Tuesday, March 31, 2015

9. The Killing of Katie Steelstock by Michael Gilbert

(written Dec 5, 2015 catching up)
I always remember the setup of this one, a popular TV actress is murdered back in her home town and we get to see all the nasty local politics and infighting.  I didn't remember the solution, fortunately, and it hit me with a bang.  Enjoyable as always with Gilbert.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

8. The Schirmer Inheritance by Eric Ambler

(written Dec 3, 2015 catching up)

This is the first post-war Ambler that I read in my re-read and it was really enjoyable.  Ambler's style is smoother now, but his treatment of the setting (Greece near the end and after WWII) is complex and subtle as his earlier books, with a great sense of intrigue.

Monday, March 16, 2015

7. The Empty House by Michael Gilbert

(written Dec 3, 2015 catching up)

As you cans see, I was deep (and happily) into my Ambler Gilbert revisiting.  Gilbert does a good job of portraying competent young men who are slightly out of step with the expectations set for them.  Here, Peter Manciple as an insurance adjustor is not really supposed to be making any waves, investigating the death of a scientist who drove off a cliff.  He of course makes a lot.  Nice transition from murder mystery to modern espionage. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

6. The Mask of Dmitrios by Eric Ambler

(written Dec 3, 2015 catching up)
This is probably my least favourite of Ambler's early pre-war books.  It's still really good, but the set up never quite grabbed me, with the writer following the trail of Dimitrios across Europe. He isn't really in danger until the last third, so there isn't a lot of tension. The story and backstory of Dimitrios himself is really cool.  It also has one of the best descriptions of heroin addiction I've ever read.