In a fast moving first person narrative--mostly from Howell attempting to explain and justify his actions, but also from an outside journalist and one section from Teresa to lend some further credibility to his story--Ambler manages to keep up the kind of infectious excitement that gets readers joyfully turning pages. Interestingly, sex is nearly absent from the story, and violence is minimal. There are lessons here for the modern thriller writer. Suspense is possible without pages of gore. The threat of violence left to the imagination is often more terrifying than its literal description.
Readers familiar with the work of Ambler will welcome The Levanter's new release in the Vintage Crime/Black Lizard series, as they would welcome an old friend. Readers unfamiliar with his work will find it an opportunity to meet with one of the truly great masters of the thriller genre.