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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Running Blind - the most un-put-down-able book EVER!!!
'Running Blind' is a book for anyone who has even a passing interested in the international struggles of the Cold War in the 60's/70's and is a well researched insight into the underworld of secret and double agents. The book has a confident, well thought out plot and there are enough twists, without entering into the heavy text of spy's coming in from cold places, to...
Published on 15 Nov 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep on running
A classic thud and blunder adventure thriller. It keeps moving, so I can forgive it a lot, but I must say the characterisation is a bit two-dimensional except for one (see below). The plot gets a bit over-complicated, but so it does in all the best examples of the genre. The one well-drawn character? Iceland: brilliant.
Published 16 months ago by extrafin


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Running Blind - the most un-put-down-able book EVER!!!, 15 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
'Running Blind' is a book for anyone who has even a passing interested in the international struggles of the Cold War in the 60's/70's and is a well researched insight into the underworld of secret and double agents. The book has a confident, well thought out plot and there are enough twists, without entering into the heavy text of spy's coming in from cold places, to keep the reader guessing to the last page.
Alan Stewart (the central character) is from Scotland and as a land owner and ex-special agent is skilled with a rifle. Bagley, as in all his books, has researched his subjects fully. Few books cover the art of rifle shooting this accurately. You won't find any gun laden nymphomaniacs popping off police cars at a hundred yards with a .22 hand gun whilst running at full speed towards a speeding 4x4! Damn!
Stewarts past catches up with him in Scotland and, with Erin (his Icelandic Girlfriend), he is pursued through the hostile scenery of Iceland. Too many coincidences start Stewart questioning motives and the plot thickens when the Americans are added to an Anglo/Russian feud. The twisting plot keeps the reader glued from the first page and you just wish you had all day to read it - plug in the intravenous drip and get started!
Bagley writes so descriptively about Iceland that you feel you have lived there for ever. This book should be for sale in every Icelandic Tourist information office. 'Running Blind' is THE desert island book. For a young lad, as I was when I first read it, 'Running Blind' awakened me to the incredible possibilities that lay ahead in the world of good spy/action writing.
Read 'Running Blind' and then the rest...... Bagley wrote plenty.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What opened up the world of novels for me, 30 Jun 2007
By 
J. I. De Beresford "safemouse" (Farnham) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Running Blind (Hardcover)
I was so gripped by Bagley's novels I used to read them walking down the road. I was 12-13 years old at the time, so I'm not sure how well these would stand up to being read by an adult. And they are also somewhat dated, I'm sure, in the way Old Spice aftershave is. Nevertheless, within the confines of the genre, Bagley produced masterpieces and this is the one that stands out in my memory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Fantastic Country, 25 Nov 2010
By 
E. A. Parr (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
I first read this book in the 1970s and resolved to visit Iceland. Fortunately my wife and I agreed, so we took a long weekend break in 2000 which confirmed our resolve to try to match the country and the book. In 2007 we spent 12 days in Iceland with a hire car following the book

Desmond Bagley has definitely travelled the country; Asbyrgi, Dettifoss, Selfoss, Askja, Stokkur, the Sprengisandur track all exist and are precisely as described. Even the Gaesvotn lales where Kennikin sends people to search by the ford are real but you need a 1:50,000 map to find them and with a bit of detective work you can identify the ford!

The best thriller I have read, a page turner with a vengeance describing superb scenery in a wild beautiful country. Buy the book, go to Iceland with the book, hire a 4wd vehicle and go for it. Read the book by Askja, magic!

