Francis Clifford (author)

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Francis Clifford is a pen name of Arthur Leonard Bell Thompson (1 December 1917 – 24 August 1975), a British writer of crime and thriller novels. Francis Clifford was born on 1 December 1917 in Bristol, England as son of . He died on 24 August 1975 in Weybridge, Surrey, England.


Francis Clifford was born on 1 December 1917 in Bristol, England as 3rd. child of George Frederick Bell THOMPSON (1877-1919) and Agnes May EVANS (1885-1926). In 1944 he married Marjorie BENNETT, in London, UK (Marrieage end unknown) and then in 1955 he married Josephine Bridget DEVEREUX, born 12 Mar 1918 Waterford, Ireland, who died 1990. He died on 24 August 1975 in Weybridge, Surrey, England.[1]

Military service[edit]

Arthur Leonard Bell Thompson who, as a young Captain in the Burma Rifles found himself in command of a battalion of ‘Karens’ (native troops from the Karenni Hills) in the rearguard of the British army retreat in the face of the Japanese invasion in March/April 1942. His unit's defence and demolition of bridges and roads were commended as a "magnificent delaying action (which) saved the Chinese and British armies in Burma from encirclement."

Thompson then lead his 60 or so surviving soldiers, with little ammunition, food or supplies, on an heroic 109-day march through over 900 miles of jungle and mountains to reach the safety of Allied lines. Thompson lost almost four stones in weight on the march and a year after reaching India, still weak and ill from his ordeal, was invalided back to England.and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order

He then served in SOE (Special Operations Executive).

Civil career[edit]

Before World War II,he worked in the rice trade in the Far East >Blog of Nick Jones (<, After returning to civilian life worked in the steel industri, but started writing in his spare time. In 1959[2] he lwft his position and started writing full-time.


From the late 1950s until his death in 1975, Francis Clifford wrote 18 novels and became one of the most respected of British thriller writers, widely admired for his grasp of character, carefully building sympathy for his beleaguered heroes. A contemporary of his wrote: "His novels are remarkable for their high level of tension, produced by a combination of people with whom one deeply sympathizes and situations carefully calculated to put them under most strain. To this he added a remarkable ability to conjure up scenes that an unknown reader will see and remember."

Often referred to as "a crime writer's crime writer" he was notably modest about his writing, once saying that his only secret was: "I use a very large rubber and a very small pencil."



  • Honour the Shrine (1953)
  • The Trembling Earth (1955)
  • Overdue (1957)
  • Something to Love (1958)
  • Act of Mercy (1959); US title: Guns of Darkness
  • Battle is Fought to Be Won (1960)
  • Time is an Ambush (1962)
  • The Green Fields of Eden (1963)
  • The Hunting Ground (1964)
  • Third Side of the Coin (1965)
  • The Naked Runner (1966)
  • All Men Are Lonely Now (1967)
  • Another Way of Dying (1968); Silver Dagger Award
  • The Blind Side (1971)
  • A Wild Justice (1972)
  • Amigo, Amigo (1973); shortlisted for Edgar Award
  • Grosvenor Square Goodbye (1974); US title: Good-Bye and Amen; Silver Dagger Award, shortlisted for Edgar Award
  • Drummer in the Dark (1976)
  • Desperate Journey (1979)

Short story collections[edit]

  • Ten Minutes on a June Morning (1977)


  1. ^ "Rootsweeb". Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Clifford, Francis (1975). The Blind Angle (Abriged ed.). Sweden: Reader's Digest.