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Eric Ambler is often said to have invented the modern suspense novel. Beginning in 1937, he wrote a series of novels that introduced ordinary protagonists thrust into political intrigue they were ill-prepared to deal with. These novels were touted for their realism, and Ambler established himself as a thriller writer of depth and originality. In the process he paved the way for such writers as John Le Carre, Len Deighton, and Robert Ludlum.
Eric Ambler was born in London in 1909. Before turning to writing full-time, he worked a an engineering firm, and wrote copy for an advertising agency. His first novel was published in 1936. During the course of his career, Ambler was awarded two Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain, named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers Association of America, and made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. In addition to his novels, Ambler wrote a number of screenplays, including A Night to Remember and The Cruel Sea, which won him an Oscar nomination. Eric Ambler died in 1998.