James Bond as you've never sen him before...in the smashing new thriller and #1 international bestseller from Jeffrey Deaver.
A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper—plans for a devastating attack:
Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.
James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan War, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6, and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary.
And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission...
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of more than forty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, which is currently being adapted for television by NBC.
He's received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world, including Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers and the Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association in the United Kingdom. In 2014, he was the recipient of three lifetime achievement awards. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.
Date of Birth:May 6, 1950
Place of Birth:Chicago, Illinois
Education:B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
Read an Excerpt
The Red Danube
His hand on the dead-man throttle, the driver of the Serbian Rail diesel felt the thrill he always did on this particular stretch of railway, heading north from Belgrade and approaching Novi Sad.
This was the route of the famed Arlberg Orient Express, which ran from Greece through Belgrade and points north from the 1930s until the 1960s. Of course, he was not piloting a glistening Pacific 231 steam locomotive towing elegant mahogany-and-brass dining cars, suites and sleepers, where passengers floated upon vapors of luxury and anticipation. He commanded a battered old thing from America that tugged behind it a string of more or less dependable rolling stock packed snugly with mundane cargo.
But still he felt the thrill of history in every vista that the journey offered, especially as they approached the river, his river.
And yet he was ill at ease.
Among the wagons bound for Budapest, containing coal, scrap metal, consumer products and timber, there was one that worried him greatly. It was loaded with drums of MIC — methyl isocyanate — to be used in Hungary in the manufacture of rubber.
The driver — a round, balding man in a well-worn cap and stained overalls — had been briefed at length about this deadly chemical by his supervisor and some idiot from the Serbian Safety and Well-being Transportation Oversight Ministry. Some years ago this substance had killed eight thousand people in Bhopal, India, within a few days of leaking from a manufacturing plant there.
He'd acknowledged the danger his cargo presented but, a veteran railway man and union member, he'd asked, "What does that mean for the journey to Budapest . . . specifically?"
The boss and the bureaucrat had regarded each other with the eyes of officialdom and, after a pause, settled for "Just be very careful."
The lights of Novi Sad, Serbia's second-largest city, began to coalesce in the distance, and ahead in the encroaching evening the Danube appeared as a pale stripe. In history and in music the river was celebrated. In reality it was brown, undramatic and home to barges and tankers, not candlelit vessels filled with lovers and Viennese orchestras — or not here, at least. Still, it was the Danube, an icon of Balkan pride, and the railway man's chest always swelled as he took his train over the bridge.
His river . . .
He peered through the speckled windscreen and inspected the track before him in the headlight of the General Electric diesel. Nothing to be concerned about.
There were eight notch positions on the throttle, number one being the lowest. He was presently at five and he eased back to three to slow the train as it entered a series of turns. The 4,000-horsepower engine grew softer as it cut back the voltage to the traction motors.
As the cars entered the straight section to the bridge the driver shifted up to notch five again and then six. The engine pulsed louder and faster and there came a series of sharp clangs from behind. The sound was, the driver knew, simply the couplings between wagons protesting at the change in speed, a minor cacophony he'd heard a thousand times in his job. But his imagination told him the noise was the metal containers of the deadly chemical in car number three, jostling against one another, at risk of spewing forth their poison.
Nonsense, he told himself and concentrated on keeping the speed steady. Then, for no reason at all, except that it made him feel better, he tugged at the air horn.
Lying at the top of a hill, surrounded by obscuring grass, a man of serious face and hunter's demeanor heard the wail of a horn in the distance, miles away. A glance told him that the sound had come from the train approaching from the south. It would arrive here in ten or fifteen minutes. He wondered how it might affect the precarious operation that was about to unfurl.
Shifting position slightly, he studied the diesel locomotive and the lengthy string of wagons behind it through his night-vision monocular.
Judging that the train was of no consequence to himself and his plans, James Bond turned the scope back to the restaurant of the spa and hotel and once again regarded his target through the window. The weathered building was large, yellow stucco with brown trim. Apparently it was a favorite with the locals, from the number of Zastava and Fiat saloons in the car park.
It was eight forty and the Sunday evening was clear here, near Novi Sad, where the Pannonian Plain rose to a landscape that the Serbs called "mountainous," though Bond guessed the adjective must have been chosen to attract tourists; the rises were mere hills to him, an avid skier. The May air was dry and cool, the surroundings as quiet as an undertaker's chapel of rest.
Bond shifted position again. In his thirties, he was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. His black hair was parted on one side and a comma of loose strands fell over one eye. A three-inch scar ran down his right cheek.
This evening he'd taken some care with his outfit. He was wearing a dark green jacket and rainproof trousers from the American company 5.11, which made the best tactical clothing on the market. On his feet were well-worn leather boots that had been made for pursuit and sure footing in a fight.
As night descended, the lights to the north glowed more intensely: the old city of Novi Sad. As lively and charming as it was now, Bond knew the place had a dark past. After the Hungarians had slaughtered thousands of its citizens in January 1942 and flung the bodies into the icy Danube, Novi Sad had become a crucible for partisan resistance. Bond was here tonight to prevent another horror, different in nature but of equal or worse magnitude.
Yesterday, Saturday, an alert had rippled through the British intelligence community. GCHQ, in Cheltenham, had decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack later in the week.
meeting at noah's office, confirm incident friday night, 20th, estimated initial casualties in the thousands, british interests adversely affected, funds transfers as discussed.
Not long after, the government eavesdroppers had also cracked part of a second text message, sent from the same phone, same encryption algorithm, but to a different number.
meet me sunday at restaurant rostilj outside novi sad, 20:00. i am 6+ feet tall, irish accent.
Then the Irishman — who'd courteously, if inadvertently, supplied his own nickname — had destroyed the phone or flicked out the batteries, as had his co-conspirator Noah and the other text recipient.
In London the Joint Intelligence Committee and members of COBRA, the crisis management body, met into the night to assess the risk of Incident 20, so called because of Friday's date.
There was no solid information on the origin or nature of the threat but MI6 was of the opinion that it was coming out of the tribal regions in Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda and its affiliates had taken to hiring Western operatives in European countries. Six's agents in Kabul began a major effort to learn more. The Serbian connection had to be pursued, too. And so at ten o'clock last night the rangy tentacles of these events had reached out and clutched Bond, who'd been sitting in an exclusive restaurant off Charing Cross Road with a beautiful woman, whose lengthy description of her life as an underappreciated painter had grown tiresome. The message on Bond's mobile had read, NIACT, Call COS.
The Night Action alert meant an immediate response was required, at whatever time it was received. The call to his chief of staff had blessedly cut the date short and soon he had been en route to Serbia, under a Level 2 project order, authorizing him to identify the Irishman, plant trackers and other surveillance devices and follow him. If that proved impossible, the order authorized Bond to conduct an extraordinary rendition of the Irishman and spirit him back to England or to a black site on the Continent for interrogation.
So now Bond lay among white narcissi, taking care to avoid the leaves of that beautiful but poisonous spring flower. He concentrated on peering through the Restoran Roštilj's front window, on the other side of which the Irishman was sitting over an almost untouched plate and talking to his partner, as yet unidentified but Slavic in appearance. Perhaps because he was nervous, the local contact had parked elsewhere and walked here, providing no number-plate to scan.
The Irishman had not been so timid. His low-end Mercedes had arrived forty minutes ago. Its plate had revealed that the vehicle had been hired today for cash under a false name, with a fake British driving license and passport. The man was about Bond's age, perhaps a bit older, six foot two and lean. He'd walked into the restaurant in an ungainly way, his feet turned out. An odd line of blond fringe dipped over a high forehead and his cheekbones angled down to a square-cut chin.
Bond was satisfied that this man was the target. Two hours ago he had gone into the restaurant for a cup of coffee and stuck a listening device inside the front door. A man had arrived at the appointed time and spoken to the headwaiter in English — slowly and loudly, as foreigners often do when talking to locals. To Bond, listening through an app on his phone from thirty yards away, the accent was clearly mid-Ulster — most likely Belfast or the surrounding area. Unfortunately the meeting between the Irishman and his local contact was taking place out of the bug's range.
Through the tunnel of his monocular, Bond now studied his adversary, taking note of every detail — "Small clues save you. Small errors kill," as the instructors at Fort Monckton were wont to remind. He noted that the Irishman's manner was precise and that he made no unnecessary gestures. When the partner drew a diagram the Irishman moved it closer with the rubber of a propelling pencil so that he left no fingerprints. He sat with his back to the window and in front of his partner; the surveillance apps on Bond's mobile could not read either set of lips. Once, the Irishman turned quickly, looking outside, as if triggered by a sixth sense. The pale eyes were devoid of expression. After some time he turned back to the food that apparently didn't interest him.
The meal now seemed to be winding down. Bond eased off the hillock and made his way through widely spaced spruce and pine trees and anemic undergrowth, with clusters of the ubiquitous white flowers. He passed a faded sign in Serbian, French and English that had amused him when he'd arrived:
SPA AND RESTAURANT
ROŠTILJ LOCATED IN A DECLARED THERAPEUTIC REGION, AND IS RECOMMENDED BY ALL FOR CONVALESCENCES AFTER SURGERIES, ESPECIALLY HELPING FOR ACUTE AND CHRONIC DISEASES OF RESPIRATION ORGANS, AND ANEMIA. FULL BAR.
He returned to the staging area, behind a decrepit garden shed that smelled of engine oil, petrol and piss, near the driveway to the restaurant. His two "comrades," as he thought of them, were waiting here.
James Bond preferred to operate alone but the plan he'd devised required two local agents. They were with the BIA, the Serbian Security Information Agency, as benign a name for a spy outfit as one could imagine. The men, however, were under cover in the uniform of local police from Novi Sad, sporting the golden badge of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Faces squat, heads round, perpetually unsmiling, they wore their hair close-cropped beneath navy blue brimmed caps. Their woolen uniforms were the same shade. One was around forty, the other twenty-five. Despite their cover roles as rural officers, they'd come girded for battle. They carried heavy Beretta pistols and swaths of ammunition. In the backseat of their borrowed police car, a Volkswagen Jetta, there were two green-camouflaged Kalashnikov machine guns, an Uzi and a canvas bag of fragmentation hand grenades — serious ones, Swiss HG 85s.
Bond turned to the older agent but before he spoke he heard a fierce slapping from behind. His hand moving to his Walther PPS, he whirled round — to see the younger Serb ramming a pack of cigarettes into his palm, a ritual that Bond, a former smoker, had always found absurdly self-conscious and unnecessary.
What was the man thinking?
"Quiet," he whispered coldly. "And put those away. No smoking."
Perplexity sidled into the dark eyes. "My brother, he smokes all time he is out on operations. Looks more normal than not smoking in Serbia." On the drive here the young man had prattled on and on about his brother, a senior agent with the infamous JSO, technically a unit of the state secret service, though Bond knew it was really a black-ops paramilitary group. The young agent had let slip — probably intentionally, for he had said it with pride — that big brother had fought with Arkan's Tigers, a ruthless gang that had committed some of the worst atrocities in the fighting in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
"Maybe on the streets of Belgrade a cigarette won't be noticed," Bond muttered, "but this is a tactical operation. Put them away."
The agent slowly complied. He seemed about to say something to his partner, then thought better of it, perhaps recalling that Bond had a working knowledge of Serbo-Croatian.
Bond looked again into the restaurant and saw that the Irishman was laying some dinars on the metal tray — no traceable credit card, of course. The partner was pulling on a jacket.
"All right. It's time." Bond reiterated the plan. In the police car they would follow the Irishman's Mercedes out of the drive and along the road until he was a mile or so from the restaurant. The Serbian agents would then pull the car over, telling him it matched a vehicle used in a drug crime in Novi Sad. The Irishman would be asked politely to get out and would be handcuffed. His mobile phone, wallet and identity papers would be placed on the boot of the Mercedes and he'd be led aside and made to sit facing away from the car.
Meanwhile Bond would slip out of the backseat, photograph the documents, download what he could from the phone, look through laptops and luggage, then plant tracking devices.
By then the Irishman would have caught on that this was a shake-down and offered a suitable bribe. He'd be freed to go on his way.
If the local partner left the restaurant with him, they'd execute essentially the same plan with both men.
"Now, I'm ninety percent sure he'll believe you," Bond said. "But if not, and he engages, remember that under no circumstances is he to be killed. I need him alive. Aim to wound in the arm he favors, near the elbow, not the shoulder." Despite what one saw in the movies, a shoulder wound was usually as fatal as one to the abdomen or chest.
The Irishman now stepped outside, feet splayed. He looked around, pausing to study the area. Was anything different? he'd be thinking. New cars had arrived since they'd entered; was there anything significant about them? He apparently decided there was no threat and both men climbed into the Mercedes.
"It's the pair of them," Bond said. "Same plan."
The Irishman started the engine. The lights flashed on.
Bond oriented his hand on his Walther, snug in the D. M. Bullard leather pancake holster, and climbed into the backseat of the police car, noticing an empty tin on the floor. One of his comrades had enjoyed a Jelen Pivo, a Deer Beer, while Bond had been conducting surveillance. The insubordination bothered him less than the carelessness. The Irishman might grow suspicious when stopped by a cop with beer on his breath. Another man's ego and greed can be helpful, Bond believed, but incompetence is simply a useless and inexcusable danger.
The Serbs got into the front. The engine hummed to life. Bond tapped the earpiece of his SRAC, the short-range agent communication device used for cloaked radio transmissions on tactical operations. "Channel two," he reminded them.
"Da, da." The older man sounded bored. They both plugged in earpieces.
And James Bond asked himself yet again: Had he planned this properly? Despite the speed with which the operation had been put together, he'd spent hours formulating the tactics. He believed he'd anticipated every possible variation.
