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Close Call

(Liz Carlyle #8)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,538 ratings  ·  112 reviews
From the former director of MI5, the new Liz Carlyle thriller—taken from today’s headlines.
The Arab Spring has swept through the Middle East and Liz Carlyle and her compatriots in the Thames House’s counter-espionage division are racing to investigate arms deals in Yemen. There’s a UN embargo forbidding any member country from supplying arms to either side in the upris
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Bloomsbury USA (first published July 3rd 2014)
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James Here's a list...
(2004). At Risk.
(2006). Secret Asset.
(2007). Illegal Action.
(2008). Dead Line.
(2009). Present Danger.
(2011). Rip Tide.
(2012). The…more
Here's a list...
(2004). At Risk.
(2006). Secret Asset.
(2007). Illegal Action.
(2008). Dead Line.
(2009). Present Danger.
(2011). Rip Tide.
(2012). The Geneva Trap.
(2014). Close Call.
(2016). Breaking Cover.
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,538 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have read several of Stella Rimington's earlier novels featuring the recurring character of Liz Carlyle. Her Close Call continues the rapidly-fading trend of the novels. It is trite and predictable. All of Rimington's characters have degenerated into stereotypes. It is almost as if the reader knows what they'll say before they say it. Her plots are like rejected television scripts from the waning seasons of a trendy program. I'm done with Stella. ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, particularly as the author’s distinguished career in MI5 from 1968 was involved in countering subversion, espionage and terrorism – and led to her becoming Director General in 1992, the first woman to hold this top post.

While the story is fiction, it is reminiscent of a lot of the serious Middle East events at the present time, relating to the scourge of psychopathic Jihadi extremists and their brutal attempt to conquer the world with ideology based on their warped in
I heard an interview with Stella Rimington on the New York Times Book Review Podcast and was intrigued enough to order the book from Audible. What interests me most was Rimington writing about a job she knew well. Stella Rimington is the former Director General of MI5. I discovered after buying the book it is book eight in the Liz Carlyle series.

In this story Liz Carlyle and her counter terrorism unit in MI5 have been assigned to watch the international under- the- counter arms trade. The Britis
David Snape
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This book takes on the main character Liz in a scenario where they could be a possible arm deal that all predicts a meeting place in Paris. Or is it really closer to home? Overall, the story is pretty solid, with a few standout moments at the end. However, i feel it is a bit short and safe myself. The basics are good and I enjoyed reading it but I wouldn’t want to read it again.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How better to read espionage than from a former MI5 director general. Liz and teams from several countries are chasing a possible terrorist activity from information provided by a rogue French agent. Is he giving them all of the information? They are able to follow some of the bad guys while loosing others.(what? The good guys are not always able to discretely follow the bad guys.). What are the jihadis members suspected of buying the arms, ammunition and guns going to do with it. Where is the t ...more
Lyn Elliott
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers, unfinished
Once I got into it I discovered that I didn't feel like reading in this genre. So back to the library about a third read. Yes, did read the ending. Especially important If I think I might not be bothered reading the whole book. Sometimes the ending is so unexpected I change my mind and read the whole thing to see how it got there. This time it made up my mind and I headed back into the tall piles of books by my bed. ...more
Peter Anderson
Yet another semi-gripping Liz Carlyle adventure. I don't want to spoil the book for others but one incident was so sad; will things ever be the same again? I'm starting to sound like Liz! Seriously, I have read all of Stella Rimington's books so far and the novels are becoming formulaic. I will try her next when it's published but if there is no change it might be time to move on.

Carey Combe
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Easy and enjoyable. Perfect summer staple.
Mal Warwick
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella Rimington won't win any prizes for writing great literature. Her Liz Carlyle series of spy novels are written in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner. The prose is unembellished. Her strength as a novelist lies instead in her skill in plotting and her intimate knowledge of espionage gained as the Director General of Britain's MI5 in the 1990s. She knows exactly how intelligence agencies really work. And she uses that knowledge to weave tales around the issues that have preoccupied Britis ...more
Jackie Cain
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just like these books, the plotting and the characters, how they make their way through life, competently. I also enjoy the writing and the plotting, which provides lots of action across the Continent and at home.

We see a flashback of Liz Carlyle's time in Liverpool Special Branch during her training and this provides extra suspense during the investigation. And, there is also an appearance by her current beau - I liked the mix of personal and professional.

