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!
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.
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- ID: 9780141190303
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