With the help of his latest companion Flicka von Grüsse, Bond goes after billionaire Sir Maxwell Tarn, who thinks he's the next Hitler. The global trail takes 007 to Puerto Rico via Spain, Israel and Germany.
Reviewed on 9th September 2023
John Gardner ups the continuity, as his time as Bond author draws towards a close. I definitely get the sense that it’s setting things up to wrap up, and doing so with the knowledge that the film series is about to change things up too.
Bond and Flicka (returning from the previous novel) are sent to investigate a suspiciously rich businessman, and tail him about the country then the world in what turns out to be the classic Bond plot.
I feel like Gardner is trying to channel Fleming more than usual here, and drops a bunch of references back to past missions and characters, as well as following a Fleming-like structure to the narrative.
I was disappointed by the ending, but I can’t say it’s out of character for a Bond novel, and I’m keen now to get onto reading Cold, Gardner’s final novel, which I remember sort of wrapping around Seafire in order to wrap up all the loose ends.