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Dead Line by Stella Rimington
Review by Verna Suit
Vintage Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780307473615
Date: 28 June 2011 List Price $12.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Wikipedia Entry / Show Official Info /

The author of this spy procedural knows whereof she speaks. Stella Rimington spent 30 years in Britain's MI5 and from 1992-1996 was its director-general. In Dead Line, she writes with authority about the interactions among various intelligence services after a tip is received that two British citizens will try to disrupt an upcoming peace conference in Scotland. But in spite of everyone's best efforts, each thread that's followed up leads to a dead end.

Counter-espionage officer Liz Carlyle is given the responsibility in MI5 for investigating the two Brits. She uncovers a variety of crimes and more than one dead body, but nothing seems connected to a plot against the peace conference. However, she must be making someone nervous because an attempt is made on her life. Eventually Liz focuses on a suspect who keeps surfacing in unlikely places. Suspense builds as the date for the conference draws near, culminating in an exciting climax at the upscale Gleneagles golf resort.

Red herrings swim everywhere in this complex story. The reader wonders what role American divorcee Hannah Gold will play, or the network of men who enjoy having sex in churches, or all the various agents working for the various intelligence services. A few seem to be double agents, but who's really running whom? And despite all the interservice cooperation, MI5, MI6, CIA. and Mossad all harbor suspicions about each other.

Fans of international intrigue are sure to enjoy this 4th in the Liz Carlyle series, told by an intelligence community insider.

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