Thrillers

87 posts

Beyond the Balkans – Eric Ambler and the British Espionage Novel, 1936-1940

Eric Ambler (1909-1998) was one of the foremost architects of espionage fiction as it exists today. Like his predecessor Somerset Maugham, Ambler sought to transform the genre from the verbal banality and minimal characterizations of authors William Le Queux and Edward Oppenheim to a more sophisticated, morally ambiguous world of deception and danger.

The Last Victorian: John Buchan and the Hannay Quartet

But, even more importantly, he also struck the first modern note in the evolution of the genre with respect to the degree of personal doubt and insecurity that over-shadows the mission – the same note, albeit greatly amplified, that is found in the novels of such well-known successors as Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, and John Le Carré, whose spy stories may be correctly seen, in part at least, as a continuance of John Buchan and the Hannay Quartet.

The Walking Dead Recap: “Prey” and “This Sorrowful Life” (Season 3, Episodes 14 and 15)

The last few episodes have unsteadily balanced a number of storylines whose interest is waning. Andrea finally chose a side, even as the Governor remained a static, iconic villain (he’s like one of those creepy clown punching bags – you hit him, he doesn’t stay down). Glenn and Maggie made up and provided a little, suspicious ray of sunshine in the midst of death and destruction. Rick waffled and moaned and still isn’t the hardass he tries to be. Michonne is still a frighteningly observant hard case.

The Walking Dead Recap: “When the Dead Come Knocking” (Season 3, Episode 7)

It seems that while The Walking Dead suffered in the wake of Frank Darabont’s unceremonious departure (hence the slog of last season), writers, composers, and actors have seriously stepped up their game for season three. Last night’s episode was one of the best acted, most nerve-wracking, suspenseful episodes of the […]

The Walking Dead Recap: “Hounded” (Season 3, Episode 6)

I haven’t been out of bed much in the last few days and can’t guarantee the most incisive look at this week’s The Walking Dead. I can report that this episode was another goodie in a rather long string of them. In the opening of the episode, Merle, some young […]

The Walking Dead Recap: “Say the Word” (Season 3, Episode 5)

I went out of town at precisely the wrong moment (though being in Washington, DC on election night was a thrill) and missed recapping arguably the most important episode of the series so far. Rest in peace, Lori, T-Dog, and Carole (?), and mazel tov on the new addition! It’s […]

The Walking Dead Recap: “Walk with Me” (Season 3, Episode 3)

After the rough, brutal reintroduction to The Walking Dead‘s post-apocalyptic dystopia this season, this week’s episode ushers us back into a bizarre normalcy. “Walk with Me” begins with a helicopter crash – but who’s flying, and how did they get here? Michonne and Andrea follow the smoke – as the […]