When tales are told of heroic actions behind enemy lines, stories of men and women risking their lives against a despicable foe bent on eradicating a people and subjecting a world, legends of individuals wagering not only their own lives and treasure but those of countless others for information which could save all of them are told of World War 2, the scope and breadth of those narratives tend to be narrow. We think of the daring exploits of Britain's Special Operations Executive or SOE instructed by Churchill to “set Europe ablaze." Seldom, if ever, does the tales of exploits in the Pacific theater get their own tale. Writers create very few books - or forbid a movie - that tell those tales
There is something supremely satisfying, and a bit nostalgic, in reading classic thriller novels. The classics seem fresh, nuanced, with rich full characters that are multifaceted and contradictory. Newer forays into the genre seem cliched or formulaic. Even the newer pieces by the classic authors fall prey to this issue. Eric Ambler’s Cause for Alarm was only the fourth novel he wrote back in 1936 - publishing it in September of 1938 - and considered remarkable for its prophetic tone. Most of us in the 21st century forget, to the average person in 1938 World War 2 wasn’t inevitable, or at least so it didn’t seem.
79 years ago this month, Nazi troops faked an attack on a German Radio station. By the end of September 1939 the world was in the grips of a second world war.