From: William Hagen ( billha47@hotmail.com)
Date: 19 Dec 2001

After his Big Question, Mat asks a small question, :
"...what do people think of the Eric Ambler novels?"

Eric Ambler helped develop the suspenseful spy story into its midcentury levels, to my mind. I would rank his writing and plotting a cut above Buchan and Greene's WWII "entertainments" (except for the post-WWII Third Man). If you find Ambler a bit dated, go directly to Le Carre. Ambler's best is probably Coffin for Dimitrios (1939). Haven't looked at him in awhile, but note that one reference (Elliot Gilbert, The World of Mystery Fiction) sees parallels to what Hammett is doing about the same time.

Bill Hagen

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