Andrew Parr
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A side of one, 13 May 2004
This review is from: Running blind (Paperback)
Desmond Bagley's 'Running Blind' is a very good, fast-paced crime/spy novel. His hero, Stewart, is a retired secret agent with a special attachment to Iceland.
Forcibly retired after making a fuss about a series of double-crosses in his previous assignment, Stewart retires to his family's ancestral lands in Scotland to make a quiet living with his deer herds.
However, when his Department finds itself with a manpower shortage, they approach Stewart to run a delivery errand on his adopted turf in Iceland - an errand which seems deceptively simple at first glance.
However, Stewart has powerful enemies, and not just among his own people. The infamous Kennikin of the KGB has his own, personal reasons for wanting Stewart stopped, and they don't have much to do with the packet that Stewart is carrying.
Set in the dramatic scenery of Iceland, with its wild countryside and peaceable, scattered population, Stewart's mission is complicated by the presence of his long-term girlfriend, Elin Ragnarsdottir, and his enigmatic chief, Slade.
Can he fulfill his mission without starting an international incident, and most importantly, will he want to?
This novel has a great plot, with an unusual setting and some very believable characters, and will keep you guessing right up until the last moment. Definitely a must for those moments in the departure lounge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best spy novel by a master storyteller in an hugely unusual setting, 13 Nov 2010
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
As a young boy, I loved Desmond Bagley and Alistair McLean and Running Blind was the first great adult novel I read, the first and probably the greatest spy thriller I've read and most definitely the man who could sell Iceland to the world.

Fast forward to three days ago and I've finally visited Iceland and I assure you that my admiration for Bagley's writing skills are elevated even higher.

The locations are hugely different to the normal dreary urban backstreets, the characters are numerous and multi-layered and the novel of it's time neatly demonstrates the paranoia of the time.

It's a great story with great locations you want to visit and believe you me, when you do , your appreciation for one of the two greatest adventure writers will make you recommend this book to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated? Perhaps but what a read!, 10 Aug 2010
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
Running Blind is one of my favourite Desmand Bagley novels, and I reckon I own all of them. I found it an absolutely captivating read, even the third or fourth time of reading it, it still held my interest.
I may be influenced by the fact that I grew up in the sixties and seventies so I am well aware of and familiar with the feelings at that time, USA v USSR, Philbin etc.
I would recommend any of Desmond Bagleys novels to anyone who likes a good, captivating, well researched storyline and plot but doesn't feel as though they need to be an expert to understand the background of the characters.
In Running Blind, you can almost feel the cold of an Icelandic wind but don't feel as though you need to be a rifleman or an expert in Icelandic culture or the Scottish Glens (Check story synopsis).
Although some people reckon that his writing is better suited for the younger reader, I still read his novels now even though I am approaching fifty!
It's just a shame that he died too young in 1983. Greatly missed by this reader.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid entertainment in an old fashioned style, 28 Jun 2002
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
Desmond Bagley knew how to construct a pacey thriller and this is one of his best. His set-ups are usually intriguing and the element of mystery set up in the first few pages keeps you going through the (usually limited) exposition. His oeuvre may be dating nowadays - the male characters are implausibly macho, and the women ciphers - but this book, and most of his others, will still help you pass a few hours in an airport or on a beach.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTER OF THE FAST MOVING ADVENTURE STORY, 12 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
Running Blind is one of those stories that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very first page. Bagley certainly knew a thing or two about writing thrillers. He also coached the current bestselling author John Templeton Smith (both lived in Guernsey in those days). Read Smith's later works: White Lie and Saigon Express and see what Bagley influences you can uncover. And if you haven't read Bagley's other 15 novels, I can assure you they are all of the same quality as Running Blind - without a doubt Desmond Bagley was the master of the fast moving adventure story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A read when I was very young, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
A superb thriller that had me wishing to visit Iceland since I read at 14 years old. I had to have my own copy as it is a very good book for young adults with a very intriguing storyline
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3.0 out of 5 stars Keep on running, 24 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Running Blind (Paperback)
A classic thud and blunder adventure thriller. It keeps moving, so I can forgive it a lot, but I must say the characterisation is a bit two-dimensional except for one (see below). The plot gets a bit over-complicated, but so it does in all the best examples of the genre. The one well-drawn character? Iceland: brilliant.
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Running Blind
Running Blind by Desmond Bagley (Paperback - 9 May 1994)
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