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At Risk (Liz Carlyle, Band 1) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Stella Rimington
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Kurzbeschreibung

3. Oktober 2005 Liz Carlyle (Buch 1)
An announcement is made at a meeting of the British Intelligence Joint Counter-Terrorist group: “The opposition may be about to deploy an invisible.” An “invisible” is CIA-speak for the ultimate intelligence nightmare: a terrorist who is an ethnic native of the target country and who can therefore cross its borders unchecked, move around the country unquestioned, and go unnoticed while setting up the foundation for monstrous harm.

Intelligence officer Liz Carlyle has had to prove herself in countless ways as she’s come up through the ranks of the traditionally all-male world of Britain’s Security Service, MI5. But this announcement marks the start of an operation that will test all her hard-won knowledge and experience–and her intelligence and courage–as nothing has before. Having analyzed information from her agents, she realizes that there is indeed an imminent terrorist threat. She may even have the invisible’s point of entry. But what she cannot draw out of all the “chatter” is the invisible’s identity and intended target.

With each passing hour, the danger increases. As the desperate hunt continues, it becomes clear that Liz’s intuitive skills, her ability to get deep inside her enemy’s head, are her best hope for tracking down the terrorist. But will that be enough? And can she succeed in time to avert a disaster?

Drawing from her experience as the first woman director general of MI5, Stella Rimington gives us a story that is smart, tautly drawn, and suspenseful from first to last. At Risk is a stunning debut novel that plunges us headlong into today’s shadowy and fever-pitched battle between terrorism and Intelligence.


From the Hardcover edition.

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At Risk (Liz Carlyle, Band 1) + Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle, Band 3) + Dead Line (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 416 Seiten
  • Verlag: Arrow (3. Oktober 2005)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0099461390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099461395
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 11 x 17,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 90.307 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

With At Risk, Dame Stella Rimington's first novel, she is probably aware that she'll be under negative pressure for her literary efforts quite as she was for her true-life revelations concerning the world of spooks in her autobiography Open Secret. In fact At Risk is a strikingly assured debut, with a female perspective on the secret world (via Rimington's heroine Liz) that is as fresh as it is plausible. Rimington's position in MI5 led to the inevitable comparisons with Judi Dench's performances as the first female M in the James Bond films, but what we're shown here is clearly a picture of the author in her early days--Liz is an overworked lower-echelon secret service operative, dealing with both the casual chauvinism of her colleagues and a potentially devastating terrorist plot. The latter is handled with terrifying verisimilitude (one senses the author's intimate knowledge of this world here), and the chapters involving the activities of the 'invisible' (a terrorist who passes as a native of the host country) is probably the most chillingly handled section of the book.

At Risk appears to be partly autobiographical--a novel with a female intelligence officer as its heroine will be construed that way--but it wouldn't be enough to carry an indifferently written book--and this is anything but that. In a plot that mixes East End gangsters, hierarchy and the role of women in government organisations, the central theme here is terrorism. Rimington clearly sees this as the major threat to homeland security in this day and age. Liz Carlisle is a very promising character--and the fact that a series is pending is welcome news. --Barry Forshaw

Pressestimmen

"Intelligent… pacy"
Guardian

"Tense and terrifying"
Cosmopolitan

Praise for Stella Rimington’s autobiography Open Secret:

“The story of MI5’s transformation is fascinating. So too is Rimington’s account of her rise in what was very definitely a man’s world.”
Guardian

