A Crime Classic a day (2)

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Eric Ambler, A Coffin for Dimitrios, Pocket Book, 232, 1944

Eric Ambler’s novel was first published in the UK as The Mask of Dimitrios in 1939. It is set in the shadowy international underworld in 1930s Istanbul. The plot consists of a crime writer’s perilous search for and reconstruction of the late, sinister Dimitrios. As the story of his life of crime unfolds, the deceased man becomes remarkably present, his shadow looming threateningly large over the narration. The novel is a masterpiece of action, suspense and modern writing. Homage, or acknowledgement of Ambler’s cult status as a crime and spy-thriller master, this is is the novel James Bond brings with him to Istanbul in From Russia, with Love.

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