Nobody Lives Forever
En Route to retrieve his faithful housekeeper, May, from a European health clinic where she is recovering from an illness, Bond is warned by the British Secret Service that Tamil Rahani, the current leader of SPECTRE, now dying from wounds suffered during his last encounter with Bond, has put a price on Bond's head.
Reviewed on 19th February 2013
John Gardner's fifth James Bond novel is the best of the series up to that point, much more reminiscent of the adventures written by Ian Fleming, in which Bond, holidaying in Europe, discovers that almost every assassin around is after him.
The character of Bond is much more to the fore in this novel, though not as much as in the originals, but the structure feels more familiar. The other characters are stronger than they have been, though it lacked the iconic enemies that Fleming was surprisingly good at making plausible.
In terms of the plot, there were a few moments where I thought it didn't work, with one particularly obvious twist visible right from the start, but otherwise it was strong enough to keep my attention throughout.
A good continuation story, and Gardner's best up to this point. I'm looking forward to continuing the series under his helmsmanship in the hope that things are on the up.