In the 21st-century, it’s hard to remember when writers such as Desmond Bagley were riding high in the bestseller charts, and the British thriller novel reigned supreme (it’s a vanished era celebrated in a new book by Mike Ripley, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and it is a shame that the names of some of the most illustrious practitioners of the art have fallen from view. Which is why Harperfiction is to be applauded for reissuing some of the best books by Bagley – the four novels in this initial batch (notably The Snow Tiger) represent Bagley’s vivid and involving thriller writing at its most accomplished. Certainly, there are elements that have dated in the books, but that is actually part of their charm — and there is no disputing the fact that the energetic prose exerts a grip on the reader that is found more fitfully these days. It’s also encouraging to note that later in the year the publisher intends to reissue is a further four Bagley novels, Crisis, Juggernaut, Night of Terror and Windfall. Perhaps readers will start to pay attention to the estimable Mr Bagley once again.

Desmond Bagley Thrillers: The Tightrope Men, The Snow Tiger, The Enemy, Flyaway

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