Wednesday, the 12th of January, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

This week’s pick is by another of the authors who I’ve seen on my parents’ shelves but not yet read. Flyaway by Desmond Bagley. Born in Kendal, Cumbria, Desmond Bagley was an English journalist and novelist who wrote adventure/thriller stories. Having been exempted from service during World War II, he worked in the aircraft industry. For a time he also worked in Africa, travelling through it over land, even crossing the Sahara. His first short story appeared in 1957 and first novel in 1962. The success of his first novel, The Golden Keel led him to take to writing full time.

Flyaway (1978) is the first in his Max Stafford set of books. In this one. Paul Billson, a clerk in an engineering firm vanishes. This seems a minor matter to security consultant Max Stafford but when he is beaten up badly, he finds he needs to take this more seriously than he has been. Billson seems to have taken off for the Sahara where his father’s plane had crashed 40 years earlier in the London to Cape Town race. A recent newspaper report casts aspersions, alleging that Billson’s father had deliberately set up an insurance scam. Billson’s goal is to find the plane and prove his father innocent. But there is someone who wants him not to find the plane!

This sounds a pretty exciting adventure-thriller story, especially as its setting involves an air race and the Sahara desert as its setting. Bagley spent a lot of time in Africa, and worked in the aviation sector so am sure these figured into the setting and will provide some interesting background. I have previous enjoyed books involving pilots and air travel (in the earlier part of the twentieth century, though) and they did turn out quite enjoyable, something I am expecting from this book as well.

Have you read anything by Bagley before? Which book/s and how did you like it? From its description, would you like to read this one? Looking forward to your thoughts!

Cover image, book and author info from Goodreads

Lisa’s pick this week is Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen, about a time traveller stranded in 1990s San Francisco where he has built a new life, but then a rescue team arrives!

12 thoughts on “Shelf Control #168: Flyaway by Desmond Bagley

  1. It is years since I read this one but I enjoyed it at the time. It’s a pretty straightforward adventure in the Alistair McLean style. Quick and easy read. I used to like his thrillers, maybe I should read one again….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As he is to me; his books as also those of Hammond Innes, Helen MacInnes, and Alistair MacLean were always on my parents shelves. I plan to try all (I have read one Helen MacInnes and an Alistair MacLean so far).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently read Domino Island and thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s a good old-fashioned thriller style with proper goodies and baddies, and the female characters were rather better written than in a lot of thrillers from this era. He’s on my list to read more, so that’s a recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

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