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Publisher's Summary

Foster’s dramatic skill is well known in London’s West End theatres, so perhaps it wasn’t so surprising when he was hired by an American newspaper publisher to cover the trial of Yordan Delchev for treason. Accused of membership in the sinister Officer Corps Brotherhood and of masterminding a plot to assassinate his country’s leader, Delchev may in fact be a pawn and his trial all show. But when Foster meets Madame Delchev, the accused’s powerful wife, he suddenly becomes enmeshed in more life-threatening intrigue than he could have imagined.

©2012 Eric Ambler (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 06-07-14

Worth the read just for the kangaroo court

I might need to rethink this and give it five stars. It is still gnawing at me a couple days later. Ambler's thriller centers on a British poet that travels to a Balkan/Eastern European dictatorship to cover the show trial of Papa Deltchev for treason.

It is a thriller that owes a lot to Kafka and to Buchan's The 39 Steps. Ambler slowly unravels the conspiracy wrapped around conspiracy as Foster (the poet narrator) uncovers the truth about the former leader and his family. It is hard to read these Ambler novels without seeing the future novels by le Carré, Furst, & Steinhauer standing behind every closed door and lurking in every dark shadow. The novel is worth the read just for the kangaroo court scenes.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Excellent thriller with a good narration

This is one of the finest books of Eric Ambler. The narration is good and the book keeps you agog with tension till the very end. Great experience.

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Ambler is always good but this one is not his best

This story just seemed to start out slow and then tried hard to make a come back late into the book. Ambler writing is always strong, the narration was strong on voices but somewhat monotone on the main narrative. Not my favorite narrator of an Ambler book. I would not start listening to Ambler with this book, many others are better. If you are an Ambler fan though this will be worth the credit.

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  • Brendan
  • Hamamatsu, Japan
  • 07-02-12

Too convoluted

Just not up to the usual Ambler standard: this doesn't even begin to compare with, say, "The Mask of Demetrios".

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Great Spy Yarn

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The narrator does such a good job of emphasis in the speech patterns of the characters--really makes them come alive. He puts stress where I did in my head while reading the book for the first time. In short, he reads the book aloud very like the way I imagined it ought to sound.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sibley, the drunken newspaper reporter who is indiscreet. I like his character VERY much. One of Eric Ambler's best bit characters.

What does Tim Bentinck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Again, aside from doing female voices, he's got a distinct voice for each character in the book--if you lost your place, you'd probably know which character was speaking just from his voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, where Foster is discussing his wife's death.

Any additional comments?

Judgment on Deltchev, along w/The Schirmer Interitance & The Night Comers, are 3 of my all-time favorite Ambler novels, and I like almost everything he wrote. Deltchev & Schirmer were his first post-war novels & really brought him back, and signaled that he WAS back, as a mystery/spy writer after WWII.

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  • Kirstine
  • 12-10-12

Old fashioned cold war thriller

A pacy thriller set in a Soviet-style country just after the Second World War. It pre-dates John Le Carre but reminds me of the latter. Complex political intrigues, lots of characters which sometimes led me to lose the plot. It was mostly a riveting story of the helplessness a person can feel in a totalitarian state, where justice is absent and punishment swift and heartless. Tim Bentinck did an excellent job giving different vices to the characters which did help in identifying who was whom.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful