The third thriller from the former head of MI5, featuring MI5 officer, Liz Carlyle.
Liz Carlyle has been transferred to Counter-Espionage, along with her research sidekick Peggy Kingsolving. Once the hub of MI5 operations, the department has been reduced in size since the end of the Cold War, and priority within the service is on counter-terrorism.
Yet there is plenty for Liz to do. In fact, there are more spies operating in London today than during the height of East-West hostilities. This includes Russian spies, who continue to operate in number. What has changed is their targets -- now they spy on the international financial community, as well as on the wealthy, influential Russian "oligarchs," many of whom live in London.
Liz learns of a Russian government plot to silence one of these oligarchs, Nikita Brunovsky, who is an increasingly vocal opponent of Putin. How he is to be kept quiet is unclear, but since the Foreign Office dreads any kind of incident, Liz is assigned to keep it from happening.
To protect Brunovsky from his Kremlin foes, Liz goes undercover and joins the oligarch's retinue as she tries to determine who around the Russian might be willing to betray him, and hoping at the same time to learn the identity of a certain Russian "illegal" operative working undercover.
Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1965 and rose to become Director-General in 1992 -- the first woman to hold the post. Her biography, Open Secret, and the first two Liz Carlyle novels, At Risk and Secret Asset are available in Arrow.