Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Levanter by Eric Ambler

This is a political thriller which has been available for several years now; it satisfies and has a fascinating story in its own right.  I found the book compelling and was glad I had read it.

Michael Howell is a businessman operating a family company in the Levant: Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries.  In 1970, he has kept his family's business enterprises going through a decade of wars, takeovers, and revolutions, thanks in part to his office manager, Teresa, who is also his mistress.  One late night in the office, they discover men working overtime--producing unauthorized bombs for the Palestinian Action Force.  Worse, this terrorist group is not deterred by his discovery--rather the enlist Howell and Teresa's unwilling help in carrying out their plan.

The story is told through several points of view, Howell's, Teresa's, and Mike Prescott's, a journalist who tells some of the story.  The story is fascinating as it gives an insight into how businesses are run, the considerations they have, and the problems they face.  The unwilling cooperation of Howell as a 'comrade' in the PAF carries the threat of personal danger for Howell and Theresa, and requires, no matter how difficult, that they do something to stop the PAF.  This story is told with clarity and suspense and makes for a first rate political thriller.  Recommended. 4/5 stars. 

Currently available.

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