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Eric Ambler (1909-98) was one of the most fascinating British writers of the late 1930s. His novels retain a remarkable sense of the dread and terror that filled Europe as world war broke out. Some were made into films (not least Orson Welles' superb version of Journey into Fear), all were bestsellers, inventing a new, more realistic form of spy novel, where the main protagonist is not so much a hero as a victim, pursued by malevolent Fascist forces of overwhelming power. These are paranoid stories, but written at a time when paranoia was disturbingly close to common sense.
Released in 1940, Journey finds protagonist "Graham" trying to make his way home to England from a job in Europe. Among his souvenirs are plans for the Turkish defense system, which a pair of Nazi spies greatly covet. In Judgment (1951), Foster-another protagonist with a single name-is hired to cover the trial of an alleged spy and finds himself getting far more than he bargained for after meeting the man's wife. These are solid reads for espionage fans. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
'Holds one up as effectively as a gun barrel' Evening Standard 'If you want to experience the feel of the Continent in the 1930s, you will find few better guides' - Robert Harris