The Levanter (Paperback)
Winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award
Syria, 1970. Michael Howell has kept his family's Middle Eastern business enterprises going through a decade of takeovers, war, and revolution, thanks in part to his office manager, Teresa, who is also his mistress. One late night at the office, they discover men working overtime producing unauthorized bombs for the Palestine Action Force. Worse, this guerrilla terrorist group is not deterred by their discovery rather, they will enlist Howell and Teresa's unwilling help in carrying out their plan.
About the Author
Eric Ambler was born into a family of entertainers and in his early years helped out as a puppeteer. However, he initially chose engineering as a full time career, although this quickly gave way to writing. In World War II he entered the army and looked likely to fight in the line, but was soon after commissioned and ended the war as assistant director of the army film unit and a Lieutenant-Colonel. This experience translated into civilian life and Ambler had a very successful career as a screen writer, receiving an Academy Award for his work on 'The Cruel Sea' by Nicolas Monsarrat in 1953. Many of his own works have been filmed, the most famous probably being 'Light of Day', filmed as 'Topkapi' under which title it is now published. He established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality and received many accolades during his lifetime, including two Edgar Awards from The Mystery Writers of America (best novel for 'Topkapi' and best biographical work for 'Here Lies Eric Ambler'), and two Gold Dagger Awards from the Crime Writer's Association ('Passage of Arms' and 'The Levanter'). Often credited as being the inventor of the modern political thriller, John Le Carre once described Ambler as 'the source on which we all draw'. A recurring theme in Ambler's works is the success of the well meaning yet somewhat bungling amateur who triumphs in the face of both adversity and hardened professionals. He wrote under his own name and also during the 1950's a series of novels as Eliot Reed, with Charles Rhodda. These are now published under the 'Ambler' umbrella.
“A classic.”—Alan Furst, The Wall Street Journal
“[A] complex exploration of power, responsibility, and identity in the modern high-tech world. . . . [Ambler’s works are] political novels of a high order.” —The Washington Post
“A rarity . . . a thriller which compels belief.” —The Guardian (London)
“The best book he has written since the war. . . . It’s got everything the reader can possibly want . . . beautifully done.” —The Observer (London)
“Ambler is, quite simply, the best.” —The New Yorker
“Although the Old Master of Intrigue had been writing for more than 35 years when [The Levanter was] first published, he most certainly had not lost his touch.”—The New York Times Book Review
“The foremost thriller writer of our time.” —Time
“Brilliant. . . . To see [this] ordinary man thrust into an extraordinarily difficult situation and rising to the challenge is one of the most snugly satisfying scenes in fiction.” —The New York Times
“Mr. Ambler is a phenomenon!” —Alfred Hitchcock