Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler / 230-page paperback published in 2023 in the Penguin Modern Classics Crime & Espionage Series
1940. An unassuming English engineer has travelled to Turkey on business. And somebody wants him dead.
It all began when Graham was taken to a nightclub in Istanbul and noticed a man in a crumpled suit, watching him. Then he narrowly missed being killed by gunfire on returning to his hotel room. Now, terrified, he has been helped to escape in secret on a passenger steamer home. But although Graham may try to run, he cannot hide from his pursuers forever, and soon he is caught up in a nightmare beyond his control.
Eric Ambler (1909-98) was born in London to parents who were part-time entertainers. He studied engineering but left college without taking a degree and became a copywriter in the advertising industry. Between 1937 and 1940, he published his great anti-fascist spy thrillers: Uncommon Danger, Epitaph for a Spy, Cause for Alarm, The Mask of Dimitrios, and Journey into Fear. In 1940, he joined the Royal Artillery and was later transferred to the army film unit. After the war he worked as a screenwriter in England and Hollywood and married his second wife, a leading Hollywood producer. Ambler's post-war novels include Passage of Arms, The Light of Day and A Kind of Anger, and his profound influence on the genre has been acknowledged by writers including Graham Greene, Ian Fleming and John le Carré.