The Night-Comers Paperback – 1 Jan 1966
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"A superior Ambler tale of intrigue." "--San Francisco Chronicle
"As good as Ambler's very best." --"The Observer
""A sophisticated, assured novel of third world politics where lives, as well as ideas, are armed and ideology creates a dangerous terrain." -"The Times
""All the elements that Ambler has dveloped to such an art are here." --"Chicago Tribune
A superior Ambler tale of intrigue. "--San Francisco Chronicle
As good as Ambler s very best. --"The Observer
" A sophisticated, assured novel of third world politics where lives, as well as ideas, are armed and ideology creates a dangerous terrain. -"The Times
" All the elements that Ambler has dveloped to such an art are here. --"Chicago Tribune
"" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
All in all Steve Fraser had enjoyed his three-year stint in the former Dutch Southeast Asian colony of Sunda, and he'd been well compensated. But now he was looking forward to a last weekend in the capital before heading home. But Sunda was newly independent, and not entirely stable. An opposition faction with fundamentalist Islamic leanings was set on overthrowing the provisonal government. And instead of enjoying a sybaritic weekend with the Eurasian beauty Rosalie, Fraser finds himself trapped with her by a fanatical group who've taken over the country's radio station and made their headquarters in his friend Jebb's apartment. As the government launches a counterattack, the couple's survival depends on their ability to dodge bullets and the shifting loyalties of the coup's liuetenants. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In many respects, Eric Ambler was to the modern British suspense novel what Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett were to the American detective novel. Ambler transformed the suspense novel from a simplistic black and white world of perfect good guys versus nefarious bad guys into a far more realistic world where sometimes the difference between good and evil is not all that great. In a series of books written before World War II Ambler would typically take an unassuming, unsuspecting civilian and immerse him in a world of mystery and intrigue in pre-war Europe. In those books the `hero' would find himself facing danger at the hands of the nazis or fascists.
Once the war ended Ambler's plots reflected a change in the world's political situation. The typical Ambler protagonist now found themselves at odd with other totalitarian forces such as the Soviet bloc (Judgment at Deltchev). In addition, Ambler broadened his geographic horizons and set some of his books in post-war Asia. In these instances the plot usually found itself centered on the intrigue that settled around the newly emerging nations of Asia as the old Europe ended its lingering colonial presence. "State of Siege" is set in an emerging democracy seething with unrest. Although written in 1956 Ambler pits the might of a secular but increasingly corrupt regime against faith-based insurgents who believe that the creation of an Islamic state would purge the country of corruption and moral decay. As such this book seems more than a bit prophetic.
The typical Ambler protagonist in State of Siege is one Steven Fraser. He is an Englishmen just finishing up a three-year stint as an engineer in a rural area of the new nation of Sunda.Read more ›
In State of Siege, we meet Steve Fraser, an expatriate English engineer, as he finishes a highly paid three-year assignment to build a dam in an island nation near Indonesia. The local political situation is a little dicey after the revolutionary party finds itself having a hard time actually running the country. The dam project has been affected by the arrival of surplus military officer liaison. One was dependable, a Major Suparto, who plays a key role in the rest of the story.
Fraser then finishes up, and flies over rebel lines to the capital to wait for his flight back to England in three days. He borrows an apartment from a friend while he's away, arranges for a beautiful woman to accompany him for the three days, and settles down for a little rest and relaxation.
That seeming tranquility is shattered when the rebels take advantage of military maneuvers away from the capital to seize control of the radio station and key areas in the center city, just where Fraser is staying. He finds himself surrounded by rebels, who aren't sure whether to kill or ignore him. Then, his mere proximity to the rebel leaders draws him into the vortex of the conflict. Over 24 hours, he finds himself forced to make many difficult choices if he is to stay alive for another day . . . and protect the life of Rosalie Linden, who would not survive without him.
The story is a delight in character development.Read more ›
Steve Fraser is the reluctant hero of this short retelling in the first person of his horrific involvement in a coup (or counter-coup) in colonial SE Asia. He's a resourceful fellow, of perhaps better than average height, build, courage, intelligence, etc., but no superman. Fraser's an engineer, so has practical knowledge and skills, and he speaks the local language, which is always useful.
He finds himself (we find ourselves!), through a short series of wholly credible accidents and coincidences, caught up, with a woman, in a military revolution, just as he's on his way out of the country. It's a dreadful mess, in the way that such things must, in truth, be, and it's terrifying to watch it unfolding with all the inexorable inevitability of an uncontrollable natural disaster...
Without a single gadget in sight!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first Eric Ambler book I have read. I wanted to read something by him because he was a favourite writer of Graham Greene, one of my favourite writers. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bacchus
Set in 1950's South East Asia, in a fictitious state (but I think most likely based upon Borneo / Indonesia) this Ambler adventure covers 24 critical hours in a military coup... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2006