cover image Illegal Action

Illegal Action

Stella Rimington, . . Knopf, $23.95 (289pp) ISBN 978-0-307-26885-3

MI5 officer Liz Carlyle tries to make the best of it after she's unwillingly transferred from counterterrorism to counterespionage in Rimington's excellent third novel (after Secret Asset ). Assigned to a case involving a rich Moscow oligarch living in London, Liz quickly realizes that there's considerable evidence the oligarch's been targeted for death by someone in Russia—perhaps with the assistance of the Russian government, perhaps not. Matters become more complicated when it becomes evident Liz herself may wind up a target. Rimington's command of espionage and counterespionage history and techniques (derived from long personal experience at the same British agency as Carlyle's) enables her to bring enormous believability to her well-paced narrative. Her dialogue moves as swiftly as the action, and her characters are as believable as the world in which they—and we—live. Fans of intelligent spy thrillers are in for a treat. Author tour. (July)