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Desmond Bagley © Graham jackson photography

About Bagley

Desmond Bagley 1923-1983

The internationally acclaimed bestselling English author Desmond Bagley, known to his friends as Simon, was born on 29th October 1923 at a cottage in Stramongate, Kendal, Westmorland (Cumbria). He died, aged 59, on 12th April 1983 in a Southampton hospital after suffering a stroke, leaving us a literary canon of sixteen, soon to be seventeen, published novels and a handful of short stories, articles and interviews.

Desmond Bagley © Graham Jackson

At the time of his death he was reputed to be one of the highest paid writers of fiction novels in the world. Remarkable considering he left school at the age of fourteen having failed to pass any exams, suffered a life-long speech impediment and was nearly forty years old when his first novel, The Golden Keel, was published.

In his obituary, which appeared in The Times on 14th April 1983, he was described as a ‘craftsmanlike thriller novelist’. Bagley was skilled in the art of thriller writing; he travelled extensively and displayed a detailed knowledge of the geographical locations used for the settings in his novels combined with a thorough knowledge of cultural traditions, natural phenomena and technological details.

Mike Ripley, the author of Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang – The boom in British Thrillers from Casino Royal to The Eagle Has Landed, commented of Bagley:

As was often said about Bagley, his books were not so much about spies or even crimes – though they certainly feature – but about a group of interesting people in an interesting, often dangerous, landscape.

He was certainly in their tradition of British adventure writers, having fairly wholesome heroes who avoided sex and who operated in well-researched foreign locations.

Discover More About

The Life and Work of Desmond Bagley - © The Bagley Brief

© The Bagley Brief

An Enquiry into a Novelist

The Novels

The Novels of Desmond Bagley - The Bagley Brief © HarperCollins Publishers

Explore the novels of Desmond Bagley including first edition covers and original publishers ‘blurb’.


The 2017 re-issues

Desmond Bagley - HarperCollins 2017 Crime Club Imprint re-issue cover art collage © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

2017 saw the re-issue of the novels in paperback, eBook and audio book format. Read interviews with established authors Peter James, Jeremy Duns and Caro Ramsay, all admirers of Bagley’s novels.

Re-issue purchase links here


Domino Island

domino-island-promo

The unpublished thriller by the master of the genre

Discovered after more than 40 years, a vintage action-adventure novel by one of the world’s most successful thriller writers, involving murder, corruption and a daring hijack in the Caribbean.

Due for release on 16th May 2019

Pre-order your copy here


Articles and Interviews

Desmond Bagley © Pluriform - The Bagley Brief.

A bibliography of non-fiction articles, periodical publications and interviews


Bagley on writing action fiction

writing-action-fiction-menu-collage

Read an article about Bagley’s thoughts on writing action fiction


The Running Blind Archive

Desmond Bagley's Running Blind - Visit the archive on The Bagley Brief.

The definitive online archive for Bagley’s Cold War espionage thriller set in Iceland. There is much to discover, whether you have a love of Desmond Bagley, Running Blind, Iceland or all three.

With well researched and informative articles the archive can also act as a travelogue for those people wishing to visit Iceland.

 

The Life and Work of Desmond Bagley: Landslide, Wyatt's Hurricane and The Spoilers cover art © HarperCollins Publishers.

Gallery

UK first edition cover art

The Novels of Desmond Bagley - The Bagley Brief © HarperCollins Publishers

A gallery displaying cover art used for the UK first editions of  Desmond Bagley’s novels.


HarperCollins 2017 re-issues

Desmond Bagley - HarperCollins 2017 Crime Club Imprint re-issue cover art collage © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

A gallery displaying cover art used for Desmond Bagley’s novels published in 2017 under the HarperCollins Collins Crime Club Imprint.


Japanese cover art

Desmond Bagley Novels - Japanese editions © Hiroshi Hayakawa / Hayakawa Bunko NV

A gallery displaying Japanese cover art used for Desmond Bagley’s novels.


Polish cover art

gallery-feature-desmond-bagley-polish-covers

A gallery displaying Polish cover art used for Desmond Bagley’s novels.


Running Blind cover art

Desmond Bagley - Running Blind cover art collage © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

A gallery within the Running Blind archive displaying world-wide cover art used for Desmond Bagley’s Cold War thriller set in Iceland.


The Mackintosh Man cinema lobby card gallery

The Mackintosh Man - Lobby cards - An adaptation of Desmond Bagley's The Freedom Trap © Warner Bros 1973.

A gallery displaying cinema lobby cards for The Mackintosh Man, Warner Brothers Inc. 1973 film adaptation of Desmond Bagley’s 1971 novel The Freedom Trap.

Domino Island by Desmond Bagley © HarperCollins Publishers.