author: Desmond Bagley
Alan Stewart used to work for MI6, until he got sick of being considered disposable. Now, he’s been talked into helping out the service on one of his regular trips to Iceland. Just deliver a package and then carry on with his life, it should be simple.
But, of course, it isn’t simple. The Russians want the package, and they seem to know his every move. They’ve sent an agent he nearly killed after him, and it seems someone in his old firm is feeding them information. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his fiancee is with him and in just as much danger, and the Americans have stuck their oar in.
Stewart’s a no-nonsense Scotsman, and Elin, his Icelandic fiancee, knows the country well. They lead all the spooks on a chase across the country’s glaciers and hot springs, leading to a violent showdown and final reveal of the Maguffin the whole plot revolved around.
The extended chase in the middle felt a little stretched, until it became obvious how carefully the author was putting everything in place for the finale. Overall, a competent and interesting bit of espionage from the Cold War, with the ‘good guys’ of MI6 and the CIA just as nasty and untrustworthy as the KGB.
I got Running Blind in a 2-4-1 Kindle package with The Freedom Trap, which, it turns out, I’ve already read,albeit decades ago.