quickly uncovers a plot to silence one of these Russians: Nikita Brunovsky, an increasingly vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin. The Foreign Office is adamant about forestalling a crime that could become a full-blown international incident, but there’s not a single clue as to how the assassination will be carried out—and Liz is solely responsible for averting disaster. So she 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.

Dame Stella has once again distilled her experience as the first woman Director General of MI5 into a spy novel of arresting psychological complexity and unflagging suspense.

Treachery begins at home

Back in London after a gruelling operation in Paris, Liz Carlyle has been posted to MI5’s counter-espionage desk. Her bosses hope the new position will give her some breathing space, but they haven’t counted on the fallout from Putin’s incursions into the Ukraine. Discovering that an elusive Russian spy has entered the UK, Liz needs to track him down before he completes his fatal mission – and plunges Britain back into the fraught days of the Cold War.

Meanwhile, following the revelations of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the intelligence services are in the spotlight. In response to the debate raging around privacy and security, they hire Jasminder Kapoor, a young and controversial civil rights lawyer, to explain the issues to the public. But in this new world of shadowy motives and secret identities, Jasminder must be extra-careful about whom she can trust…

Gripping, nail-bitingly tense and drawn from her own experience as Head of MI5, Stella Rimington's latest thriller brings the new Cold War vividly to life.

With her debut novel, , 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 , 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 , 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.

When pirates attack a cargo ship off the Somalian coast and one of them is found to be a British-born Pakistani, alarm bells start ringing at London's Thames House. MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is brought in to establish how and why a young British Muslim could go missing from his well-to-do family in Birmingham and end up on board a pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean, armed with a Kalashnikov.

Meanwhile, the owner of the charitable NGO that leased the ship suspects that his fleet is being deliberately targeted. But why would pirates be interested in charitable supplies? And how do they know the exact details of his ships' cargo and routes?

When an undercover operative connected to the case turns up dead in Athens it looks like piracy may be the least of the Service's problems.

Now Liz, with the help of Peggy Kinsolving, Dave Armstrong, and the rest of her unit, attempts to unravel the connections between Pakistan, Greece and Somalia. She'll have to rely on their wits-and the judicious use of force-to get to the truth. And she doesn't have long, as trouble is brewing closer to home: the kind of explosive trouble that MI5 could do without.

MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is summoned to a meeting with her boss Charles Wetherby, head of the Service's Counter-Espionage Branch. His counterpart over at MI6 has received alarming intelligence from a high-placed Syrian source. A Middle East peace conference is planned to take place at Gleneagles in Scotland and several heads of state will attend. The Syrians have learned that two individuals are mounting an operation to disrupt the peace conference in a way designed to be spectacular, laying the blame at Syria's door.The source claims that Syrian Intelligence will act against the pair, presumably by killing them. No one knows who they are or what they are planning to do. Are they working together? Who is controlling them? Or is the whole story a carefully laid trail of misinformation? It is Liz's job to find out. But, as she discovers, the threat is far greater than she or anyone else could have imagined. The future of the whole of the Middle East is at stake and the conference deadline is drawing ever closer.

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