The Mask of Dimitrios book

The Mask of Dimitrios

Eric Ambler

Introduced by Simon Winder
Illustrated by Paul Blow

An engrossing spy novel set in the turbulent world of Central Europe between the wars, where émigrés and petty criminals, moral spies and corrupt police all struggle for survival.

Published price: US$ 62.95

Limited stock: 63 left


The Mask of Dimitrios

George Latimer, a mild-mannered crime novelist, is on holiday in Istanbul when he is introduced to the mysterious Colonel Haki, a ‘government official’ rumoured to be the head of the secret police. He tells Latimer about Dimitrios, a murderer, gangster and spy, long wanted by the authorities, whose corpse has just been dragged out of the Bosphorus. Latimer finds himself compelled to trace Dimitrios’s history to find out who killed him and why. But what begins as an exercise in amateur detection soon turns into a perilous chase, from which Latimer will be lucky to escape alive.

Production Details

The Mask of Dimitrios book
  • Bound in buckram.
  • Set in Photina.
  • 248 pages.
  • Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations.
  • Book Size: 9" x 6¼".

'The best of its kind'

‘Not le Carré, not Deighton, not Ludlum have surpassed the intelligence, authenticity or engrossing storytelling that established The Mask of Dimitrios as the best of its kind’

First published in 1939, The Mask of Dimitrios evokes the murky and dangerous atmosphere of Central Europe between the wars. From Smyrna and Athens to Sofia, Belgrade and finally Paris, Latimer enters a world of refugees and émigrés, petty criminals and gang leaders, amoral spies and corrupt police – the survivors and veterans of little-known wars.

‘Unquestionably our best thriller writer’

Eric Ambler was born in 1909 in south London, the child of music-hall entertainers, and was the author of 20 thrillers. Graham Greene, John le Carré and Alfred Hitchcock have all acknowledged a debt to his work. This edition is introduced by author and Ambler expert Simon Winder, who observes how the book ‘preserves in amber a whole range of political issues, outrages and concerns which were about to be swept away by the German invasion of Poland’. Paul Blow’s cinematic illustrations form a colourful interpretation of this atmospheric narrative.

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 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.


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Review by CarltonC on 5th Jun 2012

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 4/5

"This is an interesting thriller written just before the second world war and to me, most of its interest came from the insight into how the European continent was portrayed. The story is about Charles..." [read more]

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