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Kundenrezensionen

4.2 von 5 Sternen
4.2 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A SHARP EDGED FIRST-CLASS DEBUT 22. Januar 2005
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"At Risk" is a sharp edged first-class debut by an author who well knows her subject. The first woman director general of Britain's MI5, Stella Rimington, lived the perils and pitfalls found in this amazing spy thriller. She experienced the inner office politics encountered as a woman in a man's world, and faced the realities of terrorist attacks. After 25 years experience she is now a counter-terrorism expert and she brings all of her expertise to bear in penning her first novel.
Akin to the author herself protagonist Liz Carlyle is an Intelligence Officer with consummate smarts. In a male dominated profession, she's a bit of an in-your-face gal wearing high heels and designers duds. While most of her colleagues at Thames House tend to be drably dressed, Liz "often spent Saturday afternoons combing the antique clothing stalls in Camden Market for quixotically stylish bargains which, while they infringed no Service rules, certainly raised a few eyebrows."
Her one flaw seems to be found in affairs of the heart - her married boyfriend is really a louse. He's a man who "...had always had an unerring instinct for the tradecraft of adultery." Ah, well, not even Liz can know everything.
What she would very much like to know, actually needs to know is how to identify the terrorists who are able to cross borders because of their ethnic identity with the country they're entering. Almost before we know it our heroine is head to head with Al Qaeda and their like. She has consulted with her agents and determined that there is more than a probable terrorist threat - it's very possible. Suspense builds as each day and hour brings this possibility closer.
Liz is aided in her search by her superior, Charles Wetherby, a rather enigmatic but intriguing married man.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
3.0 von 5 Sternen An excellent first novel (3.5 stars from me)! 23. Oktober 2005
Format:Taschenbuch
I really enjoyed this book. I was a little suspicious seeing the "From the former head of MI5" written on the cover. These marketing ploys by publishers get worse and worse lately. So, I picked it up with some reservations. But, I was not at all dissapointed. The story is wonderfully crafted. A whole lot of apparently unrelated bits and pieces of information get pulled togther, and this story was wonderfully realistic. One wonders if it perhaps comes from some MI5 files that the public will, of course, never get to hear about!!
AT RISK opens with an introduction to Liz Carlyle, the key character in the novel, currently an agent-runner with the counter-terrorism unit of MI5. Liz, while bumping heads with colleagues thanks to the usual inter-offfice, and indeed, intra-office politics in a male-dominated workplace, is also confidently supported by Charles Wetherby, her superior at MI5. We then witness the entrance into the UK of an "invisible", a terrorist and/or terrorist aid who can pass off for a local, and this invisible facilitates the entry into the UK of an arab terrorist. The plot takes off from there, and any further information would be a plot spoiler! It is certainly a fascinating and exciting story. And, with so much coverage of terrorism in the popular fiction today, this was a refreshingly original piece of story-telling (listen up, Vince Flynn!).
One cannot help but wonder how much the key character, Liz Carlyle, is actually Stella Rimmington. Carlyle's character is extremely well developed, and we get to learn a lot about her. In fact, all of the characters in the novel felt very real to me. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Great Book 28. Februar 2007
Von Hiker
Format:Taschenbuch
I really enjoyed reading this book. Coming from an ex-MI 5 person it seems to be authentic, with well developed characters, and apart (or despite) of that it is a real page turner wich you don't want to put down before having finished, so it might keep you up the night...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Realistic Story 29. Juli 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The introduction of Liz Carlyle feels very natural and the setting is realistic. You can tell throughout the book that it was written by an insider. The story is captivating and the ending is a real klimax to the book.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  59 Rezensionen
36 von 39 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A SHARP EDGED FIRST-CLASS DEBUT 22. Januar 2005
Von Gail Cooke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"At Risk" is a sharp edged first-class debut by an author who well knows her subject. The first woman director general of Britain's MI5, Stella Rimington, lived the perils and pitfalls found in this amazing spy thriller. She experienced the inner office politics encountered as a woman in a man's world, and faced the realities of terrorist attacks. After 25 years experience she is now a counter-terrorism expert and she brings all of her expertise to bear in penning her first novel.

Akin to the author herself protagonist Liz Carlyle is an Intelligence Officer with consummate smarts. In a male dominated profession, she's a bit of an in-your-face gal wearing high heels and designers duds. While most of her colleagues at Thames House tend to be drably dressed, Liz "often spent Saturday afternoons combing the antique clothing stalls in Camden Market for quixotically stylish bargains which, while they infringed no Service rules, certainly raised a few eyebrows."

Her one flaw seems to be found in affairs of the heart - her married boyfriend is really a louse. He's a man who "...had always had an unerring instinct for the tradecraft of adultery." Ah, well, not even Liz can know everything.

What she would very much like to know, actually needs to know is how to identify the terrorists who are able to cross borders because of their ethnic identity with the country they're entering. Almost before we know it our heroine is head to head with Al Qaeda and their like. She has consulted with her agents and determined that there is more than a probable terrorist threat - it's very possible. Suspense builds as each day and hour brings this possibility closer.

Liz is aided in her search by her superior, Charles Wetherby, a rather enigmatic but intriguing married man. It's obvious early on that Liz's growing interest in him is more than professional admiration.

Stella Rimington raises the bar for thriller writers with her compelling observation to detail, and shows a deft ability to create mounting suspense as the story unfolds.

