An Odd1's Reviews > Illegal Action

Illegal Action by Stella Rimington
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Jul 10, 12

bookshelves: mystery, xrate
Read from June 29 to July 10, 2012

"Illegal Action" by Stella Rimington, noted by TV Spooks Tessa actress Jenny Agutter ( as former MI-5 director, became familiar, for previous reading, rather than plot predictability, read through both times, so probaby look for sequel. (Could X-rate for slit wrist murder.) Two rumors accrue enough confirmation to coach Liz Carlyle as an art student focussed on assassination threatens Russian painter Pashko, insert her in a wealthy household. Assassination threatens a Russian anti-Putin oligarch, possibly boyish Pashko-fan Nikita (isn't that a girl's name?) Brunovski. Foreign contacts point to the likelihood of an "illegal" agent, sleeper from Soviet KGB time masquerading as a non-British, moved to London.

Like a soap opera, a large cast entwines questionable personal and professional motives, the villain is introduced immediately as a fit 30s female, but cover identity, secret, never given an age. Knowing a series is planned makes sense of why so many characters are individualized and given tangled relationships. Senior Geoffrey Fane likes Liz who's always been soft on married boss Charles Weatherby retired to care for dying wife. Competent and otherwise male bosses have annoying attitudes "how typical of a female .. thinks she's wasting her time .. digs in her heels" when suggested to quit p139

Why assign a senior operative live-in to protect a bad guy? Premise lacks believability. Liz is "preoccupied" and ignores a tail p142 suggests poor craft. If she grabbed outfits quickly, how would she have plenty of flexibility and accessories p143? Charles says she is in danger, she is suspicious of Dimitri p160, staying is weakly justified by pride. Cops maybe could have fingerprinted knife, or she could have, but she is glad they drop mugging investigation p165. Why does she assign her scarce work resources on a trivial question Niki can answer himself p176, then not even compare results?

(view spoiler)

Not a typo
p78 "burred walnut" originally "burled" for swirling knot pattern in wood

Excerpts: Illegal Action Secret Asset Deadline
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