intense sensations

Uninspired chick lit espionage

Posted on: October 22, 2011

Illegal Action (Liz Carlyle, #3)Illegal Action by Stella Rimington
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

We are promised authenticity with this book and we probably get it. Being a spy is probably as dull and pedestrian as this.

This is Stella’s third spy novel so you’d think she’d have hit her stride by now but she seems content with an unambitious amble. She has no doubt used her experience as Head of M15 to good effect, but she doesn’t seem to have used her qualification as a graduate in English literature.

The book has no pace. The dialogue doesn’t crackle. There is no tension.

Having just compared London’s literati to the KGB following her stint as chairman of the Booker prize judges, you’d think she’d know how to stitch together a good plot.

Instead we get uninspired chick lit espionage in which some of the most exciting moments are discovering how Liz Carlyle likes her cocoa.

Liz got up and after a search in the kitchen cupboards, unearthed a packet of cocoa that was just in date, so she heated some milk on the old electric stove, then sat down again with her mug. It could be interesting, she supposed, to spend time with a man who literally could buy anything he desired, but she couldn’t say her heart was in it.

No, quite. Like Liz Carlyle, Stella Rimington’s heart simply isn’t in it.

View all my reviews
Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits

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