- Gail Cooke
25 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful debut novel. 23. Januar 2005
Von E. Bukowsky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Stella Rimington's "At Risk" is everything a spy novel should be. It's timely, intricate, deeply psychological, action-packed, and suspenseful. The heroine is Liz Carlyle, a member of M15, Britain's domestic military intelligence division. She has risen in the ranks because she is super-competent, extremely sharp, and obsessed with being the best at what she does. Liz has sacrificed the very idea of home and family; she is married to her job.

When Liz gets together with her colleagues in the Joint Counter-Terrorism Group, she learns that Islamic terrorists may be deploying an "invisible" to stage an attack in Great Britain. An "invisible" is an individual who is Western in appearance and has the credentials to blend into his or her surroundings undetected by the authorities. When the mysterious killing of a shadowy figure named Ray Gunter occurs soon after this information is released, alarm bells go off. Gunter was shot with a special type of sophisticated weapon that would unavailable to an ordinary street thug. In addition, Gunter may have been involved in the smuggling of illegal immigrants into England. Could one of these illegals be a terrorist at large? This gives Liz and her team all of the ammunition that they need to start an investigation into a possible act of violence to be carried out in the near future on English soil.

The characters in "At Risk" are all skillfully depicted. Besides Liz, there is her steady boss, Wetherby, who seems to understand Liz better than she does herself. Much to her chagrin, Liz is suddenly forced to work with Bruno Mackay, a member of M16, Britain's foreign military intelligence division, who knows a great deal about the Pakistani terrorist scene. Mackay is an arrogant and handsome man who is as supercilious as he is charismatic. In addition, Rimington goes to great pains to delve into the minds of the terrorists. Rather than dismissing them as crazed and suicidal ideologues, she shows them to be troubled individuals whose agenda has as much to do with deep emotional pain as it does with political and religious philosophy. This gives "At Risk" a depth and complexity that run-of-the-mill spy thrillers often lack.

Rimington has a smooth and fast-paced style. The dialogue is funny, biting, hard-hitting, and realistic. Since Rimington worked for thirty years in Britain's Secret Service and was the first female director general of M15, she knows a great deal about subversion, espionage, and counter-terrorism. Therefore, it is not surprising that "At Risk" is filled with fascinating details about the workings of England's various security organizations.

With all this, "At Risk" would not have worked half as well if Rimington weren't such a terrific storyteller. She plunges us into a dark and forbidding world of hatred, vengeance, murder, and desperation, and she provides no pat answers for the problems posed in the book. "At Risk" is one of the best spy novels of the year and I recommend it highly.
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen INTELLIGENCE 30. Januar 2005
Von DAVID BRYSON - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In my far from extensive reading of espionage novels I think this is the first since Maugham's Ashenden, which is a different kind of book entirely, where I have actually been able to follow the plot. There are probably two reasons for this. One is that the author is a top-level intelligence insider, and one who reached the top through working up within the organisation, and who consequently knows and is able to convey the real feel of it. The other, I suspect, is that she is a newcomer to fiction-writing who has not quite mastered the trick of bamboozlement, although of course it may also be that she has no interest in that and that nothing was further from her intention.

Dame Stella Rimington has, to my way of thinking, a very attractive cast of mind, at least to the extent that it shows in this book. By her own admission her 'narrator' (to all intents and purposes) has a lot of herself in her. If she had tried to suggest otherwise I would not have believed her for an instant. I enjoyed the ironic little asides, especially the one about publishing memoirs in the teeth of official disapproval. I liked this kind of professionalism in respect of the job too. It is the mind-set of a reasonable, dedicated but level-headed woman with a sense of humour and a sense of proportion, making the best sense she can of the terrorist mentality without either ideological blindness on the one hand or fuzzy-headed liberalism on the other. She even shows an engaging detachment regarding her 'narrator's own emotional involvement, and it may be that organising that side of it into a story was a help to her personally. The character-drawing is distinctly good, I should say, although I am curious to know why she chose the name Ray Gunter in one case. A certain Ray Gunter was minister of labour in Harold Wilson's first cabinet in 1964, and Dame Stella is of an age to remember him at least as well as I do. Those were the days when a Labour government was deeply suspect in the intelligence community as having dark and improbable links with a supposed international communist conspiracy, and it could be that they sought such tendencies even in the wholly unprogressive Gunter, a figure as deeply unalluring as the thuggish fisherman and people-smuggler in her tale. Her device of introducing one or two minor characters as observers of the scene here and there works quite well for me, adding a bit of variety to the narrative. The style of writing is light, racy and enjoyable for the most part, though she and her editors between them might have tidied up a few slipshod touches. In particular even in this day and age someone ought to have known that `tempus mutantur' is a howling solecism, and there was a time when no reputable publisher, probably no disreputable one either, would have let `who's' through for `whose'.

