Publishers are always looking to refresh the backlist of authors and sell more copies. In the 70’s the beautiful painted book covers went out of fashion and photo covers came into vogue. The UK publisher Fontana had paperback rights to many of the well known thriller writers of the time like Desmond Bagley, Alastair Maclean, Hammond Innes, Helen MacInnes and Eric Ambler. I would imagine that if you’re a successful writer for awhile the occasional bad cover art comes with the territory but these covers in particular were very, very bad. Broken Covers is an occasional series looking at some of these crazy covers.
Helen MacInnes was among the bestselling spy novelists of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and also notable as one of the few female authors publishing in the genre. That didn’t spare her from some truly awful Fontana covers.