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Eric Ambler is often said to have invented the modern suspense novel. Beginning in 1936, he wrote a series of novels that introduced ordinary protagonists thrust into political intrigues they were ill prepared to deal with. These novels were touted for their realism, and Ambler established himself as a thriller writer of depth and originality. In the process he paved the way for such writers as John Le Carre, Len Deighton, and Robert Ludlum. He was awarded four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger from The Crime Writers Association, named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers Association, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. In addition to his novels, Ambler wrote a number of screenplays, including A Night to Remember and The Cruel Sea, which won him an Academy Award nomination.
March 2013 Guest Editor Charles Cumming on A Coffin for Dimitrios... I read a lot of Eric Ambler when I was writing The Trinity Six. Ambler specialized in stories about ordinary men who find themselves caught up in extraordinary circumstances. In A Coffin for Dimitrios, a successful thriller writer becomes fascinated by a notorious criminal, believed to have been murdered in Istanbul. Highly recommended.
Some men take to gun-running because they have a longing for danger and adventure. Girija Krishnan, an Indian clerk, is not one of them. Deep in the Malayan jungle, Girija stumbles on a cache of arms hidden during the communist insurgency. Selling the arms will help Girija achieve his lifelong dream of founding a transport company. Two American tourists in the Far East find more adventure than they bargained for when they get entangled in Girija's plans. Greg and Dorothy Nilsen had wanted to go on an adventurous trip, to see some out-of-the-way places. So when Mr Tan in Hong Kong asks Greg to travel to Singapore and help with a business deal, Greg is surprisingly receptive. All he has to do is sign some papers and collect a handsome fee - but this is Greg's first step into the dangerous world of post-colonial rebellions, Chinese gun smugglers and Islamic revolutionaries.This classic thriller won the Crime Writers' Association gold dagger in 1959.
A car hurtles down the driveway of a luxury villa in Switzerland. The driver is a young woman, Lucia Bernardi. Inside the house, police find the body of her lover on the bedroom floor. The dead man - Ahmed Fathir Arbil - was an Iraqi refugee, who has been tortured and killed. Lucia vanishes into hiding in the South of France.Piet Maas, a journalist for the World Reporter, sets out on Lucia's trail, hoping for a scoop. Soon he must decide whether to publish his story - which will lead to Lucia's exposure and almost certain death - or join her in executing a perilous scheme that could net them both a fortune.
Arthur Simpson - 'British to the core', but without a passport to prove it - lives in Athens, scraping by as a driver, journalist and petty thief. When Simpson spots Harper at the airport he recognises him as a tourist new to the city and in need of a private driver. But an ill-judged attempt to relieve Harper of his traveller's cheques reveals him to be a highly sophisticated criminal, and entangles Simpson in a complex double blackmail. Simpson becomes an unwilling member of an armed gang in Istanbul, tasked with driving a suspicious car across the border. Soon he is an even less willing agent for the Turkish secret police, who suspect Harper of planning a coup - but his plans are far more audacious than that, and Simpson is in very deep water indeed.The Light of Day won the Edgar Award for best novel in 1964, and was the basis for the classic film Topkapi. Like much of Ambler's finest work, the novel focuses on an innocent man caught in a web of intrigue and deceit, and Simpson is one of the most memorable heroes in any classic thriller.
The Dark Frontier launched Eric Ambler's five-decade career as one of the most influential thriller writers of our time.England, 1935. Physicist Henry Barstow is on holiday when he meets the mysterious Simon Groom, a representative for an armaments manufacturer. Groom invites the professor to Ixania, a small nation-state in Eastern Europe whose growing weapons program threatens to destabilize the region. Only after suffering a blow to the headwhich muddles his brain into believing he is Conway Carruthers, international spydoes the mild-mannered physicist agree to visit Ixania. But he quickly recognizes that Groom has a more sinister agenda, andCarruthers is the only man who can stop him.
Eric Ambler is at the top of his form with A Kind of Anger, which expertly combines a satire of paparazzi-driven media culture with a classic espionage tale filled with breathless suspense.Six weeks ago, Lucia Bernardi fled the Swiss villa where her lover was murderedand then she vanished. No one can find her: Not the police, who want her for murder; not the tabloids, who want her for her story; nor the real killers, who desperately want the papers she spirited away from the scene of the crime. Disgraced reporter Piet Maas stumbles upon Lucia, in hiding in the south of France. There he must decide whether to publish her storyreviving his career but guaranteeing her deathor to join in her perilous extortion scheme, and risk both their lives for the promise of profit.
