Eric Ambler

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Eric Ambler began his writing career in the early 1930s, and quickly established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality. He is often credited as the inventor of the modern political thriller and John Le Carre once described him as ‘the source on which we all draw.’

Ambler began his working life at an engineering firm, then as a copywriter at an advertising agency, while in his spare time he worked on his ambition to become a playwright. His first novel was published in 1936 and as his reputation as a novelist grew he turned to writing full time. During the war he was seconded to the Army Film Unit, where he wrote, among other projects, The Way Ahead with Peter Ustinov.

He moved to Hollywood in 1957 and during his eleven years there scripted some memorable films, including A Night to Remember and The Cruel Sea, which won him an Oscar nomination.

In a career spanning over sixty years, Eric Ambler wrote nineteen novels and was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for Passage of Arms in 1959. He was married to Joan Harrison, who wrote or co-wrote many of Alfred Hitchcock’s screenplays – in fact Hitchcock organized their wedding. Eric Ambler died in London in October 1998.

“the source on which we all draw” – John le Carre

“unquestionably our best thriller writer” – Graham Greene

“Today Ambler’s influence remains strong and his writing is as fresh as ever. I urge you to read the books of the man who lit the way for us all.” – Len Deighton



The Dark Frontier (1936)
Uncommon Danger (1937), US title: Background to Danger
Epitaph for a Spy (1938)
Cause for Alarm (1938)
The Mask of Dimitrios (1939), US title: A Coffin for Dimitrios
Journey into Fear (1940)
Judgment on Deltchev (1952)
The Schirmer Inheritance (1953)
The Night-Comers (1956), also published as State of Siege
Passage of Arms (1959); Gold Dagger Award
The Light of Day (1962), also published as Topkapi; Edgar Award for Best Novel, 1964
A Kind of Anger (1964)
Dirty Story (1967)
The Intercom Conspiracy (1969), also published as The Quiet Conspiracy
The Levanter (1972); Gold Dagger Award
Doctor Frigo (1974)
Send No More Roses (1977), US title: The Siege of the Villa Lipp
The Care of Time (1981)

The Ability to Kill (1963)
To Catch a Spy (1964)
Here Lies (1985)
Waiting for Orders (1991)
The Story So Far (1993)

Skytip (1950)
Tender to Danger (1951)
The Maras Affair (1953)
Charter to Danger (1954)
Passport to Panic (1958)

The Way Ahead (1944)
The October Man (1947)
The Passionate Friends (1949)
Highly Dangerous (1950)
The Clouded Yellow (1951)
The Magic Box (1951)
Encore (1951)
The Promoter also known as The Card (1952)
The Cruel Sea (1953)
Shoot First also known as Rough Shoot (1953)
The Purple Plain (1954)
Lease of Life (1954)
Yangtse Incident: The Story of HMS Amethyst (1957)
A Night to Remember (1958)
The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Act of Faith (1962), TV episode
Love Hate Love (1970), TV movie




Titles from Eric Ambler