Stella Rimington is uniquely qualified to write about the spy game: She spent 30 years at Englands MI5, alternatively heading up the organizations counter--subversion, counterespionage and counterterrorism divisions. Eventually she was made director-general, the first woman to hold MI5s highest office. All that experience lends a note of authenticity to her fiction writing.
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Rimingtons 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 doesnt 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 isnt the only one whos undercover.
Fri., July 18, 6:30 p.m., 2008