French edition

Desmond Bagley Running Blind - French Presse de la cité PB Imp. 1971 © Presse de la cité / HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


Bagley’s novel was published in France by Presse de la cité in the ‘Espiorama’ series under the title La mort à l’aveuglette, which translates as ‘Death blindly’. The novel was translated into French by Marie Medioni.

The paperback edition shown above was published on 8th October 1971 and the translation of the rear cover text reads:

“It’s very simple,” said Slade “your just a messenger boy. ”

To Alan Stewart, alone on a lonely road in Iceland with a murdered man in front of him and a mysterious parcel which Slade, Secret Service chief had commissioned him to deliver in his car, it was not as simple as he had been told and it promised to become even more complicated.

This spy novel by Desmond Bagley takes place in one of the least populated regions of the globe and one of the most extraordinary landscapes in the world, where communication in the wastes of the Óbyggdir depends on wireless and transport on a Land-Rover’s ability to traverses impossible terrain. Obstacles abound: boiling geysers, rivers in flood, steep cliffs and narrow valleys. They only represent a small part of the events that Stewart must overcome to fulfil his mission and avoid the pitfalls of having his allies as enemies. He suspects to have been chosen as the scapegoat for a confrontation that goes much further. His Russian adversary, like the tip of an iceberg, is perhaps only the part of the opposition that shows.

And the contents of the mysterious package that unleashed so much strife? That remains a surprise for the reader as much as Stewart; in any case until the end of this extraordinary breathless narrative.

An introduction inside the novel reads:

“This is where Neil Armstrong once came to train before walking on the moon,” says Desmond Bagley’s hero Alan Stewart of the  Icelandic Obyggdir.

From the deserts of stone and ice lava, erupting volcanoes, deep tremors of rough mountains releasing sulphurous fumes, rivers flowing into the abyss of glaciers covered by millions of tons of snow. Iceland is the last place in the world that still shakes from the convulsions of the Tertiary era. In this apocalyptic setting, in which live a peaceful and rough people, for a chance and derisory reason the Secret Services of the great powers clash and exterminate.

Trained in this fight against his titans, Alan Stewart, retired agent, unravels the multiple plots. A logical, paradoxical and absurd truth engendered by fighting in the shadows emerges in this daring pursuit  giving LA MORTE A L’AVEUGLETTE the same authenticity as the disconcerting THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD.


Next: German edition


Images, text courtesy & © Presse de la cité / HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.