When MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle learns of a Russian government plot to kill super-rich Nikita Brunovsky - a man who openly criticises the Putin regime from his London base - it's a race against time to track down the killer. How the Russian is to be silenced is unclear, but the Foreign Office dreads any kind of incident and Liz must work fast to protect him. As she goes undercover, desperately trying to find out who in Brunovsky's retinue might betray him, Liz discovers that an 'illegal' Russian agent has arrived in London. Is this the assassin she is seeking? Under an assumed name, caught up in the high-octane world of the oligarchs, Liz soon finds herself in terrible danger.
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(178mm x 110mm x 26mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
Just because they lost the Cold War doesn't mean the Russians aren't still capable of minor skullduggery.Liz Carlyle has been sent from MI5's Counter-Terrorism unit to Counter-Espionage. The move feels like a demotion, since everyone knows that the action these days is in fighting terrorism (Secret Asset, 2007, etc.). And indeed the assignment Liz lands sounds like a blast from the past. The recent movements of an economic attache of the Russian Embassy in Berlin have Her Majesty's Secret Service convinced that he's a government assassin coming to England to ply his trade. His most likely target is Nikita Brunovsky, an oligarch who already has one bodyguard, chauffeur Jerry Simmons, but is attracted enough to Liz to ask that she be sent into his household as well. Liz bridles at the assignment. Her cover identity as an expert on Sergei Pashko, a Russian painter whose work Brunovsky collects avidly, is paper-thin, and she's not trained in personal protection. But she accepts the job and soon finds that the Brunovsky entourage - girlfriend Monica Hetherington, banker Harry Forbes, magazine editor Greta Darnshof, decorator/art dealer Marco Tutti and diverse emigre hangers-on - is even less interesting than her Intelligence colleagues. Surviving an attack that almost kills her, Liz has no new clues, but only an increasing sense of urgency as she wonders whether she can identify the turncoat in Brunovsky's circle in time to save herself and the man she's been sent to protect. Sadly, this urgency is unlikely to be shared by readers who wonder why saving Brunovsky is worth the trouble Liz takes and don't much care which of the pasteboard suspects will turn out to be guilty.Forget the fate of nations in the shortest, least consequential and least suspenseful of Liz's three adventures to date. It's hard not to share the feelings of her old boss: "To him these people were like characters in a play. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Stella Rimington
Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1965 and was appointed Director-General in 1992.She was the first woman to hold the post and the first Director-General whose name was publicly announced on appointment. Following her retirement from MI5 in 1996, she became a non-executive director of Marks and Spencer and published her autobiography, Open Secret. At Risk and Secret Asset, the first two Liz Carlyle novels, are available in Arrow.