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Dead Line

(Liz Carlyle #4)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,118 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Here is the fourth installment in Stella Rimington’s series of thrilling novels that have at their center MI5 officer Liz Carlyle.
As plans get under way for a Middle East peace conference at the Gleneagles resort in Scotland, alarming information comes to MI5 from a high-ranking Syrian source: two individuals are mounting an operation to violently disrupt the conferenc
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published 2008 by Quercus
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,118 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Roderick Hart
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book is a thriller based on the British security service MI5. It is the fourth in a series dealing with the exploits of Liz Carlyle and is written by Stella Rimington, who ran MI5 in a previous existence. For this reason reviewers like to state that the books are realistic since the author knows the service from the inside. Which may or may not be true - but they cannot know without having been on the inside themselves.

Some reviews include mild complaints to the effect that the plots are a
I'd forgotten how Goodreads qualified Two Stars until I hovered my cursor over the ratings: It was Ok.

Ok. I can live with that. This was ok. A fun diversion in a stressful week. I recall feeling much more riveted by the first Liz Carlyle, read several years ago, but I haven't read the in-betweens. My rating would be higher if not for the disappointing denouement.
Mal Warwick
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dame Stella Rimington served as Director General of Britain's Security Service, MI5, from 1992 to 1996. Eight years later, in retirement, her first spy novel was published, launching the Liz Carlyle series. Dead Line (2008) is the fourth in the series, now nine strong.

Clearly, Rimington has intimate knowledge of MI5 and its sister agency, MI6. So it's no surprise that every entry in the Liz Carlyle series rings with authenticity. What is unexpected is Rimington's proficiency with plotting, chara
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle, read-in-2014
To say I struggled to finish this book would be an understatement. Many a time I got tempted to just ditch it, however I really dislike doing that. I would love to say that I was glad I stuck with it, but I am sad to say it didn't get any better. I had a slight glimpse of hope in the last 50 pages or so that things were getting interesting, but then it just died back off to dull narrative.

I really dislike leaving a negative review of any book, and always try to write something positive about ev
Jack Heath
Synopsis: a Middle East peace conference is starting in Scotland when MI5 hears that two individuals plan to disrupt it. Liz finds dead ends.
Nov 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Only a couple of weeks back I wrote that I wouldn't read any more of the Liz Carlyle series but then I found I'd already downloaded the next one on to my Kindle. So there I was in lockdown and it seemed like an easy enough way to pass the time. Initially I thought I'd made a big mistake, as I had just re-read Warlight (Ondaatje) which was such a complex and nuanced book about espionage and its effects on spies and their families. This by contrast was a simple (simplistic?) story about a possible ...more
Michael Martz
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Dead Line', the 4th in Stella Rimington's Liz Carlyle series, is a tricky one. The British secret service is made aware of the potential for the disruption of an international conference in Scotland, and from there it becomes a sometimes tedious search for the who, what, when, where, and why.

As with her prior novels, Ms. Rimington provides great descriptions of tradecraft and the inner workings of both the security services and the political atmosphere surrounding them. What I most enjoy about
Any Length
I did not like this book at all. No stars at all.
It was too slow moving, the chapters felt stilted and the back ground painted by the author for each scene felt false and unreal. The characters didn't feel right either. Peggy who was supposed to be a whiz with computers was more concerned with cooking a meal at the time of big pressure leading up to the conference. The background given to some of the other characters also felt "made up" and not natural. The plot was way too slow and all the chap
Henri Moreaux
I was drawn to this book by the blurb, it sounded like the basis for an exciting spy thriller. Sadly, whilst this book has the elements of an exciting spy thriller, it is far from such.

The narrative it at times rather dry and the plot isn't unique in terms of the method of getting to the climax, it's merely a rehash of the methods of a hundred other spy movies & books implemented in a way that makes you feel drowsy.

It's set in Britain so predictably there is no gun play, but there's also not mu
Carolyn Gwin
Jun 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I'll probably finish the series but can't whole heartedly recommend to other spy/thriller book lovers. The author's background gives her novels huge credibility but so far her story lines are coming up short. ...more
Jeff Crosby
Mar 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, espionage
Clever, well paced counter espionage tale. The book is not particularly suspenseful, but it has strong, interesting characters. The plot is effectiely driven by procedure.
Tim Byron
Brief Chapters - not enough space to do serious character development - doesn't really gather momentum - no desire to read any more of the series ...more
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I would be interested to know to what extent Liz Carlyle, the appealing protagonist of Stella Rimington’s espionage novels, is based upon the author herself. Liz is pragmatic, resourceful and quick thinking, relying upon her own abilities rather than the high tech accessories that so often clutter spy novels.

On a related point, having been rereading the sequence, I also wonder how far the character of Zoe Reynolds, who featured so notably in the first three seasons of the television series Spook
Jackie Cain
This book covers new ground, for Stella Rimington, visiting Cyprus, Lebanon and Gleneagles in Scotland and dealing with Mossad and Syrian intelligence as well as the huge operation that is an international security conference. It has a whole new form of plot with a huge cast of characters. At the same time, it holds fast to the concept of detailed investigative work and the importance of recognising anomalies and acting upon them, which most ordinary people don't do. There were red herrings and ...more
Michael Corry
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid Espionage Yarn

I read/listened to this book via a combination of Kindle and Audible. I had read quite a few of the Liz Carlyle series and so I knew what to expect from Ms Rimington. The storyline is good, believable and it races along at a fair lick .. thus far a solid five stars. Where I was disappointed was with the narration on the Audible track; descriptive passages were great but for conversation the narrator slowed right down and dropped her voice so far that at one point I actually c
Becky Motew
Jun 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I. want to be Liz Carlyle.

