Stella Rimington (left-Jamie Hughes pic) joined MI5 in 1968 and her career with the security service reads like this -
1970: Counter espionage, various posts as desk officer and agent runner
1980: Assistant Director: counter subversion
1984 : Recruitment
1986 : Director Counter espionage
1988: Director Counter terrorism
1991: Deputy Director General
1992-96: Director General
Liz Carlyle is brought in to establish how and why a young British Muslim could go missing from his well-to-do family in Birmingham and end up onboard a pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean, armed with a Kalashnikov.
Good stuff. Rimington's stories, unsurprisingly, have a clear ring of authenticity about them. I put her up there with Tom Clancy but with some way to catch John Le Carre.