cover image The Moscow Sleepers

The Moscow Sleepers

Stella Rimington. Bloomsbury, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-1-63286-797-1

The visit of a suspected Russian spy to a patient in a Vermont hospice kicks off Rimington’s fascinating 10th Liz Carlyle novel (after 2016’s Breaking Cover). Alerted by the FBI, MI5 agent Carlyle in the U.K. connects the incident to a shady private school in Suffolk that has recently changed hands. Once a training academy for the British elite, Bartholomew Manor College now enrolls only boys with advanced computer skills from Eastern Europe. Liz soon clashes with the school’s headmaster, whose wishy-washy answers do little to ease her suspicions that the school is a training ground for hackers under the direction of Moscow. A poignant subplot concerns the fate of sleeper agents who are set on a life path by Moscow, but then forgotten about with changes in personnel and administration back in the home country. Series fans will be pleased that Liz appears to have a new beau following the death of her former lover a few books ago. While the action flags at times, Rimington, a former director general of MI5, makes fine use of her knowledge of spycraft. Agent: Georgina Capel, Capel & Land (U.K.). (Nov.)