A Coffin for Dimitrios

by Eric Ambler
Category: "Fiction - Adventure"
Year of Publication:1937
Date Added:04/10/2008
Date Read:11/30/1980
My Rating: 7

Reviews for A Coffin for Dimitrios

Review - A Coffin for Dimitrios

Not at all one of those old-lady-who-finds-a-body-in-her-garden mysteries, and that was one reason I enjoyed it — it was a break from the ordinary. The European setting added some interest, and it was well written. I probably wouldn't want to read a steady diet of similar books, but this one was fun.

Latimer is a mystery writer on holiday in Turkey. He strikes up an acquaintance with a police officer who tells him about a real murder — the body of a man named Dimitrios whose body was pulled from the sea. When Latimer hears about the man’s career as a murderer, political assassin and drug smuggler, he determines on a whim to find out all he can about the man. He travels to Smyrna, to Athens and to Paris, talking with people who knew Dimitrios or knew of him. He meets a madame who once had Dimitrios as her pimp. He investigates a murder of a Jewish moneylender, murdered by Dimitrios who framed another man who was hung. Latimer is making steady progress when he’s accosted by a man named Peters whom he met earlier on a train. Peters sends him to an associate in France, a former spy master who tells Latimer about how he was double-crossed by Dimitrios on a mission to steal naval documents from Yugoslavia. Latimer then meets Peters again and discovers that he was formerly an associate of Dimitrios in white slavery and drug smuggling. Dimitrios turned Peters in to the law, and Peters wants his revenge. He reveals to Latimer that Dimitrios isn’t dead — the man found in Turkey was another drug smuggling associate that Dimitrios killed. Dimitrios is now the head of a large banking firm. Peters talks Latimer into helping him blackmail Dimitrios. It goes bad and Dimitrios shoots Peters. Latimer struggles with him and gets his gun. Peters shoots Dimitrios and then dies. Latimer leaves the scene and the country.
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