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Running Blind [Large Print] [Paperback]

Desmond Bagley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 1993 Curley Large Print Books
It began as a simple errand - a parcel to deliver. But to Alan Stewart, standing on a deserted road in Iceland, with a murdered man at his feet, it looked anything but simple. When he realises who the true enemy is, his simple mission seems impossible. By the same author as "Night of Terror"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific roller coaster of a story! June 12 2003
Format:Hardcover
Back in the 1960s and even 1970s, Desmond Bagley was easily one of the best thriller writers around. As a rule, his books tend to be short and to the point, filled with action and marked with innovative ideas. Running Blind is one of my personal favorites (actually I think it is his best work) which I suddenly stumbled upon after many years. Allan Stewart, a retired intelligence agent is suddenly forced against his will to re-join the game just to complete one final assignment. Almost immediately, he finds himself in a maze of bluffs and double-bluffs. By a mix of good fortune and rusty skills, he escapes a trap and in doing so, stumbles almost by accident on the scary possibility that a top official in British intelligence may actually be a Russian mole (remember, this is a Cold War story). Of course, he now has to settle this question one way or the other. What follows is a terrific roller coaster of a story as Stewart (accompanied by his girlfriend), the mole, the Russians (including his opposite number thirsting for revenge after Stewart had long ago shot him in a very sensitive area!), and stray CIA agents engage in a fascinating pursuit over the Icelandic landscape, culminating in a shootout at the baddies hideout that is almost "western" in nature. A very good novel indeed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific roller coaster of a story! June 12 2003
By David Rasquinha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Back in the 1960s and even 1970s, Desmond Bagley was easily one of the best thriller writers around. As a rule, his books tend to be short and to the point, filled with action and marked with innovative ideas. Running Blind is one of my personal favorites (actually I think it is his best work) which I suddenly stumbled upon after many years. Allan Stewart, a retired intelligence agent is suddenly forced against his will to re-join the game just to complete one final assignment. Almost immediately, he finds himself in a maze of bluffs and double-bluffs. By a mix of good fortune and rusty skills, he escapes a trap and in doing so, stumbles almost by accident on the scary possibility that a top official in British intelligence may actually be a Russian mole (remember, this is a Cold War story). Of course, he now has to settle this question one way or the other. What follows is a terrific roller coaster of a story as Stewart (accompanied by his girlfriend), the mole, the Russians (including his opposite number thirsting for revenge after Stewart had long ago shot him in a very sensitive area!), and stray CIA agents engage in a fascinating pursuit over the Icelandic landscape, culminating in a shootout at the baddies hideout that is almost "western" in nature. A very good novel indeed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by the master. Nov. 29 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yes,This book is superlative. For the person who reviewed it earlier, it has been filmed. It was shown on PBS ten or so years ago in a three part series starring Stuart Wilson.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has to be one of the best books in the world Feb. 7 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Running Blind is a book that is on the real side of Life not with super heros dashing around with the biggest gun possible(fleets Rifle comes close) A must for all kids from 12 to 120 Another helpful Hint from the meister
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit formulaic, but pretty good Aug. 29 2009
By H. Jin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
British agent Alan Stewart is dragged out of self-imposed exile for a simple job, to deliver a package. But when the delivery goes wrong, Stewart suddenly finds himself persued through Iceland from all sides. 'Running Blind' is a very apt title for this book, as Stewart is up against his former service, the Russians, the Americans, as well as an old nemesis. His only real asset is local knowledge and contacts thanks to his Icelandic girlfriend Erin, and together the two of them race from hideout to hideout across the back-blocks of Iceland. What was in the package? Can Stewart trust anyone? Is his boss, Slade, selling him out?

In general, I prefer Bagley's man-against-the-environment thrillers to his more conventional spy thrillers. Bagley is better at the former, whereas his spy thrillers are a bit too cliched, especially in the characterisation. Stewart is almost too typical of the cool, dry-witted, wisecracking spy hero....even under threat of having his vital parts cut off he remains ultra-cool. It doesn't help that Bagley's first-person narration gives us little insight into Stewart's emotions. Erin is a better character, quite strong willed and capable. The dynamic between the two leads is interesting; Stewart depends on her knowledge of Iceland but at the same time is reluctant to involve her too deeply. Of the antagonists, the duplicious Slade is given a bit of humanity; behind the ruthlessness is a hint of the stress and tension of maintaining two faces for so long.

It was a little different from some of Bagley's early books, although there is still some sense of Stewart fighting the hostile environment of Iceland as much as his enemies. And Stewart is able to exploit the landscape (flooding rivers, boiling geysers, lava deposits) to escape his persuers. I'm not sure that all the story threads quite make sense, and the revelation of what was in the package is almost too clever and tricky to satisfy. I'd say it's not quite in the same class as 'High Citadel' or 'Wyatt's Hurricane', but fans of the genre will still find plenty to like here.

[3.5 stars]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blind Man's Buff May 18 2005
By Nirmal Patel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Running Blind lives upto the title. The author sends the hero on a mission where the hero is literally 'running blind'. He is the victim of a double agent within his own service, and is called back from retirement for a last job against an earlier nemesis in the rival KGB service.

The background is the Cold War, and the antagonistic feelings of those times may be a bit anachronistic. But given this limitation as a period piece, the book succeeds in leading both its hero and the reader into a Blind Man's Buff.

The end is still a surprise, and sort of a shock.

A thriller from start to finish, and guaranteed reading from in one sitting from start to finish.

Also very good repeat value.

The language is very mature and builds up each event to a pitch required for the novel to sustain a certain momentum.
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