Perhaps the most vividly plotted of Rimington’s recent spy thrillers, though still less persuasive when it ventures into...

BREAKING COVER

Now that Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscles in the international arena, Rimington, who always has a sharp eye for contemporary headlines (Close Call, 2014, etc.), provides another dose of Cold War tension for MI5 and MI6.

Whether they’re civil liberties lawyers like Jasminder Kapoor or bedmates of MI5 staffers like lecturer Tim Simpson, Peggy Kinsolving’s lover, British citizens are understandably wary of the new surveillance regime they think is tracking their every word and move. Sir Peter Treadwell, the new chief of MI6, has the novel idea of creating the position of Communications Director for someone who can serve as the service’s public face in briefings and conferences designed to make its workings more transparent. Liz Carlyle, who doesn’t want to leave MI5 to take the job, recommends Jasminder for the position, and the rest is history—Cold War history, since Jasminder comes under increasing pressure from her lover, Norwegian private banker Laurenz Hansen, to make MI6 operations even more transparent for him and a close circle of his associates. Meantime, Liz, who knows nothing of Jasminder’s troubles, gets word from Mischa, a walk-in Russian informant, that Russia's Federal Security Service, FSB, buoyed by its recent successes in Crimea and Ukraine, has hatched Operation Pincer , a plot to infiltrate both MI5 and MI6 by compromising and turning staffers in both organizations. It looks like a dark day for her majesty’s government unless Liz and her network of colleagues and friends can spot the clues and follow them in time to prevent the U.K.’s intelligence services from becoming wholly owned subsidiaries of FSB.

Perhaps the most vividly plotted of Rimington’s recent spy thrillers, though still less persuasive when it ventures into foreign waters than when it exposes interpersonal rivalries among staffers who are supposed to be on the same side.

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63286-526-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

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THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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KILLING FLOOR

From the Jack Reacher series , Vol. 1

Welcome to Margrave, Georgia—but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both. There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend, who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long-dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother Joe, whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personally against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive. Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust—a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed—he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of- towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage, or at least direct it in more positive ways. Though the testosterone flows as freely as printer's ink, Reacher is an unobtrusively sharp detective in his quieter moments—not that there are many of them to judge by. Despite the crude, tough-naif narration, debut novelist Child serves up a big, rangy plot, menace as palpable as a ticking bomb, and enough battered corpses to make an undertaker grin.

Pub Date: March 17, 1997

ISBN: 0-399-14253-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997

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