Book Review – THE GENEVA TRAP by Stella Rimington

The Geneva Trap Synopsis

The Geneva Trap by Stella RimingtonGeneva, 2012. When a Russian intelligence officer approaches MI5 with vital information about the imminent cyber-sabotage of an Anglo-American Defence programme, he refuses to talk to anyone but Liz Carlyle. But who is he, and what is his connection to the British agent?

At a tracking station in Nevada, US Navy officers watch in horror as one of their unmanned drones plummets out of the sky, and panic spreads through the British and American Intelligence services. Is this a Russian plot to disable the West’s defences? Or is the threat coming from elsewhere?

As Liz and her team hunt for a mole inside the MOD, the trail leads them from Geneva, to Marseilles and into a labyrinth of international intrigue, in a race against time to stop the Cold War heating up once again… (TheNile – Aus)


I had heard of Stella Rimington’s illustrious career but never before read any of her fiction. The Geneva Trap is the seventh novel in her successful Liz Carlyle espionage thriller series.

What is immediately evident, unlike many spy thrillers in which the reader has to continuously suspend belief, this novel is very grounded. Rimington’s tales of espionage are written through a filter developed from her real world experiences. Her characters and their reactions to events are very credible. For example, they do actually have familial obligations outside of ‘the business’ and they do even take a holiday every now and then.

But never fear fellow Spooks fans, the quintessential trailing of suspects and rendezvous’ in the park are featured, and life is still cheap if the secrets people are trying to hide are big enough.

She sat there for almost ten minutes, pretending to read her Paris Match. She was debating how long she should wait when out of the corner of her eye she saw a man come out of the shadow of a copse of trees to one side of her, at one corner of the university buildings. He was walking quickly, looking straight ahead towards her, and as he drew closer, she recognised him. Not from their meetings almost two decades before – he looked quite different, thinner, older, balder – but from the photograph she’d seen in the MI6 Station Mug Book.

The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington is an accessible and entertaining spy thriller.

Although the seventh novel in the series, The Geneva Trap reads just fine as a standalone novel. Rimington quickly and succinctly provides all the back story required to bring readers up to speed with the life and experiences of protagonist Liz Carlyle.

Rimington’s prose is non-taxing and although the plot contains much globe-trotting, the story threads and different character connections are easy to follow. I also really enjoyed the ensemble characters’ storylines, in particular those of Liz’s able assistant Peggy Kingsolving and Liz’s mother’s ex-military beau Edward. And, despite the general no-nonsense feeling of the novel, Rimington does let a few entertaining US, British and Russian stereotypes slip through which provide some levity.

The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington is an enjoyable weekend read for fans of the espionage and spy thriller genre.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5

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BOOK DETAILS: The Geneva Trap (Amazon); The Geneva Trap (TheNile – Aus); The Geneva Trap (Kobobooks)

Genre: Action-AdventureCrime-DetectiveThrillerRomance

Author Information: Dame Stella Rimington joined the Security Service (MI5) in 1968. During her career she worked in all the main fields of the Service: counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism. She was appointed Director General in 1992, the first woman to hold the post. She has written her autobiography and six Liz Carlyle novels. She lives in London and Norfolk.

– Check out Stella Rimington’s official website including a cool interactive map showing the locations visited in The Geneva Trap

Other reviews of The Geneva Trap: EuroCrime, AustCrime, GenreGoRound Reviews, Reviewing the Evidence, Sam Still Reading, All the Book I Can Read

Some other title by Stella Rimington: At Risk, Secret Asset, Illegal Action, Dead Line, Present Danger, Rip Tide 

* My receiving this title free from Bloomsbury ANZ for review purposes in no way influenced my expression of my honest opinion having read it.