I found the ending more problematic
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the eighth novel in the series featuring MI-5 officer Liz Carlyle, written by a woman who herself was an MI-5 officer for decades and made history when she became the first woman to head up MI-5. I have to say these yarns just get better and tauter. Like a lot of her British thriller colleagues, Stella is not afraid to sacrifice sacred cows. If you're getting too attached to characters who have become established regulars from previous Liz Carlyle adventures, be forewarned. Separate from ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Stella Rimmington novel I have read so cannot compare with her earlier works. However as a standalone I enjoyed the book even if the plot was a bit predictable. I like the Liz Carlyle character and her interactions with the other main protagonists which show some human face to people we often consider as been almost automatons.. I will certainly seek out some of the earlier novels which others suggest may be better than Close Call. The plot is a little formulaic and there are n ...more
David Gee
This is the eighth novel featuring Liz Carlyle of MI5’s Counter-Terrorism Unit, who is presumably a version of Stella Rimington's younger self. In Close Call Liz and her team are following up an international arms-smuggling outfit whose reach extends from Yemen and the former Soviet republic of Dagestan to Paris and London – and Manchester, where this story comes to a thrilling climax.

As spy-writers go, Mrs Rimington is a ‘disciple’ of Le Carré rather than Fleming – no Goldfinger-sized villain,
Robin Smith
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
A solid espionage thriller from the former DG of MI5. Not as strong as some of the previous instalments in the series but enjoyable enough. Earlier in the series Rimington was happy to create new intelligence officers to join the team. In later books, it annoys me how only about 11 people seem to work in or with UK intelligence. There are 2 MI6 officers, 2 CIA officers, 2 French intelligence officers, and maybe 5 MI5 officers. And a consequence of this seems to be not "Who is needed for the plot ...more
Jo-Ann Murphy
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I felt very anxious while reading this book. It was probably very realistic because there were many times I would think the characters were making a terrible mistake or missing something. It moved along at a fair pace but was not a real page turner.

The writing is very straightforward. The scenes are well described but the writing lacks emotion. It was an easy read but it did not grab me.

This book was received from the Goodreads giveaways.
Warren C.Cooper
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liz Carlyle returns in smuggling adventure.

Another entertaining yarn from Stella Rimmington, former spy master. Seeing the return of Liz Carlyle and colleagues. Based on a rogue French spy's forays into arms dealings, and a shifty Yemeni, a Cheshire nightclub owner, this novel is pacey, and carries the authenticity of the writer's inside knowledge. It fails for me in that the conclusion seems a bit rushed, however, still a good read!
Bob Templeton
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First impressions of Stella Rimmngton

In my opinion "Close Call" ifalls short of 5 star status as M/s Rimmington is not yet in the Frederick Forsyth mould but a sound enough novel and she has now been added to my list of authors worth reading more of their works.
Wendy Sinclair-Gieben
Superb realistic spy thriller

Complex plot complemented by excellent prose and mounting excitement makes for really gripping reading
An excellent series with the added bonus of being based on experience
Emine Yarar
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was the first book that I read by Stella Rimington. It is very easy to read and has a very interesting topic which closely reflects the current events. Hope her other books would be available in Turkey.
Kerry Swinnerton
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
Sadly predictive. It’s like Dame Stella has run out of ideas. They series was interesting to begin with but it’s all just a bit of a yawn now. I’ll read the last two to date as I own them but the question is would I bother to buy another one?
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of international terrorism and cooperation, to a greater or lesser extent, between different agencies and countries, in the race to prevent a catastrophe.
Harry Philip
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another gripping spook story.

I found it difficult to put this down. As I was reading this at the time to the Manchester and London Bridge incidents I found it compelling.
Keith Johnstone
An easy read, enjoyable to pass the time, not much character development again or suspense
Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
All Liz Carlyle novels by Rimington are fun reads, and a great inside look into the world of British espionage and counter-espionage.
Keith May
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Right up my street ,,, loved it and very current too. It got to the point where I could stop till I got to the end.
Bettynz (Larraine)
Hmm. Review a book about a narrowly averted terrorist slaughter,on this black day in NZ. I think not :-(
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable installment :) Read almost all of this on a plane because it is fast paced and engaging.
Peg Albrets
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
good mystery series
Stephan Okhuijsen
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nice, but bit predictable.
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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 nine Liz Carlyle novels. She lives in London and Norfolk.

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Other books in the series

Liz Carlyle (10 books)
  • At Risk (Liz Carlyle, #1)
  • Secret Asset (Liz Carlyle, #2)
  • Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle, #3)
  • Dead Line (Liz Carlyle, #4)
  • Present Danger (Liz Carlyle, #5)
  • Rip Tide (Liz Carlyle, #6)
  • The Geneva Trap (Liz Carlyle, #7)
  • Breaking Cover (Liz Carlyle #9)
  • The Moscow Sleepers (Liz Carlyle #10)

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