A number of authors have been asked to continue the official James Bond canon since Ian Fleming’s death in 1964 (this is quite astonishingly the 41st novel in the series), but Anthony Horowitz has proved to be one of the most adept and this, the third and final book he was commissioned to write by the Ian Fleming Estate, proves to be no exception. His first two tales found Bond at the beginning and in the middle of his career respectively – this final instalment finds him, perhaps reluctantly, approaching retirement, picking up the narrative from where the action in The Man With The Golden Gun (the final Fleming novel in the series) left off. Without spoiling the story, a seemingly revitalised Bond returns from Jamaica and is soon despatched on a mission behind the Iron Curtain to confront an old adversary – but is all really as it seems on the surface? Horowitz has again managed to faithfully echo Fleming’s inimitable style, while at the same time imbuing Bond with a new sense of moral ambiguity, questioning his loyalties and motivations in both the role he plays in MI6 and his place in the world he lives in, while simultaneously contemplating what the future might hold for an ageing secret agent. There is of course plenty of action along the way with lots of twists and turns in the cleverly constructed plot, and, need I say, a dramatic and somewhat ambivalent cliffhanger of an ending. A very enjoyable read that fits in perfectly with the style of the original novels – if you’re a 007 fan then you’ll certainly find lots to like in these pages, and as you are drawn further into the intricacies of the exciting plot it will soon become apparent that resistance is indeed futile!
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
A perfect summer read for committed Bond fans of course, but this is also a book the casual reader can happily pick up and enjoy.
One thing you’ve learned
I think the three Horowitz novels have overall been a great success – wisely he has chosen to keep Bond firmly in the sixties rather than trying to update him to the present day as Jeffrey Deaver rather unsuccessfully did – certainly the second novel, Forever and a Day, would make a great basis for a future film in the franchise, as indeed would this one.