Paul Pessolano's Reviews > Illegal Action

Illegal Action by Stella Rimington
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's review
Feb 07, 2011

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Stella Remington knows of what she writes. Stella, not of "A Streetcar Named Desire" fame, was the first woman Director General of MI5. She has probably used her experience in MI5 in writing her 4 novels. So, being true to life, we must forego the car chases and gun battles and settle for the psychological mystery.

Liz Carlyle, quite possibly fashioned after Stella, is working for the counter-espionage department of MI5. She and the department are faced with the changing look of espionage from the cold war game to that of the modern world.

Taking this into consideration, there are more spies operating in London now than during the cold war. The espionage community is also faced with the fact that there are now many wealthy Europeans making London their home. The wealth of these individuals seems to have come from some dubious transactions.

A plot is uncovered to assassinate Nikita Brunovsky, who is a vocal opponent to the present Russian regime. Liz is assigned to the case and begins to wonder if this may be a decoy for a more sinister plot.

Liz goes undercover in the Brunovsky home and finds that he is an avid art fan of Russian painter, Pashko. He and rival countryman, Morozov, are in a bidding war for Pashko's paintings, which provide a background for more questionable people and sinister plots.

This book is for those who like a good English novel that uses more mind games than what American readers are accustomed to. It is probably a more accurate representation of who spies are and what they actually do today.

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