AT RISK

Stella Rimington, Author . Knopf $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4370-5

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. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/29/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-09-946139-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 398 pages - 978-1-4000-7981-0
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-09-179960-1
Hardcover - 393 pages - 978-0-09-179996-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-1841-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-1840-9
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-0-375-43457-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-1-4000-4478-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-4528-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-07494-1
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