The ';Able Criminal', as defined by noted criminologist Frits Krom, strikes with no discernible pattern or method, and flies below the radar of crime syndicates and law enforcement agencies alike. He is virtually uncatchablebut Krom is willing to try. He knows that Paul Firman, the director of an ostensibly legitimate international investment firm, is in fact an expert in tax avoidance and a textbook Able Criminal. Surprisingly, Firman agrees to submit to an interview with Krom and his two colleagues at his secluded villa on the French Riviera. He's more than a little curious about what they really want from him and confident he can avoid implicating himself. But it soon becomes evident that the host and his guests are under siege by a third party, one whose motives and violent intentions are unclear. If they are to survive, the criminal and the criminologists will have to band together.The Siege of the Villa Lipp is a classic Eric Ambler tale of suspense in which a man thrust into a high-stakes situation, far outside of his usual expertise, finds himself at the mercy of forces beyond his control.
First published five years after he introduced Arthur Abdel Simpson in the comic thriller The Light of Day, Eric Ambler turns the spotlight back to his compelling antiheroa man you can't help but root for.Arthur Abdel Simpson counts himself lucky to have survived his adventure at Istanbul's Topkapi Museum. Now living in Athens, Greece, he finds the British Consul has seized his passportthey don't care to renew passports for people who have committed criminal acts or renounced their British citizenship, and Simpson has done both. Now he needs to obtain a fake passport and visas to stay in country. But his inept attempts to do so leave him in debt to multiple shady operatives. Before he knows what's happened, Simpson finds himself on a boat to Port Said, en route to a newand potentially short-livedcareer as an officer with a group of mercenary soldiers preparing for a major operation in the Central African jungle.
Dr. Frigo is a change of scene for acclaimed spy thriller writer Eric Ambler, moving from the European theater to an equally intriguing Caribbean political stage.Dr. Ernesto Castillo has shunned politics and shut himself off from the world since his father, a Central American leader, was assassinated years ago. In fact his cool, detached demeanor has earned him the nickname Dr. Frigo. The doctor is more than content to live quietly on a small island, keeping busy with his practice and his mistress . . . but now his late father's political party comes calling. Its rising leader, Manuel Villegas, hopes to put Dr. Castillo to work as his physician and as a rallying figure for the elder Castillo's supporters, who are still numerous and necessary to help Villegas win power in a planned coup. Ignoring the advice of his mistress, whose marriage to a French intelligence officer made her an expert player of political games, the doctor unwisely stumbles his way forward, risking his professionand then his life.
One Monday, Robert Halliday receives a bomb threat in the mail. Two days later, the bomb arrivesaccompanied by an offer of employment from one Karliss Zander, an international fixer. Unless Halliday agrees to help him edit the memoirs of a 19th century Russian terrorist and ghostwrite an expose of modern terrorist governments, Zander will detonate the bomb. For the sake of self-preservation, Halliday joins the projectbut quickly discovers that Zander requires more than mere literary assistance: He and his daughter are in mortal peril from a Middle Eastern terrorist group. Now tangled in this massive international web of danger, Halliday wonders if it wouldn't have been far less painful if that bomb had just gone off.The Care of Time, Eric Ambler's final novel, is a carefully constructed, utterly absorbing story of intrigue and suspense, one of the most acclaimed works of his more than sixty year career.
Winner of the Edgar Award, Eric Ambler's autobiography Here Lies is an intriguing look inside the mind of one of our greatest thriller writers. Here the famously recalcitrant Ambler peels back the layers of experience that affected his life with the same skill he uses to unfold the plots of his novels. His South London childhood; his brief engineering career, which he gave up to work in theater; his time as an advertising copywriter; the publication of his revolutionary spy novels in the 1930s and '40s, including such early classics as A Coffin for Dimitrios and Journey into Fear; his service in the film division of the British War Office during World War II, which allowed him to write his first screenplays; and his postwar renown as the leading writer in the genre on both sides of the Atlantic.In these pages this masterful spy novelist has composed a compelling and insightful examination of his life.
With The Ability to Kill, first published in 1963, renowned thriller writer Eric Ambler turns his attention to true crimewith an emphasis on murder. In five essays, he presents a sampling of famously intriguing (and often disturbing) cases of the last few hundred years, including 19th-century Edinburgh's Burke and Hare, who supplied the medical school with ill-gotten cadavers; Victorian London's infamous Jack the Ripper; the Frenchman Henri Desire Landru, an early 20th century serial killer; and the Californian doctor Bernard Finch and his lover Carole Tregoff, who conspired to murder his wife in 1961. Rounding out the collection are a few pieces on lighter topics such as spies and how to spot them, and novelists in Hollywood. Though his subjects are sometimes grim, Ambler's deft touch makes this examination of homicide and other matters pure pleasure to read.
Waiting for Orders collects nine short stories that span the sixty-year career of master spy novelist Eric Ambler. The stories include thrilling portrayals of wartime Europe in ';The Army of the Shadows' (1939); six cases featuring a refugee Czech detective, Dr. Czissar (1940); ';The Blood Bargain' (1972), a Central American political thriller; and ';The One Who Did for Blagden Cole' (1992), a detective story of sorts about the death of a painter. In four accompanying essays, Ambler shares intriguing anecdotes from different phases of his career, offering unique insight into his writing process. This intriguing and varied collection is a perfect introduction to the life and writing of one of the twentieth century's greatest thriller writers.
