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Secret Asset    by Stella Rimington order for
Secret Asset
by Stella Rimington
Order:  USA  Can
Arrow, 2007 (2006)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, continues the adventures of talented and tenacious Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle in this second in an anti-terrorist procedural series, following At Risk. Liz runs agents, like Sohail Din (code name Marzipan), a sensitive and intelligent young man of Pakistani origin, who has infiltrated an extremist group in an act of great bravery and patriotism.

Now, Marzipan is being handled by another agent, Dave Armstrong. Sohail Din warns MI5 of suspicious meetings at an Islamic bookshop, and of signs that an attack is imminent - but they have no idea of the target. While this is developing, Liz's boss, Director of Counter Terrorism Charles Wetherby, assigns her to investigate a potential mole in MI5, one who aligned himself many years ago with the IRA and became a secret asset for them within MI5, but was never activated. If the facts become public, it would be a PR disaster for the intelligence service.

Liz, with an assistant seconded from MI6, follows links to Oxford and to Ireland. The suspects are all colleagues (some of them good friends), including handsome Tom Dartmouth, who's just back from Pakistan and seems romantically interested in Liz (she likes him too). There are murders and Liz digs further, realizing that she needs to 'Follow the hate.' In Secret Asset, Stella Rimington delivers another well-plotted, engrossing read, with a surprising finish. I'm looking forward to more of Liz Carlyle.

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