Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle, #2)” as Want to Read:
Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle #2)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  719 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Liz Carlyle, the quick, passionate intelligence officer of Britain's MI5, returns to defuse a terrorist plot in this high-stakes, high-tension tale of international espionage.
When it appears a secret asset--a sleeper spy--has infiltrated British Intelligence, the Director of Counter-Terrorism assigns Liz Carlyle to dig up the mole. The spy, possibly a former IRA operative
Paperback, 362 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Vintage Books USA (first published January 1st 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Secret Asset, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Secret Asset

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,117)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James Piper
I enjoyed this book.

The MI5 is the internal force in the UK to fight terrorists and spies. (MI6 works outside the UK). The author worked as its head before retiring. Her inside knowledge results in a more realistic storyline.

There's some action, suspense, some mystery but it's not over-the-top like US writers (Thor / Flynn).
Interesting procedural interludes kept me reading through this MI5 tale which ties together the home-bred terrorism of the Northern Irish conflict with today's challenges from radicalized young Islamists. Rimmington's style can be rather didactic and strait-laced and , for me, she fails to bring alive the characters. But she clearly knows what she is writing about and the underlying theme of conflicted loyalties is nicely woven through the novel. I'm going to try some more Liz Carlyle books as I ...more
Dame Stella has the gift of plot and pace. The set-ups are done competently and she has the gift, possibly unappreciated, of encouraging the reader to turn the page.
I suspect that Stella - who became the first female head of Britain's counter-espionage outfit MI5, is a very methodical and tough cookie indeed and possibly not one for lively banter and small talk. Her heroine seems rather a cold fish at time and certainly there are few interludes where the more human sides of the protagonists come
Bill Wilson
My first book by this author, and it's a compliment to her that I was delighted to learn there are at least six more in this series. Very good read, with two seemingly unrelated plot threads that come together skillfully in an unexpected way. You have to like your suspense in a more cerebral sense, as there's little of the slam bang, shoot-em-up, blow-em-up of some others in this genre. Also quite interesting how she gets to the bottom of the villain's motives, finding that personal vendettas ar ...more
Oh my Stella writes a good book, not ready any before but will get the other two she has written, if you like a crime/thriller I highly recommend this
Martin Baggs
Finished the second book by Stella RImington. Once again, she features Liz Carlyle (book 2) as the MI5 protagonist. In this story, which picks up some of the pieces from the first, Carlyle is told to find the mole in MI5 who may be helping either the IRA or Al Quada. Either way, it seems that a piece of terrorism is about to hit Britain unless Liz can solve the puzzle.

Another intriguing story. Some have complained that it is too slow. It isn’t. It reminds me a little of Le Carre. But the complai
I've not been a fan of the espionage genre before, so I can't compare it with other such books; but as an avid reader of all sorts of well written books, I enjoyed "Secret Asset" a lot. It followed on nicely from the first Liz Carlyle book "At Risk", thoguh I'm sure it'd be fine as a first read, though it's undoubtedly richer with the knowledge of the prceding book to build on.

There was tension moreso than excitement and the characters were better formed than in the first book. There was a bit
Started October 14th, 2013.
Great book, 2nd in the series. Very brilliant British English.
Could have been a bit more complicated or more twists. But ok, the persons are well described, not too much private life which does not contribute to the main story, just enough so you get to know the characters, subtly played as they sometime get to know each other.
The main characters are great and even the dark bad ones are complicated enough to be not only black, but more like a subtle grey which gets dar
Elisha Condie
Stella Rimington sounds like the coolest alias for the coolest woman in the world. She's the real life M - the former head of British Intelligence, and the first woman to hold the position. And Stella Rimington is her real name! It's all too good to be true.

I approached this novel with glee, just knowing that it would be awesome. Maybe I expected too much, but it wasn't very good. It started out well, with Liz Carlyle (MI5 employee) looking into an Arab terrorist plot that has ties with forme
Although I don't experience the "can't put this down even though it's 3 a.m., and I'm exhausted" feeling that the best espionage fiction gives me, I really do like this Liz Carlyle series. Rimington does something that other post-Cold-War espionage novelists don't seem to be able to do, namely connect the characters' motivations to larger social, political, and historical themes in a believable and empathetic way. Here, she connects to the standard themes -- Northern Ireland and "home-grown" Isl ...more
Simon Taylor
The former Director General of MI5 has written a spy thriller. It should have been the equivalent of Jamie Oliver cooking you dinner or David Beckham teaching your kids how to play football. In fact, it was a bit like Bruce Forsythe telling you how to stay young. I don’t think I truly understood what an airport thriller was like until I read this.

The problem with Secret Asset isn’t just that it wasn’t good enough to be good, it also wasn’t bad enough to be bad. At least bad books have the decenc
Jennifer (JC-S)
I've really enjoyed the Liz Carlyle novels: two of them have have been part of my escapist fiction recently.

This is the second of the novels written by Ms Rimington to feature MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle. I’ve read them out of order and while this hasn’t materially impacted upon my enjoyment of the novels, I would recommend new readers to start at the beginning.

