Childers' lone masterpiece, "The Riddle of the Sands", considered the first modern spy thriller, is recognisable as the brilliant forerunner of the realism of Graham Greene and John le Carre. Its unique flavour comes from its fine characterization, richly authentic background of inshore sailing and vivid evocation of the late 1890s - an atmosphere of mutual suspicion and intrigue that was soon to lead to war.
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While on a sailing trip in the Baltic Sea, two young adventurers-turned-spies uncover a secret German plot to invade England. Written by Childers--who served in the Royal Navy during World War I--as a wake-up call to the British government to attend to its North Sea defenses, "The Riddle of the Sands accomplished that task and has been considered a classic of espionage literature ever since, praised as much for its nautical action as for its suspenseful spycraft.From the Back Cover:
“This is a book of great renown. . . . Its beautifully sustained atmosphere . . . adds poetry, and . . . real mystery.” —Ian Fleming
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