cover image Secret Asset

Secret Asset

Stella Rimington. Random House Audio Assets, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-4377-7

How smart of Random House Audio to hire as a reader noted British stage and television actress Fielding, whose prowess brings to life Rimington's own stint as director of the British spy outfit called MI5. (If Remington were brought to the screen, Judi Dench would play her as she plays M in the recent James Bond movies.) With perfect British reserve, Fielding catches the hard-driving Liz Carlyle-Rimington's alter ego-without sacrificing any of Carlyle's energy or excitement. Fielding does the same cool job on all the other characters, from an Islamic bookseller nicknamed Marzipan (no jokes about him being a sweet guy: he's not) to Liz's young assistant, Peggy Kinsolving. This well-edited abridgment cleverly removes some of the book's talkier sections. The result is a perfect choice for listeners who love political thrillers but have only a limited time to enjoy them. A simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 30).