“Russian spies are on the streets of London- and they are prepared to kill….”
MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle finds herself in a race against the clock after learning of a plot to assassinate a super-rich Russian ex-pat now residing in London. Nikita Brunovsky is one of the high profile critics of the Putin regime and although the details of how he is to be silenced is unclear, the Foreign Office is determined no incident shall happen on British soil and Liz is tasked with his protection. After going undercover, Liz learns that an “illegal” Russian agent has arrived. Could this be the assassin she seeks or is the plot thicker than first imagined? Embroiled in the high-octane world of the oligarchs, Liz soon finds herself in deep danger……………
There is something refreshing about delving into the world of cloak and daggers with all the thrills and spills reminiscent of a James Bond adventure and being gifted with an incredible smart and sassy female lead. Liz is engaging right from the very beginning and it was on her strength of character alone that I made my way through the often confusing first few chapters to truly find my feet in the story. That has to be my only gripe about the whole novel. We enter a complex and finely tuned world that if it is your first foray into the author’s imagination as it was for me, you can be left a little lost until the main players and strategies are firmly implanted into your mind. That being said though this did grip me from the very beginning and I was determined to find out just what was going on and who was behind it and I’m so glad I persevered through the initial confusion. This was my first time reading a spy adventure and I will definitely be back.
Stella Rimington certainly knows her stuff and it shows. Not only is she highly gifted at her craft, her background as the former Director General of MI5 (and the first female DG) certainly cements her world with an authentic ring. The intrigue is thick and entwined in so many engrossing layers; it will keep you guessing right to the very end. The characterisation is superb on both sides and the quick stepping and double dealings will leave you wondering just what side you want to remain on. This certainly reminds us that a woman can run with the big boys and often leave them lagging a circle or too behind.
So if you’re ready to test your wits against the biggest players in the spy game, tag a ride-along with Liz. This is one heck of a journey you won’t forget and will leave even the most die-hard spy fan wondering, Bond who?
Illegal Action- Stella Rimington