In this novel, Liz is investigating a tip-off that a mole has been planted in one of the branches of British Intelligence. Thi
I enjoyed the book, the story kept me hooked, but I was a little disappointed with the finale, which promised a lot, even suggesting a continuation to the plot, yet slightly failed to deliver. It fell flat in its face, as though from a rooftop. ;-)
Helena Aarons
Really excellent series of novels, including "Illegal Action, 3", "Dead Line 4" and "Rip Tide 6" written by the former Director General of MI5. Would love to listen to "At Risk 1" but not available as an audiobook.
Keith Johnstone
A great book - I couldn't put it down. A nice mix of a fictional story slotted into real life events. Stella Rimington tells a good story but of course has the real life experience to back it up and make it real. A easy read too.
Wendy Greenberg
A non activated IRA mole in M15 - needs to be found as he is involved in Islamic politics/terrorism in UK. Convincing and page turning drama to find him
Wow, that was a bit dull. Kept waiting for the twist, or a bit of excitement. Didn't happen.
Excellent series - well written, interesting characters, wonderful plots.
Excellent purchased book 3 before I'd even finished this one
I had high hope for the former head of M15 being a Bond fan, LeCarre reader and part time Anglophile, but my first meeting with the Liz Carlyle series was only so so. I did enjoy getting an inside glimpse into the intellectual elitism of Oxford and the often mundane world of the intelligence service, but this plot, best summarized as pre-Gerry Adams IRA meets jihad, meets vengeful son, stretched the boundaries of credulity a tad too far. Still, the library has a few other in the series so I'll p ...more
When they decide to make these into movies I hope they let Helen Mirren play the lead.
Martin Sidgreaves
I was eagerly awaiting the release of this book after enjoying `At Risk' so much. It didn't disappoint!

From the start, you are dragged in to the murky world of Liz Carlyle & her associates at `five' and (without spoiling the plot) are launched into several, seemingly unrelated, story lines which weave and turn throughout the book.

I found this book compulsive, gritty, exceptionally well written and above all else, enjoyable. Again Stella Rimington has delivered a truly great book.
I had high hopes for this book based on the Amazon feedback and other reviews. It was a good story, but started out sooooo scattered I really had to work to get through the first part. The second half came together better and the story did come together in the end. It is a look inside MI5 and the struggles that I imagine most "agencies" struggle with. It is a pretty quick read but it would not be the top of my list, it is a good one to have on hand for waiting rooms, starbucks, etc.
This is another perfectly acceptable spy-thriller from Rimington. I continue to wish that Peggy was the main character, and I guessed the twist about halfway through. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book - I adore books about competent people being competent, and it did give me a few thinky thoughts about England and Ireland and the entanglement of the two countries through the years. Basically this book does what it sets out to do, very competently. Just like its characters.
Okay. Similar to Remington's other books in that there is not a huge amount of detail of life of a spy and there are some interesting characters especially the female characters (Liz and Peggy) and some of the Irish partisans/supporters, but many of Liz's colleagues kind of blur together. The plot is interesting, but requires some leaps/major suspension of disbelief- there is not a huge amount of tension and the climax is rather anti-climactic and disappointing.
Easy read with a good plot. Ideal for relaxing reading at night or on holiday. I enjoyed her characters and was of course very confident with her factual accuracy! I've put it on the murder-mystery shelf although it's not quite a whodunnit, more a whoisit. Recommended for all.
The Cats Mother
While I enjoyed the style of this - the gradual unravelling of clues as Liz hunts down the mole inside MI5, and it felt realistic compared to the usual thrillers where the hero stops London being blown up - or whatever, but the ending was a real anti-climax. It didn't take long to work out who the baddie was - I expected more of a twist or some misdirection. I like the heroine and will read more but was slightly disappointed in this one.
This is the second in a series about MI5 operative Liz Carlyle and it is more polished than the first, with a tangled plot that links decades-old IRA politics with present-day Islamist terror. MI5 suspects a mole infiltrated the service decades ago but was never activated. Carlyle must find the mole and prevent him or her from taking personal revenge. One of Rimington's talents is pacing and this 350-page book just zips by.
Jeff Crosby
Superior sequel to At Risk, the second Liz Carlyle novel is a modern mole hunt set against a backdrop of terrorism. On some levels, this novel is strongly reminiscent of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but it charts its own course. Motivations, purpose and endgame are all well executed. There are no cheats or red herrings. You figure out who the mole is before it is revealed, but there is still much to experience.
Spy book, second in the “Liz Carlyle” series, written by former Director General of MI-5. Fast and engaging. Only weakness, I thought, were the personal asides – Liz thinking about romance, her single life, etc. – which come off as too mushy and formulaic.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Spy by Nature
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Dead Lions
  • Faith (Bernard Samson, #7)
  • Train Wreck
  • The Defection of A.J. Lewinter
  • Body of Lies
  • Bangkok Burn
  • The Patriots Club
  • Silesian Station (John Russell, #2)
  • Old Boys (Paul Christopher #9)
  • The Hidden Target
  • Capitol Threat (Ben Kincaid, #15)
  • The Innocent Spy (DI Ted Stratton, #1)
  • Assassin (Samuel Carver, #3)
Dame Stella Whitehouse Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1968. During her career she worked in all the main fields of the Service: counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. She was appointed Director General in 1992, the first woman to hold the post. She has written her autobiography and five Liz Carlyle novels. She lives in London and Norfolk.

Watch a video of Stel
More about Stella Rimington...
At Risk (Liz Carlyle, #1) Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle, #3) The Geneva Trap (Liz Carlyle, #7) Rip Tide (Liz Carlyle, #6) Dead Line (Liz Carlyle, #4)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »