Bagley’s novel was published in Sweden by Wahlström & Widstrand, Stockholm under the title Blindgångare. Blindgångare has a number of meanings in the Swedish language, in this case translating as ‘dud, lemon or fiasco’, though can also mean ‘unexploded ordnance’.
The first edition shown above (REF I 09-33754005-70), softcover with uncut/deckle edges and dust jacket, was published in 1970. The translation was by Lisbeth Renner, with a cover photograph by Sven Eric Delér. A rough translation of the rear cover text reads:
Don’t open the package. You might burn your fingers. But otherwise it’s a simple job. You usually travel on vacation to Iceland each year… This time you just be a messenger boy …
Alan Stewart, well-to-do landlord in Scotland and former agent in the British Intelligence Service, commissioned by his old boss Slade to hand over a package in Iceland. The whole thing seemed too easy, there must be a ‘buried dog’ [ulterior motive] as the mission came from Slade.
The world would be better if that ‘dog’ [ulterior motive] didn’t exist, Alan thought, and on the first day his fears come true. And when his sworn enemy Kennikin pops up, he realises that he is a pawn in a deadly game.
He decides to act on his own, against both his orders and seemingly overwhelming odds. He has a sixth sense of treason and betrayal …
To aid him, he has his fiancée Elin Ragnarsdottir, as brave and fearless as she is beautiful, and her Icelandic friends, silent, honest and hardy.
The Icelandic landscape allows the ruthless and death-defying plot to come into its own in a dramatic climax. How a hunted man and his girl manage in the unspoiled wilderness between barren lava fields, hot springs, inaccessible volcanic craters and powerful waterfalls, with a couple of blood-crazy agents of different nationalities on their heels, makes for thrilling reading.
“Bagley is in the absolute master of modern adventure writers. He has the kind of sumptuous imagination that distinguishes the small crowd of adventure writers in this master class.” Tom Selander Svenska Dagbladet.
The paperback edition shown above (ISBN 91-46-11550-1) was published in 1972. The translation was by Lisbeth Renner, with a cover design by Vidar Forsberg and cover photograph by Sven Eric Delér. A rough translation of the front and rear cover text reads:
My finger painfully took up the final pressure, the rifle jolted my shoulder, the distant figure jerked like a marionette.
“Simple” the Secret Service had said, “you’re just a messenger boy handing over a package”. But for Alan Stewart, standing in Iceland with a murdered man lying at his feet, it was anything but simple. And why had the Russian agent Kennikin shadowed him to Iceland? What was actually in the package? Too late, Stewart understands that he is only a pawn in a merciless game, and that someone had coldly decided to sacrifice him – as long as the package is delivered. But Stewart can play the game of espionage more subtly than his employer had counted on…
The hardback edition shown above (ISBN 91-46-15752-2) was published in 1989 with translation by Lisbeth Renner. The comment from the Swedish newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning reads:
“Bagley retains his place at the forefront of adventure writers. He writes and as usual, and the tension rises …”
The blurb repeats previous editions and the further text reads:
Blindgångare is one of eight books in a new Bagley series, the others are:
Bottennapp [Night of Error]; Klippfästningen [High Citadel]; Marodörerna [The Spoilers]; Missvisning [Flyaway]; Lavinen [The Snow Tiger]; Lindansarna [The Tightrope Men]; and Orkanen [Wyatt’s Hurricane].
Next: USA edition
Images © Wahlström & Widstrand / HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.