Stella Rimington

The former head of MI5 signs and discusses her newest novel, Illegal Action

Stella Rimington is uniquely qualified to write about the spy game: She spent 30 years at England’s MI5, alternatively heading up the organization’s counter--subversion, counterespionage and counterterrorism divisions. Eventually she was made director-general, the first woman to hold MI5’s highest office. All that experience lends a note of authenticity to her fiction writing.

Rimington’s latest thriller, Illegal Action, features MI5 officer Liz Carlyle, an ambitious and talented woman working in the counterespionage division. That division, unfortunately, has been significantly reduced in both size and importance since the end of the Cold War. But Carlyle doesn’t spend her days pushing paper around her desk — in fact, there are more spies in London than ever before, including a huge number of Russians who spend most of their time watching other Russians, the newly rich oligarchs. When Carlyle discovers a plot against one of the most vocal anti-Putin expats, she eagerly joins his entourage and tries to determine who in his group is about to betray him. The trouble is, Carlyle isn’t the only one who’s undercover.
Fri., July 18, 6:30 p.m., 2008

 
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