Spy Thrillers set in Greece in general AND as influences on Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun (1968)?

DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
edited December 2018 in Literary 007 Posts: 12,368
Can anyone think of some spy thrillers that were set in or around Greece before the publication of Kingsley Amis' Colonel Sun in March 1968 and that may or may not have been an influence on it and Kingsley Amis as this is something I am very interested in currently.

OK, I will set the ball rolling in this thread with the following - Mayhem in Greece (1962) by Dennis Wheatley. It was a one-off espionage novel not part of a series. The hero Robbie Grenn sounds like a kind of a forerunner of John Gardner's Boysie Oakes character who first appeared in the novel The Liquidator (1964). The various covers for the novel even look suitably Bondian:

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31azjXGTUJL.jpg

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I think that Helen MacInnes had a spy thriller set in Greece too.

It would be interesting if we can uncover any links forward to Colonel Sun or even just a list of spy thrillers that feature Greece as a location.

As is always the case, I'm very appreciative of any help in this matter.

Thank you for reading.

Comments

  • Posts: 3,364
    There are quite a lot in fact. Here's one :

    MV5BMjEyMzg1MDEzN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzM3MTYyMQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_.jpg
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
    Posts: 12,368
    Thanks, @Gerard, but I can't see that image unfortunately.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
    Posts: 12,368
    Any other suggestions from our members?
  • Posts: 802
    'The Light Of Day' by the late, great Eric Ambler was partly set in Greece and like everything Ambler did will doubtless have had a huge influence on both Fleming and Amis. Both of whom were amongst his biggest fans!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
    Posts: 12,368
    Villiers53 wrote:
    'The Light Of Day' by the late, great Eric Ambler was partly set in Greece and like everything Ambler did will doubtless have had a huge influence on both Fleming and Amis. Both of whom were amongst his biggest fans!

    Thank you for that one, @Villiers53. I've not heard of that novel before!
  • Posts: 3,364
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Thanks, @Gerard, but I can't see that image unfortunately.

    Well, maybe the trailer will work better :



    Here's the trailer for "Escape to Athena" :



    The was also, in France, "On a volé la Cuisse de Jupiter", a crime comedy set in Greece, with Annie Girardot and Philippe Noiret in which an archeologist and his wife, a policewoman, were mixed in a series of murders and thefts surrounding , not Jupiter's leg, as the title says, but Aphrodite's ass. And again, there was a scene set in the meteora monasteries.

  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Alan Furst's Spies of the Balkans

    Greece, 1940. Not sunny vacation Greece: northern Greece, Macedonian Greece, Balkan Greece--the city of Salonika. In that ancient port, with its wharves and warehouses, dark lanes and Turkish mansions, brothels and tavernas, a tense political drama is being played out. On the northern border, the Greek army has blocked Mussolini's invasion, pushing his divisions back to Albania--the first defeat suffered by the Nazis, who have conquered most of Europe. But Adolf Hitler cannot tolerate such freedom; the invasion is coming, it's only a matter of time, and the people of Salonika can only watch and wait.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7440139.Spies_of_the_Balkans
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache.
    Posts: 12,368
    Has anyone got any more of these in mind?

    I'd love to hear from you!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,965
    Maybe not early enough to be an influence, but there is Assignment Skybolt the Greek spy film.

    Worth mention at least for the Greek content and minor involvement of a Chinese agent. Could indicate the shared content with Colonel Sun as timely.

    Assignment Skybolt (1968)
    https://imdb.com/title/tt0263545/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    Kataskopoi ston Saroniko (original title)
    1h 35min | Action, Adventure, Crime | 1988 (USA)

    Dan Holland, an American secret service agent, goes to Greece to find an hydrogen bomb that was stolen from a NATO base in Turkey. There is the risk that foreign agents will activate the bomb to hit the 6th Fleet flagship while it is anchored outside the port of Piraeus, and thus start a 3rd World War. Dan Holland starts his research with not much information: an antique coin found in the location of the theft that belonged to his brother Jack Holland, code-name Achilles - but Achilles is supposed to have been killed by the Communists during the Greek Civil War.
    —Artemis-9


    http://diedangerdiediekill.blogspot.com/2013/02/assignment-skybolt-greece-1968.html

    https://markdavidwelsh.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/assignment-skybolt-operation-skybolt-1968/

  • Agent_99Agent_99 Enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 1,666
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I think that Helen MacInnes had a spy thriller set in Greece too.

    Decision at Delphi? I don't think I've read that one, unfortunately.
  • Posts: 3,364
    Villiers53 wrote: »
    'The Light Of Day' by the late, great Eric Ambler was partly set in Greece and like everything Ambler did will doubtless have had a huge influence on both Fleming and Amis. Both of whom were amongst his biggest fans!

    There's also, from the same author, The Schirmer Inheritance :

    https://ericamblerbooks.com/titles/the-schirmer-inheritance/

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTdlAt_Z1_pZMd-nbI9I2Nd3-ND_1ExPsfL2cIDU4zV1CM4yNTj
    Former WWII bomber pilot George Cary is looking forward to a glittering legal career but a chance discovery in what appears to be a dead-end case will leave him fighting for survival.

    It wasn’t anyone’s idea of a glamorous first assignment. Newly minted lawyer George Cary, was given the task of going through the tons of files on the Schneider Johnson case, just to make sure nothing had been overlooked. But George did discover something among the false claims and dead-end leads that connect a deserter from Napoleon’s defeated army to a guerrilla fighter in post-war Greece, and lead Cary himself into a dangerous situation where his own survival will depend more on what he learned in the army than anything he learned in law school.

    It was even made as a TV series in 1957, but according to IMDB, all episodes are believed to be lost.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 3,965
    Not mentioned so I'll mention it. Also from Mr. Ambler preceding The Light of Day and The Schirmer Inheritance.

    The Mask of Dimitrios, Eric Ambler, 1939. (US title: A Coffin for Dimitrios.)

    Then the 1944 film The Mask of Dimitrios. Taking place in Turkey, with writer Peter Lorre following a story on the Greek Dimitrios Makropoulos played by Zachary Scott. Mystery, assassination.

    Plus Bond possessed a copy in From Russia With Love when flying to Turkey.

    70.jpg?v=1316530465
    51oWKvRG6kL._SL500_AA300_1.jpgThe-Mask-Of-Dimitrios-Peter-Lorre-All.jpg

  • BirdlesonBirdleson San Jose, CA
    Posts: 24,720
    Excellent covers and posters.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 Enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 1,666
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    I think that Helen MacInnes had a spy thriller set in Greece too.

    Decision at Delphi? I don't think I've read that one, unfortunately.

    I'm reading MacInnes' The Double Image (1966) at the moment and it's set largely on Mykonos.
  • Posts: 3,364
    How could I forget The Angry Hills ? According to Wikipedia :
    Set in Greece in 1941, before and after the German invasion, the film follows an American journalist who possesses a list of Greek resistance leaders. Having memorized the list he destroys it and is then pursued by various groups of people keen to have it: Communist resistance fighters, the Gestapo and Greek collaborators.

    The film features Robert Mitchum, Stanley Baker and Gia Scala :

    The_Angry_Hills.jpg

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