'Unquestionably our best thriller writer ever' Graham Greene
'Unquestionably our best thriller writer ever' Graham GreeneERIC AMBLER 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 1960. He was married to Joan Harrison, who wrote or co-wrote many of Alfred Hitchcocks screenplays - in fact Hitchcock organized their wedding. Eric Ambler died in London in October 1998.
THE PAN CLASSIC CRIME SERIES The idea for the Pan Classic Crime series was sparked by two separate incidents my struggle to find a new copy of MALICE AFORETHOUGHT by Francis Iles (one of my favourite crime novels), and a newspaper article about Eric Ambler which claimed that none of his novels was available in the UK. I then began six months of research to discover which other classics had shockingly been allowed to go out of print (concentrating particularly on novels published 1930-1960). And so the Pan Classic Crime series was born, launching in April 1999 with six titles including two by Eric Ambler and, of course, MALICE AFORETHOUGHT.
Before my research began I must admit my knowledge of pre-1970s crime fiction was restricted to the giants Doyle, Christie, Highsmith, Chandler. And I must admit, too, that I was hesitant about how well these lost treasures would stand up to modern crime fiction. How wrong I was the novels I read and am now publishing were remarkably sophisticated, skilful, innovative, insightful, and full of character and wit. I felt suitably ashamed for having doubted them! By July this year we will have published 18 titles in the series. One of our aims has been introduce new readers to these authors and, with this in mind, each edition is introduced by a well-known crime writer of today. For example, Colin Dexter, P.D. James, Robert Goddard and Robert Harris have all contributed to the series. What pleased me the most was the phrase that popped up again and again in the letters that accompanied their introductions: Id forgotten just how good they were!
Also in the series
1) The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Harris
2) Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles With an introduction by Colin Dexter
3) The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake With an introduction by P.D. James
4) Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Harris
5) Green for Danger by Christianna Brand With an introduction by Lindsey Davis
6) Love Lies Bleeding by Edmund Crispin With an introduction by Jonathan Gash
7) Before the Fact by Francis Iles With an introduction by Colin Dexter
8) Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Harris
9) Tragedy at Law by Cyril Hare With an introduction by Frances Fyfield
10) Last Seen Wearing . . . by Hillary Waugh With an introduction by Reginald Hill
11) Cause for Alarm by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Goddard
12) A Tangled Web by Nicholas Blake With an introduction by P.D. James
13) Buried for Pleasure by Edmund Crispin With an introduction by Jonathan Gash
14) Judgment on Deltchev by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Goddard
15) My Name is Michael Sibley by John Bingham With an introduction by John le Carre
16) Passage of Arms by Eric Ambler With an introduction by Robert Goddard
17) Death of a Doll by Hilda Lawrence (pub July 2001) With an introduction by Minette Walters
18) Five Roundabouts to Heaven by John Bingham (pub July 2001) With an introduction by John le Carre
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.