Stella Rimington is not your run-of-the-mill espionage author. In 1968, she joined MI5, the British Security Service, and after working her way up the ladder through positions involving counter-espionage, counter-subversion, and counter-terrorism, she was appointed Director General (the first woman to hold the post) in 1992. She retired in 1996, and in 2001 published her fascinating memoir, OPEN SECRET.
Having been enthralled by her memoir, I was delighted when she began publishing novels featuring Liz Carlyle, a thoughtful, brainy problem-solver—no doubt her alter-ego. Here is the list, so you can read them in order (PS, sequence matters as her relationships with certain main characters evolve over time):
AT RISK (2004)
SECRET ASSET (2006)
ILLEGAL ACTION (2007)
DEAD LINE (2008)
RIP TIDE (2011)
When THE GENEVA TRAP came out last month, I gobbled it up. Rimington’s prose is clear, clean, and fast-moving, and the details are, to say the least, highly plausible. The word “verisimilitude” rings in my ears when I read her books.
I hope Ms. Rimington, who is now 77, can keep churning them out. I will surely keep reading them.