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Present Danger

(Liz Carlyle #5)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,485 ratings  ·  84 reviews
MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle has just been despatched to Northern Ireland. It's a promotion, and she'll be running agents - her favourite activity - but it also means being separated from Charles Wetherby, her old boss, recently widowed and a very close friend. Attachments in the Intelligence Services are not encouraged: it seems her superiors know more about Liz's ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published October 29th 2009 by Quercus
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,485 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jeff Crosby
Liz Carlyle is now in Northern Ireland, working against splinter groups who threaten the fragile peace. The procedural nature of the novel is well paced, revealing each detail in a timely fashion. There is never any frustration level between what the reader knows and what the protagonists learn. The solid plot is fleshed out with believable characters. The lone exception is the central villan--a cypher who turns out to be more of a plot device than an individual. For my money, this is the ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
MI5 officer Liz Carlyle is transferred to Belfast which, in the era of power sharing, should be a relatively uneventful posting. However, dissident terrorist groups threaten to disrupt the peace and Liz is soon involved in uncovering a deadly plot.

You'd expect an ex-head of MI5 to know her stuff in this field and Rimington's description of spycraft is impeccable. The book feels a little slow at the start though as it fills in a lot of backstory. The pace picks up in the middle but the ending
Mal Warwick
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
John le Carré. Eric Ambler. Graham Greene. Ian Fleming. Len Deighton. Frederick Forsyth. Somerset Maugham. Charles Cumming. Ken Follett. Alex Gerlis. Philip Kerr. Is that enough names to make the case that the best spy novels come from Britain? (Okay, maybe just in the English language.)

Not that America hasn't also contributed a fair number of top-flight espionage novelists. Joseph Kanon, Alan Furst, Alex Berenson, Martin Cruz Smith, David Ignatius, Robert Ludlum, Olen Steinhauer, and Tom Clancy
Toby Oliver
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set before the peace process was eventually signed, Liz Carlyle an MI5 officer arrives in Belfast. A colleague goes missing. Perhaps, not unexpectedly, the writing is intuitive and draws the reader into an ever increasing underworld of deceit and duplicity.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is Stella Rimington's fifth novel featuring the clever and resourceful MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle. While it's a stand alone novel, you'll probably enjoy it more if you've read some of her other books as many of the characters have made previous appearances.

At the start of the book, Liz Carlyle is transferred to Northern Ireland to take charge of MI5's agent runners division. Unbeknownst to her, the Director General is aware of her closeness to the recently widowed Charles Wetherby
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started December 21st, 2013.
Interesting turn of events from the settings and personal relationship developments in the last book.
To stop something the powers that be decide to post Liz to Ireland, which could be a boring job after peace treaty is signed.
But it is not, old IRA resentments and long held grudged (justified or not) lead to the discovery of a plan to disrupt the peace process.
Mistakes are made, people die, but is not entirely gripping or fast-paced enough to justify 5 stars.
David Medcalf
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
This isn't my usual sort of book, but I was intrigued by a spy book written by an ex-spymaster.
I'm afraid it disappointed - it was interesting in places, but full of clichéed characters [the good looking heroine, the impetuous sub-hero, the cold calculating villain, the incompetent boss], and 'lucky coincidences' to enable the plot to move clunkily forward.
The end scene was rather "is that it?" - one had the feeling that the author had reached her required word-count and just wanted to get
george burns
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conventional But Good

Conventional But Good

The author, a former head of MI5, is knowledgeable and writes well. Refreshingly, her protagonist, Liz Carlyle is strong and capable without any pretense of being wonder woman. The story moves along briskly and predictably. The book suffers from the weaknesses of the genre: the villain, described as brilliant and calculating, is emotional and stupid. Characters who know they are in danger are careless and gullible. Nevertheless, if you are looking for
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Three and a half stars. I liked just about everything here with no issues with the storytelling (quite good) or the writing. So while there's some good beach or fireplace espionage reading here, there's nothing above average either. I certainly wouldn't think twice about going back to Rimington when I was in the mood for some good MI-5 fiction again. The Belfast and, even more, southern France coastal settings are very well drawn.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Present Danger is an entertaining thriller but found myself losing interest after the mystery is solved and we slog through the "catch the bad guys" phase. All of Ms Rimington's books so far are written in this form and I find the last quarter of the books to be an anti-climax. I do recommend this series because I am enjoying it, despite the long endings.
Judith Cranswick
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Stella Rimington's writing has improved as the series has gone on. It doesn't achieve the tension or page-turning quality of the great British crime writers, and her characters are not sufficiently developed to make one empathise to any great degree. However, I do enjoy the MI5 elements of the story which is my main motive for reading her novels.
Si Straw
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Present Danger is the fifth of Stella Rimington's thrillers about the exploits of MI5 officer Liz Carlyle. As a former Director General of MI5, this a world that Rimington knows well, combining pacey action with the detailed portral of spycraft at work. Set in Belfast, Carlyle fights to protect the fragile peace against a murky world of suspicion and the threat of double cross.

