I am a huge James Bond fan. Was a big fan of the books not long after I was introduced to Dr. No as a kid. Ian Fleming wasn’t the greatest author in the world, but his world was so vivid that I didn’t really care. I devoured all of the novels I could find and eventually read all of the originals from Casino Royale to The Man with the Golden Gun.
So when I saw that another author had picked up the mantle, I was interested. Sebastian Faulks is not an author I’m familiar with, but when I saw that he was picking up where Ian Fleming left off… I was intrigued.
Faulks is not the first author to pick up Fleming’s world. John Gardner between 1981 and 1996 wrote fourteen James Bond novels. I think I read the first four or five before losing interest. By that point, the movies had started to lose their steam. And I never read any of Raymond Benson‘s novels when he picked up where Gardner left off.
This book is set during the Cold War. It travels around the world, from London, to Paris, to Tehran and Cold War Russia. It doesn’t fail anything on the Cold War travel docket. Faulks chose not to update the character, but rather to keep it in line with the original Fleming novels.
And this book doesn’t fail to impress. It was a heck of a quick read. I polished it off in about 4 sittings. At 278 pages, it went fast.
I’ll provide the Amazon summary here:
“Devil May Care is a masterful continuation of the James Bond legacy–an electrifying new chapter in the life of the most iconic spy of literature and film, written to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth on May 28, 1908.
An Algerian drug runner is savagely executed in the desolate outskirts of Paris. This seemingly isolated event leads to the recall of Agent 007 from his sabbatical in Rome and his return to the world of intrigue and danger where he is most at home. The head of MI6, M, assigns him to shadow the mysterious Dr. Julius Gorner, a power-crazed pharmaceutical magnate, whose wealth is exceeded only by his greed. Gorner has lately taken a disquieting interest in opiate derivatives, both legal and illegal, and this urgently bears looking into.
Bond finds a willing accomplice in the shape of a glamorous Parisian named Scarlett Papava. He will need her help in a life-and-death struggle with his most dangerous adversary yet, as a chain of events threaten to lead to global catastrophe. A British airliner goes missing over Iraq. The thunder of a coming war echoes in the Middle East. And a tide of lethal narcotics threatens to engulf a Great Britain in the throes of the social upheavals of the late sixties.
Picking up where Fleming left off, Sebastian Faulks takes Bond back to the height of the Cold War in a story of almost unbearable pace and tension. Devil May Care not only captures the very essence of Fleming’s original novels but also shows Bond facing dangers with a powerful relevance to our own times.”
This sums it up nicely. If you’re interested in Bond — Classic Bond or otherwise — this book is for you. An enthusiastic 4/4 for this book.
What are you reading?