Judgment on Deltchev
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Judgment on Deltchev (Pan Classic Crime)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Foster’s dramatic skill is well-known in London’s West End theaters. So perhaps it wasn’t so surprising when he was hired by an American newspaper publisher to cover the trial of Yordan Delchev for treason. Accused of membership in the sinister Officer Corps Brotherhood and of masterminding a plot to assassinate his country’s leader, Delchev may in fact be a pawn and his t...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Vintage (first published August 12th 1951)
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Espionage
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AC
Wickely smart..., flawlessly and intricately contructed..., and a truly profound analysis and anatomy of the psychology of tyranny and power. Utterly believable.

A masterpiece of the genre.
Darwin8u
I might need to rethink this and give it five stars. It is still gnawing at me a couple days later. Ambler's thriller centers on a British poet that travels to a Balkan/Eastern European dictatorship to cover the show trial of Papa Deltchev for treason.

It is a thriller that owes a lot to Kafka and to Buchan's The 39 Steps. Ambler slowly unravels the conspiracy wrapped around conspiracy as Foster (the poet narrator) uncovers the truth about the former leader and his family. It is hard to read the...more
Troy
I've read so many beautifully written books lately that this was disappointing. It's adequately written yet it never sings. Still, the plot, once it gets going, is damn good, and the writer has a wonderful command of real-world intrigue. The protagonist, who is a playwright working as a journalist, is the proper mix of heedless naif and sharp observer. The plot is damn clever and a lot of fun, and the book takes some interesting chances with the timeline, realpolitik, and murky and opaque charac...more
Cormacjosh
When I recieved this book as a gift from a co worker, I expected something that would be an amusing period piece. Surprisingly it is less so than I had thought. Yordan Deltchev, the prominent politician and resident of the Balkans, is on trial in Red Russia for supporting plans in post war Europe which would have minimized the success of Russia to fill the void left by the collapse of Nazi Germany.

I read this book during Pennsic War xxxv, and could not put it down. It is well written and very en...more
Graham Powell
This is the first book I've read by Eric Ambler, and it was terrific. British playright Foster has been asked to report on a show trial in a Balkan country in the late 1940s. The previous head of government is being tried as a traitor. The evidence against him is flimsy and apparently trumped up, and Foster digs around a bit, trying to find some small bits of the truth. As he himself puts it, he doesn't so much blunder into trouble as walk into the wrong part of town, and once he realizes the da...more
Pearce Hansen
A British playwright travels to an Easter European dictatorship, recruited to cover the ‘kangaroo court’ trial of that country’s former Prime Minister. Not a professional journalist, a stranger to the country, and smugly ensconced within his own bourgeois worldview, our hero is totally unprepared for the denouement that follows . . .

Graham Greene himself has acknowledged Eric Ambler as a master of the thriller. JUDGMENT ON DELTCHEV (while not usually counted among Ambler’s best work) is a perfec...more
Dianne
I like Eric Ambler, but I do not know whether I own this one. I picked it up from the charity shop after reading three dud books in a row. My copy was printed in 1952. Foster, a dramatist, is asked to cover the show trial of Yordan Deltchev, a victim of a power struggle between The Peoples Party and the Agrarian Socialists in a Balkan country during the turbulent time post WW II. A naif in politics and journalism he is soon involved in political chicanery, murder, assassination, deceit and treac...more
Leslie
Ambler uses his usual set up here--an innocent abroad, stumbling into danger, intrigue, and corruption, his heedless naivete making him dangerous. So far, so smart and so thrilling. But it's the structure of this book that really makes it good. The ending felt quite anticlimactic at first, but the real ending is buried back in chapter 14, when the narrator mentions, quite out of narrative order, what the actual consequences of his dangerous foray into eastern European politics were. The temporal...more
Tom
This was a good - not great - outing by Ambler. Just seemed to kind of drag. He had a good conspiracy theory, but it just seemed to take a while to get going. And then when it got here, he resolved the whole thing by big blocky paragraphs by way of explanation. Still some great tense moments. Definitely captures the feel of mid-century in Europe.
J.
Jan 17, 2014 J. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ambler
Haven't read in too long, will revisit.
Rayrumtum
A delightful romp through Balkan intrigue in the aftermath ofWWIi. A British playwright travels to an unnamed Balkan country to report on a show trial of a non Communist leader. I imagine the country as Romania. Anyhow he gets entangled in a conspiracy that gets ever and ever more complex.
John Treanor
A good read, as always, from Ambler. He really captures the feel of his era in a cool way, and I love the way he puts non-spy types into sketchy situations. Not sure why I'm not giving this 4 stars, but it probably deserves 'em.
David Hutson
not too different from his earlier more famous books and was clearly part of the group of writers who turned against communism such as koestler and Camus and this is his book on that issue
Margareth8537
In many ways a typical Ambler, with the innocent abroad who gets tied up in all types of political chicanery. But there are some interesting questions asked about what is treachery.
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26006
Eric Ambler began his writing career in the early 1930s, and quickly established a reputation as a thriller writer of extraordinary depth and originality. He is often credited as the inventor of the modern political thriller and John Le Carre once described him as 'the source on which we all draw.'

Ambler began his working life at an engineering firm, then as a copywriter at an advertising agency,...more
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