The Light of Day was the basis for Jules Dassin’s classic film, Topkapi.
When Arthur Abdel Simpson first spots Harper in the Athens airport, he recognizes him as a tourist unfamiliar with city and in need of a private driver. In other words, the perfect mark for Simpson’s brand of entrepreneurship. But Harper proves to be more the spider than the fly when he catches Simpson riffling his wallet for traveler’s checks. Soon Simpson finds himself blackmailed into driving a suspicious car across the Turkish border. Then, when he is caught again, this time by the police, he faces a choice: cooperate with the Turks and spy on his erstwhile colleagues or end up in one of Turkey’s notorious prisons. The authorities suspect an attempted coup, but Harper and his gang of international jewel thieves have planned something both less sinister and much, much more audacious.
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.
"Ambler brings off this comic thriller with consumate zest." --The New York Times Book Review
“Rely on Mr. Ambler to serve a hot thriller in a cool style.” --The Christian Science Monitor
“Mr. Ambler is phenomenal.” --Alfred Hitchcock
“Ambler combines political sophistication, a gift for creating memorable characters and a remarkable talent for turning exciting stories into novels of wonderful entertainment.” —Chicago Tribune
“Ambler towers over most of his newer imitators.” —Los Angeles Times
"Arthur Abdel Simpson . . . is one of fiction's most delightful rogues, and his adventures provide the best Ambler entertainment in years." --Anthony Boucher
“Ambler may well be the best writer of suspense stories. . . . He is the master craftsman.” —Life
“Ambler is incapable of writing a dull paragraph.” —Sunday Times (London)
“Ambler is, quite simply, the best.” —The New Yorker