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Journey into Fear - Eric Ambler

1940 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A clean and wonderfully bright, thus rare, jacketed first edition of this thrilling tale of international intrigue, beginning in Istanbul at the outbreak of World War II.

‘Returning to his hotel room after a late-night flirtation with a cabaret dancer at an Istanbul boîte, Graham is surprised by an intruder with a gun. What follows is a nightmare of intrigue for the English armaments engineer as he makes his way home aboard an Italian freighter. Among the passengers are a couple of Nazi assassins intent on preventing his returning to England with plans for a Turkish defence system, the seductive cabaret dancer and her manager husband, and a number of surprising allies.’ [from a later edition]
 
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Price HK$ 14,000



The Night-Comers - Eric Ambler

1956 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of this thriller set in Southeast Asia. 'The Night-Comers' covers 24 critical hours in a military coup d'etat. Published in America as 'State of Siege'. Filmed by Rank in 1959.

Written by Ambler on his return from travelling through Southeast Asia.

Batik style patterned dust jacket designed by Judith Bledsoe.
 
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Price HK$ 1,100



Cause For Alarm - Eric Ambler

1940 - Alfred A. Knopf, New York - Second Printing
A classic Ambler spy thriller.

It seemed to me that the train had started to make a curious thumping noise. I tried to separate the noise, identify it, and realised that it was the sound of the blood pumping in my head. I knew suddenly that I was scared, scared stiff

‘Nicky Marlow needs a job. He's engaged to be married and the employment market in Britain in 1937 is pretty slim. So when his fiancée points out the position with an English armaments manufacturer in Italy, he jumps at the chance. Soon after he arrives, however, he learns the sinister truth about his predecessor's departure and finds himself courted by two agents with dangerously different agendas. In the process, Marlow realizes that it's not so simple just to do the job he's paid for - not in fascist Italy, on the eve of a world war’ [
Penguin Classics] 
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Price HK$ 2,000



Death in the House - Anthony Berkeley

1939 - Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A rare Berkeley title.

‘Lord Wellacombe, Secretary of State for India, dies whilst giving a speech to introduce a new bill on the floor of the House of Commons. His untimely demise looks like a stroke, but is it mere coincidence that a threat on his life had been made? The bill needs to be passed, but is anyone brave enough to defy the threats and risk potential murder?’

Enter Lord Arthur...
 
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Price HK$ 1,800



Sick Heart River - John Buchan

1941 - Hodder Stoughton Limited, London - First Edition
A fine first edition of Buchan’s last book, published posthumously.

The review in the April 1941 edition of Punch sums it up nicely:-

‘"
If thou hast a woe, tell it not to the weakling, tell it to thy saddle-bow, and ride singing forth." John Buchan took this Proverb of Alfred as text for his book Sick Heart River (Hodder and Stoughton, 8/3) which is as good a sermon to lift the downhearted as has ever been given in the form of a novel. When Sir Edward Leithen, a former British Attorney-General, received his notice of death from a specialist, "his memory sprawled over places he had seen" and he decided to go to Quebec to make his soul and to "die standing". One journey led to another in quest of a famous French-Canadian who, in a mood of mental sickness, had suddenly left his wife and important office in New York; and was "wanted" by American people because of his genius over international affairs. The tale that follows of two white men, their half-breed guides and some "Hare Indians", their fight with and against Nature in a lonely place is soul-stirring in more than one way and makes as brave a book as the late Governor-General of Canada ever gave us.’

The fictional Sick Heart River is in the real region of the Nahanni River in Canada's Northwest Territories. It is in some of the most rugged terrain in Canada. The area was only just being mapped when Buchan, as Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir, passed nearby during his voyage down the Mackenzie River in the summer of 1937. Having heard much about the mysterious South Nahanni, Buchan was fascinated by it and wanted to go there, but did not make it before he died in February, 1940. [Galbraith, 2001]
 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Sea Spy. A Naval Novel - E. Keble Chatterton

1937 - Hurst & Blackett, London - First Edition
First edition in the rare and evocative dust jacket. Chatterton was one of Britain's best-known yachtsmen and maritime writers in the early part of the century.

‘Mr. Keble Chatterton has the art of the sea story at his finger tips and in “Sea Spy” he has combined a fast moving plot with plenty of thrills and action. John Trevenna, late of His Majesty’s Navy, is persuaded by his old chief, now the head of a new department of the Secret Service to give up a pleasure cruise in his one-man yacht, and use it instead to follow the activities of one Zouleki and his henchman Ptemnoff round the costs of France... a vivid and fascinating tale.” –
The Straits Times, Singapore 1937. 
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Price HK$ 3,500



Incendiary - SIGNED - Chris Cleave

2005 - Chatto & Windus, London - First Edition
‘An al-Qaeda bomb attack on a London soccer match provides the tragicomic donnée of former Daily Telegraph journalist Cleave's impressive multilayered debut: a novel-length letter from an enraged mother to Osama bin Laden. Living hand to mouth in London's East End, the unnamed mother's life is shattered when her policeman husband (part of a bomb disposal unit) and four-year-old son are killed in the stadium stands.’ – Publisher’s Weekly.

‘Arguably the strangest epistolary novel ever written’ –
Newsweek.

True first and limited edition issued two weeks before the trade edition. Signed by the author and with a typed note of thanks. Unfortunately, it was published on the 7 July 2005, the day of the London bombings and most of the major bookshops removed it from their shelves.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



Ferrol Bond - John Easton

1933 - G. P. Putnam's Sons, London & New York - First Edition
Bright and sharp first edition of this Anglo-Indian Secret Service novel, by John Easton who travelled extensively through Tibet and along the Indo-Chinese frontier in the 1920’s.

‘Richard Hawke, a retired Indian civilian, is worried about the situation in India, especially on account of the terrorist campaign in his old Province. Suddenly he glimpses in London a mart whom he had thought he had killed in India twenty-live years previously ; at the same time he gets information that leads him to suspect that revolvers are being smuggled from England into India. Investigations in England finally lead him to return to India, where a series of exciting adventures in the Secret Service leads to the un-masking of the smugglers and their plan and the stamping out of the terrorists. ‘ – from the dust jacket.
 
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Price HK$ 2,500



 
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