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January 02 , 2010

The Night of Wenceslas


Young Nicholas Whistler, dissolute and disillusioned, lives a life of dull monotony in London. Caught up in a petty money-lenders dispute, he finds himself sent to Prague to discharge the debt by carrying out a simple assignment. But this business trip will soon drag him deep into the dangerous world of Cold War espionage and the battle for atomic supremacy. Trapped between the secret police and the amorous clutches of the mysterious and statuesque Vlasta, Nicholas must face the fact that now he is a spy, whether he likes it or not. The Night of Wenceslas, Lionel Davidson's debut thriller, was an instant and massive success upon publication in 1960. Its taut prose and masterful plot pushed him to the front ranks of the genre. It was described by the New Yorker as 'so enriched with style, wit, and a sense of serious comedy that it all but transcends its kind' and by Newsweek as 'downright superb.' Awarded the Gold Dagger Award by the Crime Writers' Association, it was subsequently filmed as 'Hot Enough For June' starring Dirk Bogarde.

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