What is it about? The first woman director general of Britain's MI5, Rimington speaks smartly about workplace issues while ratcheting the tension high in her authoritative debut thriller. Enter Liz Carlyle, an agent-runner with a taste for vintage clothes; her married lover, Mark Callendar, whom she doesn't love; and an appealing head of section, Charles Wetherby. The Islamic Terror Syndicate (ITS) may be about to deploy an "invisible"—"an ethnic native of the target country"—and only Liz can pull together all the threads.
What did I think? I bought this novel because it was written by a director general of MI5. How cool! If there was anyone who knew about the inner workings of the spy game, she would be the one. And probably she is. However, in some parts, it was hard to read. I just couldn't get into it. At some point in the future I might re-read it but maybe not. However, I might be willing to pick up another book she's written instead. Debuts are sometimes not as good as subsequent books.
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The Hanging Wood by Martin Edwards
What is it about? Twenty years ago, a teenage boy, Callum Hinds, went missing in England’s Lake District. His uncle was suspected of having done the boy harm and interviewed by the police. When he committed suicide close to his cottage in the Hanging Wood, everyone assumed it was a sign of guilt. But the body of the boy was never found. Now his sister, Orla Payne, who never believed in their uncle’s guilt, has returned to the Lakes, and takes up a job in an atmospheric residential library, close to her father’s farm, the upmarket caravan park where her step-father works, and the Hanging Wood. She wants to find the truth about Callum’s disappearance, and—at the prompting of Daniel Kind—and, in a drunken call, tries to interest DCI Hannah Scarlett, head of Cumbria’s Cold Case Review Team, in the case. Hannah is reluctant, leading Orla to demand whether she cares about justice. Hannah does care, and when Orla dies in strange and shocking circumstances, she determines to find the truth about what happened to Callum—and to Orla. Hannah’s investigation brings her back into contact with Daniel, while she tries to resolve her troubled relationship with bookseller Marc Amos. But their personal lives have to be put on hold when another death occurs, and Hannah finds herself racing against time to prevent a shocking murder as the past casts long shadows on the sunlit landscape of the Lakes.
What did I think? This was another book that was okay for me--but not great. I'm one of those mystery readers that (a) likes a murders that leaves an impression and (b) that forwards the lives of the two main characters. For me, the death, although strange and shocking, didn't help me turn the pages and the two main characters Hannah and Daniel seem to be moving backwards in their working/personal relationship. This is another book I might pick up again in the future and perhaps fine fascinating. I really recommend Martin Edward's books, they, for the most part, are wonderful. Give his book The Cipher Garden a go.
Buy it here for $5.80