Josef Vadassy, a hungarian refugee and language teacher, has saved up enough money to take a short holiday, his first in five years, at a small hotel on the Côte d’Azur. When he brings his photographs to be developed by a local chemist, he finds himself arrested on suspicion of being a spy, accused of photographing a secret naval base. The discovery that his camera has been switched is no guarantee of freedom; in order to escape imprisonment, he must find out which of his fellow guests at the Hôtel de la Réserve is the true spy.
Bound in cloth.
Blocked with a design by Paul Blow.
Set in Photina.
Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations.
9" x 6¼".
A powerful psychological thriller
‘A genuine classic’ THE TIMES
In this masterly 1938 novel, Eric Ambler takes a hapless everyman and plunges him into a mission that is both understated and believable. There are no car chases, bombs or gunfights, yet Ambler is capable of building scenes to a point of almost unbearable tension, as when Vadassy breaks into a suspect’s bedroom. A casualty of the upheavals of the 20th century, Vadassy is a refugee who lives in fear of being deported. Though Ambler believed that casting his hero as
a refugee made the book less popular, it was nonetheless filmed in 1944 as Hotel Reserve with James Mason as Vadassy. Today it remains a powerful psychological thriller.
‘Ambler is the greatest spy novelist of all time’ SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
About Eric Ambler
Eric Ambler (1909–98) was born in London and trained as an
engineer before turning to writing full-time. He enjoyed immense
popularity in the late 1930s that resulted in several novels being
adapted for the screen. During his career he was awarded two Gold
Daggers, a Silver Dagger and a Diamond Dagger from the Crime
Writers Association of Great Britain, as well as becoming a Grand
Master of the Mystery Writers Association of America. His most
famous titles include The Dark Frontier (1936), Uncommon Danger
(1937), Cause for Alarm (1938) and The Mask of Dimitrios (1939).
About Stella Rimington
Stella Rimington is an author and former Director General of
MI5. Between 1969 and 1990 she worked in counter espionage,
counter subversion and counter terrorism, before being made
Director General in 1992 until her retirement from the Service in
1996. Her novels include At Risk (2004), Secret Asset (2006) and The
Geneva Trap (2012). She was also chair of judges for the 2011 Man
About Paul Blow
Paul Blow is a Dorset-based illustrator who, over the past fifteen
years, has worked on numerous commissions for a wide variety of
clients including The Guardian, New Scientist, The Independent, The
New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Penguin Books, Random
House and The Folio Society. His bold conceptual illustrations mix
contemporary themes with touches of humour and a healthy sense
of the absurd.