The Dark Frontier launched Eric Ambler’s five-decade career as one of the most influential thriller writers of our time.
England, 1935. Physicist Henry Barstow is on holiday when he meets the mysterious Simon Groom, a representative for an armaments manufacturer. Groom invites the professor to Ixania, a small nation-state in Eastern Europe whose growing weapons program threatens to destabilize the region. Only after suffering a blow to the head—which muddles his brain into believing he is Conway Carruthers, international spy—does the mild-mannered physicist agree to visit Ixania. But he quickly recognizes that Groom has a more sinister agenda, and Carruthers is the only man who can stop him.
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 must for the mystery faithful.” —Los Angeles Times
“[Ambler] was wonderfully gifted. . . . It is a pleasure to see where the master began.” —Chicago Tribune
“The thinking man’s thriller writer.” —The Washington Post
“Ambler is, quite simply, the best.” —The New Yorker
“Busy and engaging. . . . [The Dark Frontier] is a romp, although with hints of the harder line that Ambler was to take in the later novels.” —Los Angeles Times
“The foremost thriller writer of our time.” —Time
“Mr. Ambler is a phenomenon!” —Alfred Hitchcock
“One of the masters of the thriller. . . . Ambler took the spy thriller out of the gentility of the drawing room and into the back streets . . . where it all really happened.” —Associated Press
“Ambler is incapable of writing a dull paragraph.”— Sunday Times (London)