She's smart, calm, collected, in charge. Also attractive and the apple of almost every man's eye. I can't think of any eligible (or ineligible) man in these stories who doesn't want to date Liz, marry her, spend time with her, or somehow have her to himself.


But okay. I can deal with that. She also takes a few bumps along the way. The plots are right out of the MI5 playbook and we know that is true because of SR's background as head of same. In this one an in
Kerry Swinnerton
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Twists, plot and counter plot! Interesting, and enjoyable. A little more character development in this book, but why did we have to wait until book 4 before it happened. Still.....not a huge amount about Liz, and even less about her colleagues. I guess the point of the books is that they are about the plot and so that is developed and obviously from first hand experience, they are well thought out.......but I fear that Dame Stella is only as good as her experience as an operative within the shad ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but can’t say that it was much of a page-turner for me. The storyline was interesting and there was a little more character development than in previous books, but still the reader only has a superficial understanding of Liz and the other main players. I guess I’m looking for a little more ‘life’ in the characters and more detail and tension in the plot and less a feeling of reading a report.

As in previous books, it also troubles me when the otherwise smart and experienced a
Si Straw
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stella Rimington brings a very authentic touch to her Liz Carlyle series of thrillers and Dead Line is no exception. There is more than a touch of Lynda La Plante to the styling of protagonist. Tightly written, the investigative process is well detailed as Carlyle battles both her, as yet, unknown adversary and the prejudices of the world she inhabits as the plot surges towards the conclusion. Rimington's denouement's are perhaps not the most climactic but the ride along the way is most satisfyi ...more
Christine Ottaway
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed re-reading this. I think this fourth one in the Liz Carlyle series is probably the best after the promising first book At Risk.

This novel is set against a Middle East conference with the potential for a much needed breakthrough due to be held at Gleneagles in Scotland. However getting the conference off the ground hindered by a rogue Mossad agent meant more complications that normal.

I always enjoy the fascinating peep into the world of MI5 and MI6 as well as Liz's ongoing ups
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-authors
I must read more SR. Her plots are excellent and are as highly realistic and plausible as befits the former head of MI5, the structure of the service and it's interrelation with politics, the police etc is done well. Unfortunately she is not that great a writer so the characters are a bit wooden and you don't therefore feel much attachment to them.

This applies to many English spy books (or English books in general perhaps): they often have American characters who are put in there to widen the r
Unley Libraries
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Tuesday Fullarton Book Club 3/5

Mixed opinions from the group. As the forth book in the series some characters were established and some readers felt it was difficult to catch up. The rest of us thought it was a well constructed novel, keeping you guessing until the end and then there was another twist! Easy read, authentic and unpretentious, impressive the author had first hand knowledge of the subject matter.
Sarah Hearn
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I’ve never read any of Stella Rimington’s books before but I’ll certainly seek out others now. This was terrific. The characters are clearly drawn, the plot is credible, and Ms Rimington’s years as head of MI5 certainly show in her knowledge of how “the biz” works. I was literally hanging on every word as the climax approached, and I wasn’t disappointed. Even though she tells you who the baddie is well before the end, I was rapt you see how it would all work out.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Sklar
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
I just love reading about Liz. She's smart, clever and never seems to miss a clue. She also has great luck, as is pointed out near the end fo this book. The book is partly, or maybe mostly sloved based on a chance sighting. This is the only weak plot element in this complex and interesting story. ...more
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
This is the fourth Liz Carlyle book I've read, and by now I consider myself a fan. By this time, you know the drill - this is good solid, carry-on-reading-while-you-walk-up-the-stairs stuff. I do find myself thinking, though, that Rimington doesn't have much time for MI6! ...more
Mike Eccles
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From little clues to the big event!

An intriguing story of security service investigation into initially minor events that led to an involved plot with an unexpected climax. Slow start, fast end!
Jackie Harrison
Yet again it takes a while for the action to start and as with all Rimington’s books there are a myriad of characters, which can be very confusing ( I think next time I’ll make a note of each character as they appear so I can keep track). However, once the action starts it’s a good read, if bland.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
MI5 officer Liz Carlyle is involved in the security for a high-level Middle East peace conference to be held at the Gleneagles golf resort in Scotland. A suspenseful plot with very contemporary characters.
David Garner
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better and better

Another good read. It is clear that as book number 4 in the series the plots are getting more confident and the characters beginning to develop. It may only be aeroplane reading - but it is top class aeroplane reading.
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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)
  • Present Danger (Liz Carlyle, #5)
  • Rip Tide (Liz Carlyle, #6)
  • The Geneva Trap (Liz Carlyle, #7)
  • Close Call (Liz Carlyle, #8)
  • Breaking Cover (Liz Carlyle #9)
  • The Moscow Sleepers (Liz Carlyle #10)

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