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In this classic thriller, two American tourists find more adventure than they bargained for when they get involved with Chinese gun smugglers and Muslim revolutionaries, learning first hand about the intrigue of the post-colonial world.

Greg and Dorothy Nilsen had wanted to go on an adventurous trip, see some of the more out-of-the-way places. But the cruise they were on was turning out to be a bore. So when the gracious Mr. Tan requests that Greg take a side trip to Singapore to resolve a bureaucratic detail involving a consignment of small arms, Greg is surprisingly receptive. All he has to do is sign some papers, he’s told, and he’ll be paid a handsome fee. And everything does go smoothly, until it comes to getting a check co-signed by the rebel leader…


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780307950000
List price: $11.99
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This takes us from Ambler's usual European haunts to the equally mysterious if sunnier precints of south east Asia. Written in 1959, it is constructed as a series of stories within stories -- who stole an arms cache, who tried to sell it, and who got involved in the sale. The last involves the central character of the book, a guileless American tourist who gets in way, way over his head. Terrific story, great atmosphere.more
This 1959 work isn't as murky or as tense as Ambler's pre-war work, but it still has atmosphere galore and an intelligent narrative that stands out in the genre. Ambler is indeed the quintessential writer of "innocent man in over his head" thrillers, though in this case the main protagonist, Greg Nilson, an American factory owner, has only himself to blame when he gets involved in an arms deal--more for the novelty of it than because of the money he stands to make. Luckily, Nilson has a rather stoic wife who sticks beside him when the going gets rough. Along the way, Ambler gives us a little shipboard domestic drama - which in retrospect has very little to do with the rest of the book other than pushing Nilson and his wife to leave the ship to get away from the woman who is monopolizing their time--and some interesting shady characters, both Oriental and Occidental.Surprisingly, with its tale of terrorists, rebels, and arms deals, the book feels strangely contemporary. There's a lot of other odd tidbits here as well - you'll learn a little bit about buses, for instance, that make this an enjoyable read.more
One of the 5 classic amblers written before wwiimore
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Reviews

This takes us from Ambler's usual European haunts to the equally mysterious if sunnier precints of south east Asia. Written in 1959, it is constructed as a series of stories within stories -- who stole an arms cache, who tried to sell it, and who got involved in the sale. The last involves the central character of the book, a guileless American tourist who gets in way, way over his head. Terrific story, great atmosphere.more
This 1959 work isn't as murky or as tense as Ambler's pre-war work, but it still has atmosphere galore and an intelligent narrative that stands out in the genre. Ambler is indeed the quintessential writer of "innocent man in over his head" thrillers, though in this case the main protagonist, Greg Nilson, an American factory owner, has only himself to blame when he gets involved in an arms deal--more for the novelty of it than because of the money he stands to make. Luckily, Nilson has a rather stoic wife who sticks beside him when the going gets rough. Along the way, Ambler gives us a little shipboard domestic drama - which in retrospect has very little to do with the rest of the book other than pushing Nilson and his wife to leave the ship to get away from the woman who is monopolizing their time--and some interesting shady characters, both Oriental and Occidental.Surprisingly, with its tale of terrorists, rebels, and arms deals, the book feels strangely contemporary. There's a lot of other odd tidbits here as well - you'll learn a little bit about buses, for instance, that make this an enjoyable read.more
One of the 5 classic amblers written before wwiimore
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