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More about Eric Ambler



Eric Ambler was undoubtedly the leading thriller writer of the mid-twentieth century. His portrayals of the years before World War II in his classic novels range over Europe and the Mediterranean. A strong anti-fascist, Ambler portrayed the ambiguities of a world in turmoil.

Four of his classic novels (Background to Danger, A Coffin for Dimitrios, Cause for Alarm, and Journey Into Fear) were published in 1943 in one volume, now out of print but available to read on-line and as a used book: Intrigue: The Great Spy Novels of Eric Ambler. In the introduction to that volume, Alfred Hitchcock wrote:

Mr. Ambler has given new life and a fresh viewpoint to the art of the spy novel. ... His heroes are anything but heroic, nor are they startlingly wise, or even daring. They are ordinary, rather pleasant people. ... just men who want to stay out of trouble and live comfortably. In only one of these four novels does the hero do anything; in the others, things are done to him. The result: it becomes possible for the reader to identify himself with these heroes in a way that is wholly impossible in the typical thriller.

Major Novels Currently in Print

The Dark Frontier (1936)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Uncommon Danger (1937), US title: Background to Danger

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Epitaph for a Spy (1938)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Cause for Alarm (1938)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


The Mask of Dimitrios (1939), US title: A Coffin for Dimitrios

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Journey into Fear (1940)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Judgment on Deltchev (1951)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


The Schirmer Inheritance (1953)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


The Night-Comers (1956), also published as State of Siege

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


Passage of Arms (1959);

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


The Light of Day (1962), also published as Topkapi

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)


The Levanter (1972)

Powell's Books
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, USA)