On My Shelves – High Citadel by Desmond Bagley

On My Shelves is a new thread I’m adding to this blog, where I’m going to work my way through my older books and share some love for the stories that have been out there for a while.


When Tim O’Hara’s plane is hijacked and forced to crash land in the middle of the Andes, his troubles are only beginning. A heavily armed group of communist soldiers intent on killing one of his passengers – an influential political figure – have orders to leave no survivors. Isolated in the biting cold of the Andes, O’Hara’s party must fight for their lives with only the most primitive weapons…


I first read this when I was 17 or 18, I borrowed it from a library, Kent Library Service. Not my local library, which was in the same area, but one from the next town over.  I enjoyed it so much I borrowed it several times, causing my sister to ask it all the books from that library were covered in the same way. In other words, I loved this book.

The copy I now own is old (a full paperback priced at £1.25) it’s falling apart, the last page has totally detached from the rest of the book – I still have it though. Just checked, this edition (which has the cover showed above) was printed in 1981.

It is still however, a very readable and enjoyable book.  What’s really nice about it, though the technology has moved on massively since the book was first written, the situation that the characters are put in wouldn’t be any different today.  Well not unless one of them had a Breitling Emergency watch (look it up, it’s got PLB).

The situation really shows the personalities of each of the characters in very different ways, and though it is a far from ideal situation, they are all under a huge amount of stress, they have to work together as a team if any of them are to get off the mountain alive.

Now I admit that I may well be bias by my early impressions of this book, but this was a great read, so well worth giving a shot if you’re into old style action and adventure.

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