Stella Rimington biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Stella Rimington.

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Stella Rimington

Stella Rimington

Stella Rimington Biography

Stella 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 four novels featuring MI5 officer Liz Carlyle. Rimington lives in London.

This biography was last updated on 01/05/2011.

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Interview

How long did you work for MI5 and what was your position there? For those in our American audience who may not be familiar with the UK organization, please give a brief explanation of how it is, or is not, similar to the FBI here in the States.
I worked for MI5 for 27 years, joining in 1969 as a Junior Assistant Officer (a special rank for women, who were only allowed to be assistants in those days) and leaving in 1996 as Director General (the boss). During my career I worked mainly in counter-espionage and counter-terrorism, becoming successively Director of each of those areas. For part of the time I ran human sources (or 'agents' as we call them in UK–not the same as Agents in FBIspeak), which is Liz Carlyle's job in the book. There is no exact equivalent to MI5 in the US. There has been some discussion, as a part of the investigations of the 9/11 Commission, for example, as to whether such an agency should be created. But it has been decided not to, as I understand it. The nearest equivalent is what used to be called the Foreign Counter Intelligence part of the FBI, but it is different. MI5 is a civilian intelligence service with no powers of arrest or any other police powers, but a lot of investigative ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Stella Rimington at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

At Risk
At Risk

by Stella Rimington

Drawing from her experience as the first woman director general of MI5, Stella Rimington gives us a story that is smart, tautly drawn, and suspenseful from first to last.
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Stella Rimington but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Charles Cumming

    Charles Cumming

    Charles Cumming was born in Scotland in 1971. He was educated at Ludgrove School (1979-1984), Eton College (1985-1989) and the University of Edinburgh (1990-1994), where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    At Risk

    Try:
    A Spy by Nature
    by Charles Cumming

  • Ken Follett

    Ken Follett

    Ken Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy (he was made a Fellow... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    At Risk

    Try:
    Hornet Flight
    by Ken Follett

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