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]
  Eric Ambler (1909-98) is considered by many to be the creator of the ‘suspense’ genre as we know it today, as author of some of ‘the most accomplished and innovative modern thrillers’. He was one of the first authors to employ the literary devices of flashbacks and multiple narrators, and wrote over fifteen novels in his lifetime, of which The Mask of Dimitrios was most successful, bringing him to world-wide fame at the age of thirty. Later in his life he turned his attentions to screenwriting, and became the head writer for films such as Encore (1951), The Clouded Yellow (1951) and A Night to Remember (1958).

First printed by Knopf in 1939.

References:
The Times, [web]. Haycraft, Murder for Pleasure, 205. Herbert, The Oxford Companion to Crime & Mystery Writing, 17. Symons, Bloody Murder, 228.

Octavo (book size 19.5x13.6cm). pp. [14] 284 [6]. in publisher’s black cloth, spine lettered in light blue, jagged line in light blue to spine and in blind to front board, top edge tinted light blue, fore-edge untrimmed others trimmed. Dust jacket priced clipped to upper corner of front flap, all other corners clipped to match, and with light colour touch up to spine ends and edges of front panel.
  Condition: Fine in near fine dust jacket with light colour touch-up to spine ends and edges of front panel.   Ref: 110087   Price: HK$ 2,000