The plot-line is good and well sustained in general. I don't know whether the 'narrator's intention to break off her affair was meant to be left hanging in the way it is, but my main difficulty with the story was actually that the intended terrorist atrocity seems, by the standards we are coming to know, comparatively minor. In one respect Dame Stella is ambiguous, and I hope intentionally so. Right at the beginning of the book the 'narrator' highlights the co-operative attitude of the various security agencies in response to the prime minister's demand that turf-wars must not happen in the post-9/11 environment. Right at the end we find out what has actually happened in that respect. The 'narrator' does not emphasise the contrast, and I wonder what the author means us to think. The way the actors behave is not something unique to the world of security, it is what happens in big organisations generally. There is more to intelligence than intelligence in either sense of the word, and Dame Stella can't have reached the position she did without finding that out at an early stage.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good, but a lesson 8. Juni 2006
Von Richard Aubrey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Rimington's first novel is a good example of a small-scale contemporary novel of intrigue and espionage. Unlike Tom Clancy, she does not fling divisions across oceans, nor are the terrorists able to call on great organizations once they are in country.

Her primary terrorist is not from the usual hate-the-west-in- general school. Instead, he has a particular event to avenge. The other terrorist is well-drawn as a young woman whose life has so starved her emotionally that she needs a cause to make herself whole. Both of these are perfectly understandable and make good sense.

The Brits are drawn from various types, with a moderated version of the vicious turf fights recounted in other Brit spy novels and which make American readers wonder how they ever get anything done.

The heroine is competent, clever, and has streaks of genius, which are to be expected in someone who has risen to her level. You can't get there by plodding.

There are a couple of problems with the book. The first hard clue that gives a starting point to the search for the "invisible" terrorist is the discovery of an armor-piercing bullet at the scene of a murder. It was also a silent shooting. Those who know something of guns are going to be puzzled. Armor-piercing from a pistol? Silent? How do you do that? Rimington attempts to explain it in terms which are hard to follow unless you simply accept the premise. And if you know something about guns, you won't accept the premise without considerably more and clearer explanation. I think I know something about guns and I don't think you can fire a silenced AP round from a pistol, and if you can, Rimington's explanation was unclear. The explanation should have been done better or a different clue should have been used. It was an unnecessary distraction and slowed attention.

At another point, there is an explosion which wounds several people with shrapnel, in a situation where the existence of shrapnel would have been minimal.

At various times, the protagonist gets a call that there is important information coming over her computer. So she hauls out the laptop, fires it up and gets the scoop. This happens in pubs out in the country or temporary command centers. Is all England a wi-fi hot zone? If the computer is being hooked up to a line in the back of the pub, I missed it. Do all pubs have DSL?

In fiction, the author must follow the rules. One of the rules is that, no matter how far-fetched the fictional character, when the character encounters the real world, it has to work as the reader knows the real world. To do otherwise is to reach out from the book, pop the reader in the nose and remind him that this is just ink on paper. The willing suspension of disbelief is damaged.

The female terrorist's epiphany toward the end of the book needs more explanation. We are told how she got to be one way in some detail and having a major change of heart away from that goes too fast.

Having registered the complaints, I have to say that this is a great fictional treatment of the sort of thing we will be facing for the forseeable future. The individual on an individual mission, carrying his danger in his head and using locally available materials to commit an atrocity only killing less than half a dozen people is going to be a terrible problem to solve, and the terrorist organizations can generate a lot of them. Rimington's book could be considered, in addition to its other merits, a procedural on the subject. The problem is that she uses a fairly substantial proportion of the resources available to the nation to catch this twosome. What if there were ten of them?
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great First Novel 2. März 2005
Von John Matlock - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When the ex-head of Britain's MI5 desides to write a mystery novel you's expect it to be both technically accurate and filled with examples of well constructed tradecraft. What you might not expect is that the crafting of her characters would be so well developed and the writing so well handled.

The story revolves around a prospective terrorist action that is undefined but which is believed to be done by an 'invisible', that is a person in CIA talk who is a native of the country. He has the proper paperwork, a true history, even a family and friends to vouch for him. How do you find such a person? It makes for a damn good story.

Also interesting is the interplay between the various agencies involved. The petty bickering, the CYA. It's far more important to keep your organization clean than to find the bad guy.

At the end I found myself asking, "What do you say to the parents."
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