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“A rattling job of story-telling to rank with the top spy-thrillers
of recent years”
--N.Y. Times Book Review
Random House, 1954

The Lights of Skaro


Publishing History


  • “The People’s Free Federal Republic,” a fictitious country in the Balkans

   Jess Matthews, a fully accredited American foreign correspondent, had come into the People’s Free Federal Republic in comfort on the Orient Express. But events had moved too swiftly in the Balkans and now he was trying to escape from that terrorized country by masquerading as a peasant driving a herd of goats.
   He had come in alone. Going out -- if he was ever to get out -- he had company: Cora Lambert, a high-voltage American newspaper woman, who was equally in trouble. For Jess and Cora had learned a secret that could destroy Bulic, head of the dreaded Security Police, and to Bulic it was a choice of his life or theirs.
   Jess had decided their only chance of survival was to head for the frontier at the border town of Skaro -- with the Security Police hot on their heels. Adventure piled on adventure, escape on hair-breadth escape. Mile by mile the two correspondents made their way toward the hoped-for lights of freedom, hiding in gutted farmhouses, riding in a Model T truck full of singing girls and, finally, creeping into the darkened graveyard above the brightly lit frontier river -- just short of safety.
   The Lights of Skaro, dust jacket.

Michael Joseph, 1954 Horwitz, 1961 Mayflower, 1966

Cast of Characters

Colonel Bulic
Ed Cleary
Graham Dill
Anton Djakovo
Madame Gorza
Sigmund Gorza
Heinz Gruber
Cora Lambert
Jess Matthews
Jim Oliver
Janos Radovic
Leon Rebillard
Milo Yoreska

Book Reviews

Previous novel To Catch a Thief (1952)
Angel’s Ransom (1956) Next novel

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