Alfred Hitchcock said, "e;Mr. Ambler is phenomenal,"e; and Graham Greene referred to him as "e;our greatest thriller writer."e; This is an ideal title for introducing listeners to this master. Ambler brilliantly paints realistic portraits of his characters and the foreign landscape, mixing suspense with a subtle twist for added color. When Arthur Abdel Simpson first spots Harper in the Athens airport, he recognizes him as a tourist unfamiliar with the city and in need of a private driver-in other words, the perfect mark for Simpson's brand of entrepreneurship. But Harper proves to be more the spider than the fly when he catches Simpson searching his wallet for traveler's checks. Soon Simpson finds himself blackmailed into driving a suspicious car across the Turkish border. When he is caught again, this time by the police, he faces a choice: cooperate with the Turks and spy on his erstwhile colleagues or end up in one of Turkey's notorious prisons. The authorities suspect an attempted coup, but Harper and his gang of international jewel thieves have planned something less sinister but much, much more audacious.
Foster is hired to cover the trial of Deltchev, who is accused of treason for allegedly being a member of the sinister and secretive Brotherhood and preparing a plot to assassinate the head of state whilst President of the Agrarian Socialist Party and member of the Provisional Government. It is assumed to be a show trial, but when Foster encounters Madame Deltchev the plot thickens, with his and other lives in danger ....
Professor Krom believes Paul Firman, alias Oberholzer, is one of those criminals who keep a low profile and are just too clever to get caught. Firman, rich and somewhat shady, agrees to be interviewed in his villa on the French Riviera. But events take an unexpected turn and perhaps there is even someone else artfully hiding in the deep background?
Arthur Simpson is a petty thief who is discovered stealing from a hotel room. His victim, however, turns out to be a criminal in a league well above his own and Simpson is blackmailed into smuggling arms into Turkey for use in a major jewel robbery. The Turkish police, however, discover the arms and he is further 'blackmailed' by them into spying on the 'gang' - or rot in a Turkish jail. However, agreeing to help brings even worse danger ....
Kenton's career as a journalist depends on his facility with languages, his knowledge of European politics and his quick judgement. Where his judgement sometimes fails him, however, is in his personal life. When he travels to Nuremberg to investigate a story about a top-level meeting of Nazi officials, he inadvertently finds himself on a train bound for Austria after a bad night of gambling. Stranded with no money, Kenton jumps at the chance to earn a fee helping a refugee smuggle securities across the border. Yet he soon discovers that the documents he holds have far more than cash value - and that they could cost him his life ...
'Not Le Carre, not Deighton, not Ludlum have surpassed the intelligence, authenticity or engrossing storytelling that established The Mask of Dimitrios as the best of its kind' The Times English crime novelist Charles Latimer is travelling in Istanbul when he makes the acquaintance of Turkish police inspector Colonel Haki. It is from him that he first hears of the mysterious Dimitrios - an infamous master criminal, long wanted by the law, whose body has just been fished out of the Bosphorus. Fascinated by the story, Latimer decides to retrace Dimitrios' steps across Europe to gather material for a new book. But, as he gradually discovers more about his subject's shadowy history, fascination tips over into obsession. And, in entering Dimitrios' criminal underworld, Latimer realizes that his own life may be on the line. 'A gripping thriller ... still fresh as new' Guardian
Josef Vadassy, a Hungarian refugee and language teacher living in France, is enjoying his first break for years in a small hotel on the Riviera. But when he takes his holiday photographs to be developed at a local chemists, he suddenly finds himself mistaken for a Gestapo agent and a charge of espionage is levelled at him. To prove himself innocent to the French police, he must discover which one of his fellow guests at his pension is the real spy. As he desperately tries to uncover the true culprit's identity, Vadassy must risk his job, his safety and everything he holds dear.
It is 1940 and Mr Graham, a quietly-spoken engineer and arms expert, has just finished high-level talks with the Turkish government. And now somebody wants him dead. The previous night three shots were fired at him as he stepped into his hotel room, so, terrified, he escapes in secret on a passenger steamer from Istanbul. As he journeys home - alongside, among others, an entrancing French dancer, an unkempt trader, a mysterious German doctor and a small, brutal man in a crumpled suit - he enters a nightmarish world where friend and foe are indistinguishable. Graham can try to run, but he may not be able to hide for much longer ...
Nicky Marlow needs a job. He's engaged to be married and the employment market in Britain in 1937 is pretty slim. So when his fiancee points out the position with an English armaments manufacturer in Italy, he jumps at the chance. Soon after he arrives, however, he learns the sinister truth about his predecessor's departure and finds himself courted by two agents with dangerously different agendas. In the process, Marlow realizes that it's not so simple just to do the job he's paid for - not in fascist Italy, on the eve of a world war.