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Extended Audio Sample At Risk Audiobook, by Stella Rimington Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (713 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stella Rimington Narrator: Jennifer McMahon, Jennifer McMahon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Liz Carlyle Series Release Date: January 2005 ISBN: 9781415921951
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A tense, fast-moving debut thriller from the ex-head of MI5.

“Our concern—and we’ve communicated this over the weekend to all stations, is that the opposition may be about to deploy an invisible.”

An “invisible” is CIA-speak for the ultimate intelligence nightmare: the terrorist who, because he or she is an ethnic native of the target country, can cross its borders unchecked, move around that country unquestioned and infiltrate its institutions with ease. An invisible on mainland Britain was the worst possible news.

For Liz Carlyle, an MI5 Intelligence Officer, this report from MI6 marks the start of an operation that will test her to the limit and put her own life in jeopardy. As she sifts the incoming evidence and gets reports from her agents, she realizes the terrorist threat is imminent. But who or what is the target? And who or where is the invisible? Time is of the essence in this desperate search and it becomes clear that it is Liz’s intuitive skills—her ability to get inside her enemy’s head—that offer the only hope of averting disaster.

In this terrifying and tautly drawn debut thriller, Stella Rimington takes us to the heart of the intelligence world. It is a place she is uniquely qualified to describe.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Exciting…[Rimington] bids to join the ranks of such secret agent authors as Graham Greene [and] John le Carré. At Risk is an exciting debut novel.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Entertaining…Briskly told…[Will] keep you turning the pages.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “As engrossing and hard to resist as Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “A smart, clever, and brilliantly paced thriller that seems ripped from the headlines—if not today’s, then probably tomorrow’s…This is a tightly drawn, expertly told tale…It marks a promising second career for its author, whose future success will doubtless be much more public than her earlier accomplishments.

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Rimington speaks smartly about workplace issues while ratcheting the tension high in her authoritative debut thriller.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 2/5/2014

    " I thought this book was quite well done, but of course the main motivation for reading it was because the author was involved in the world of espionage herself. I really enjoyed the strong female character and thought the work place politics were totally believable. The disappointing part of the book was the ending. While it wraps up the best that it can, I found it slightly less believable that the "invisible" would be so easily dissuaded from the task at hand. But I'd definitely read another one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polo | 1/19/2014

    " Fun, thoughtful thriller with smart, strong female characters. Enjoyed the depiction of how the British handle terrorism threats. This was a holiday gift in a genre in which I rarely read and it was a page-turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren Koffs | 1/16/2014

    " I took up this book because it was written by a woman who became the first female director of MI5. That's a pretty remarkable thing, even today. And unlike similar books I have read, the author creates in this novel a world that is decidedly real. One of the most thrilling aspects of this story is that it very well could happen at any time. It also honestly explores the darker side to government operations. The missions and accidents that people are not so proud of, that they don't want the press or the people to hear. That said, there are a couple of reason why I gave it the rating I did. For one, the flow of the story was a bit choppy at times. She brought the necessary bits and pieces together, but sometimes in a way that was completely disruptive to the narrative. It would have earned 5 stars, even still, if Ms. Rimington had tied up a few of the loose ends a little more clearly, and had alluded to and explained some of the surprises a little more thoroughly. One thing that frustrates me in a book is a seemingly abandoned subplot. And the one I am referring to isn't even that important to the story, but the fact that she repeatedly brought it up, yet there was no real resolution to it perhaps because it was so minor, is annoying. But all other things considered, it was a very good first outing, and I am looking forward to trying her other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/13/2014

    " This book was about a terrorist incident in England, and the agents working desperately to thwart it. I thought it was slow in the beginning, but interesting toward the end as it approached the climax of the story. I liked the main character, Liz, as she raced against the clock to figure out the target of the terrorists and their identities. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samia Ruponti | 1/4/2014

    " It was an amazing read! I am going to start reading other rimington books! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele bookloverforever | 12/7/2013

    " okay. takes a long time getting to the best part. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 12/3/2013

    " Wow...another great series! This one kept me on the edge of my seat (and WAY past my bedtime). Thanks, Seattle Mystery Bookshop and the Seattle Tiems, for the great recommendation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 11/21/2013

    " One of the first books I've read about a woman in British intelligence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth m | 9/10/2013

    " Very good. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karin | 8/25/2013

    " Entertaining thriller; keeps you guessing about the outcome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 5/28/2013

    " Great start to a super series. Very well done spy thriller. Extremely satisfying. If you like this sort of spy story, this is a definite read for you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie Beck | 5/24/2013

    " Written as fiction, a former head of MI5 creates the counterterrorist agent, Liz Carlyle, who is given limited time to find the worst kind of terrorist , an "invisible"-someone traveling on a British passport. As taunt, and suspenseful as a Robert Ludlum. Very Good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/8/2012

    " I read this a long time ago. Great, can't put it down MI-5 versus Terrorism! The author was in MI-5 and knows her stuff. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 6/14/2011

    " I was hoping this would be Bridget Jones meets James Bond. It was dry and not good at all..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin Scott | 10/4/2010

    " Fun read---nothing too deep, about par for a thriller, but well-written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gail | 6/5/2010

    " The former head of MI6 first novel. A good start looking forward to her later books, as she knows spycraft "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn | 5/18/2009

    " I really enjoyed this novel! The story was really compelling and it seemed sort of terrifyingly plausible. I also think the author set up the heroine's life in such a way that there will be plenty to explore in future books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim Corke | 5/4/2009

    " A punchy first novel by the former Head of MI5 that has an exciting and seemingly realistic plot line concerning the smuggling of terrorists into Britain in Norfolk. Made a change from reading very glamorous and blockbuster thrillers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Crosby | 7/29/2008

    " First volume of a counter-espionage series written by the former head of MI-5. Well written and well paced. Story is a welcome variation from the modern nuclear terrorist novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Inga | 7/26/2008

    " An fast, easy read . . . even for me. Very entertaining with a strong female lead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 11/12/2007

    " Loved the authenticity, and personal-life parts weren't as great as the intelligence services, but still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 3/19/2007

    " Rimington is my new favorite espionage/thriller author. Former head of MI5, updating John LeCarre with a smart and likable female agent of counter-terrorism. Great at slowly revealing clues that advance the plot, great at keeping up the pace. Just wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 2/7/2007

    " Good. I listened to it on audio and the british accent was perfect for the setting. Interesting how some vocabulary is so different! I will go find more of ms. Liz. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 4/13/2006

    " Escapist spy novel written by a former MI-6 director. Entertaining read, if not intellectually high-brow. "

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About the Author
Author Stella RimingtonStella Rimington joined Britain’s Security Service (MI5) in 1969. During her nearly thirty-year career she worked in all the main fields of the Service’s responsibilities—counter-subversion, counter-espionage, and counter-terrorism—and successively became Director of all three branches. Appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, she was the first woman to hold the post and the first Director General whose name was publicly announced on appointment. Following her retirement from MI5 in 1996, she became a nonexecutive director of Marks & Spencer and published her autobiography, Open Secret, in the United Kingdom. She is also the author of At Risk, the first Liz Carlyle novel. Rimington lives in London.
About the Narrators

Jennifer McMahon is the author of Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.

Jennifer McMahon is the author of Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.