The Spoilers was published in 1969 with a cover design by Norman Weaver.
‘Sir Robert Hellier, millionaire film tycoon, was too busy making money to realize that his only daughter had become a drug addict until he learned she had died from an overdose of heroin. Now Sir Robert wanted action; he wanted blood. Not the blood of the sleazy drug-pushers who had supplied his daughter, but the blood of the big-time international suppliers of the market in Europe and the States. And Sir Robert was prepared to stake a large part of his personal fortune to cut heroin off at source.
Enlisting the help of Dr Nicholas Warren, London drug specialist who knew as much about the problem as any police force, Sir Robert prevailed upon him to select a seemingly ill-assorted group of men and mount an expedition to the Middle East in pursuit of two slender clues.
But the clues lead to two separate lines of enquiry. Once in Beirut, the expedition is forced to split in two. While one group, posing as an advance film unit, follows the perilous trail to the opium farm in the secret valley where the deadly poppy is grown, the other, back in Beirut, infiltrates by a means as ingenious as anything since the Trojan Horse the murderous organization which is planning to ‘export’ a hundred million dollars’ worth of heroin. Their two-pronged attack is complicated by an explosive political situation involving gun-running into Kurdistan, and by the need to rescue the infiltrators from a gang whose ruthlessness and high-powered organization are equalled only by the stakes for which they play.
Desmond Bagley had produced as tense an adventure story as any he has written, set against the usual authentic and well-researched background which gives his novels their unique and ever-growing appeal.’
Images and first edition blurb © & courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.