The book moves from a steady start building to a well written conclusion. The story is fairly conventional, so is likely
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written thriller. A pleasant way to pass some time without being overly challenging.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Best Liz Carlyle book so far! Engaging story on both the plot line and her personal life.
Jo Marchant
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book and the characters, I need to start at the beginning of the series thoughand read right through.
Laura Meenk
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Normally I really enjoy Ms. Rimmington's books, but the story line was implausible and juvenile. It as a disappointment.
Kathy Morgan
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent story in this series. Stella Rimington is one of my go-to authors when I want a good mystery with intrigue and a touch of adrenaline.
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I want to enjoy a good spy story but it's lazy and irritating to have every single male character have a crush on the female lead.
Tracy Smyth
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by this author that I have read. I loved it. It kept me interest from the start of the book til the end. Great story
Paul Servini
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Action packed pageturner which kept me riveted from beginning to enf.
Val Waring
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this - when the to be read pile goes down a little bit I will certainly look for others in the series to read
Pat Brennan
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The characterisations are very good, the plot,interesting. The book held my attention throughout. The author, Stella Rimmington, writes very well.
May 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
#5 in the series and my new least favourite (by a wide margin). Liz is posted to the Northern Ireland office (despite having almost no relevant experience) as the HR department is concerned about her "relationship" with Charles, whose wife has now died. Set very specifically soon after the Good Friday Agreement brought (mostly) peace to Northern Ireland, this novel has aged badly - it felt dated, rather than historical.

Once again Liz muses about making a move on the oh-so-recently widowed
Beverly Hanton
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great tale from Stella Rimington. Good plots and likeable characters.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Present Danger, the fifth novel in the Liz Carlyle series, was my first introduction to the former MI5 head Stella Rimington’s work as a fiction writer.

And sadly, I was very disappointed; for all her firsthand experience as an intelligence agent, I found this novel slow and boring, with little in the way of interesting characters to compensate.

Set in Northern Ireland, Liz Carlyle arrives from London on a long-term mission to identify former IRA protesters who might still be a threat. An
Elliot Richards
Apr 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I seldom abandon books but this was a terrible intro to Stella Rimington.

Being the fifth book in one would think the prose and dialogue would be less "clunky" than a typical new writer, but it's not. The writing is dry and feels padded out with extraneous nonsense. In my opinion writing fiction is clearly not her strong suit as it simply lacks rhythm and pace.

I also get the impression that I'm missing chunks of story because I've not read the previous four titles in the Liz Carlyle series. This
Margaret Dee
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Former head of MI5 really knows how to write about the chase. Set in Ireland. Good story. Had to order this through Amazon where it came from Ireland.
Tim Corke
I'm really enjoying Rimington's novels. This is the second I've read now and am very impressed. Given her vast experience within the intelligence community it's not surprising that her stories are technically accurate and portray an insiders sense of emotion and tension.

Set within Northern Ireland around the time of the ceasefire, the atmosphere is still hostile with many smaller breakaway groups still intent with resorting to violence rather than diplomacy. How the security forces deal with
Ruth Bradbury-Horton
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. A good pace, a believable plot and great characterisation. The story concerns Liz Carlyle an MI5 specialist who is moved to the Irish desk in Belfast. Unimpressed, and thinking it will be a bit of a bore, she's soon knee deep in intrigue and IRA plot lines when a close colleague and friend goes missing.

I like to think Stella Rimington wrote this because then it would have me think she offered a little bit of what really goes in in MI5. If she used a ghost writer, then
Rather run of the mill thriller set in post Troubles Northern Ireland. The plot revolves around a breakaway Republican group seemingly set on resuming the killing pitted against a the forces of law and order, primarily MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle. The trouble is that both the terrorists and the intelligence service are both depicted as rather bungling as this is the only way that the plot can work.

This is the 5th in the Liz Carlyle series penned by the former head of MI5, Stella
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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)
  • 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)