Except one, it appeared.
The Irishman did not do what he absolutely had to.
He didn't leave.
The Mercedes turned away from the drive and rolled out of the car park on to the lawn beside the restaurant, on the other side of a tall hedge, unseen by the staff and diners. It was heading for a weed-riddled field to the east.
The younger agent snapped, "Govno! What he is doing?" The three men stepped out to get a better view. The older one drew his gun and started after the car.
Bond waved him to a halt. "No! Wait."
"He's escaping. He knows about us!"
"No — it's something else." The Irishman wasn't driving as if he were being pursued. He was moving slowly, the Mercedes easing forward, like a boat in a gentle morning swell. Besides, there was no place to escape to. He was hemmed in by cliffs overlooking the Danube, the railway embankment and the forest on the Fruška Gora rise.
Bond watched as the Mercedes arrived at the rail track, a hundred yards from where they stood. It slowed, made a U-turn and parked, the bonnet facing back toward the restaurant. It was close to a railway work shed and switch rails, where a second track peeled off from the main line. Both men climbed out and the Irishman collected something from the boot.
Your enemy's purpose will dictate your response — Bond silently recited another maxim from the lectures at Fort Monckton's Specialist Training Center in Gosport. You must find the adversary's intention.
But what was his purpose?
Bond pulled out the monocular again, clicked on the night vision and focused. The partner opened a panel mounted on a signal beside the switch rails and began fiddling with the components inside. Bond saw that the second track, leading off to the right, was a rusting, disused spur, ending in a barrier at the top of a hill.
So it was sabotage. They were going to derail the train by shunting it on to the spur. The cars would tumble down the hill into a stream that flowed into the Danube.
Bond turned the monocular toward the diesel engine and the wagons behind it and saw the answer. The first two cars contained only scrap metal but behind them, a canvas-covered flatbed was marked OPASNOST-DANGER! He saw, too, a hazardous-materials diamond, the universal warning sign that told emergency rescuers the risks of a particular shipment. Alarmingly, this diamond had high numbers for all three categories: health, instability and inflammability. The W at the bottom meant that the substance would react dangerously with water. Whatever was being carried in that car was in the deadliest category, short of nuclear materials.
The train was now three-quarters of a mile away from the switch rails, picking up speed to make the gradient to the bridge.
Your enemy's purpose will dictate your response. . . .
He didn't know how the sabotage related to Incident 20, if at all, but their immediate goal was clear — as was the response Bond now instinctively formulated. He said to the comrades, "If they try to leave, block them at the drive and take them. No lethal force."
He leaped into the driver's seat of the Jetta. He pointed the car toward the fields where he'd been conducting surveillance and jammed down the accelerator as he released the clutch. The light car shot forward, engine and gearbox crying out at the rough treatment, as it crashed over brush, saplings, narcissus and the raspberry bushes that grew everywhere in Serbia. Dogs fled and lights in the tiny cottages nearby flicked on. Residents in their gardens waved their arms angrily in protest.
Bond ignored them and concentrated on maintaining his speed as he drove toward his destination, guided only by scant illumination: a partial moon above and the doomed train's headlight, far brighter and rounder than the lamp of heaven.
© 2011 All Rights Reserved
Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche will be released in the USA on June 14.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9/11 changed the world as international terrorist groups focused on civilian targets. The Bush Doctrine based on the premise of taking the global war on terrorism to the enemy led to the Afghanistan war in which agents like thirtyish 007 James Bond operated. However, Great Britain understood the Cold War agencies like M15, M16 and MOD remain critical, but not set up to deal with non-nation terrorism. Thus a new agency Overseas Development Group was created to take the war to the enemy using any technique necessary. Government Communications Headquarters cryptographers decode electronic messages that affirm a major attack planned for sometime this week with thousands expected dead. M16 feels the center of the threat is in Afghanistan. A Night Alert assigns Agent 007 Carte Blanche to save lives. Bond knows the key immediate enemy needing rendition or death is the brilliant operational expert The Irishman, but stopping him will only delay the assault. As time runs out, 007 focuses on the Irishman, but also knows he needs to capture the money behind the pending attack. However, Severan Hydt has numerous refuse layers to protect him as he seeks international decay. Avoiding the Fleming lite of recent Bond novels, Jeffery Deaver reinvents 007 in a contemporary world in which the Cold War is history. However, though Bond is modernized, trademark elements that denote the character and the espionage thrillers he starred on remain. Mr. Deaver includes the Bond girls with inane names (though the hero is more sensitive to their needs), the wheels, the drink, but he gave up smoking, the over the top of Big Ben villains, and Carte Blanch license to kill. However, as with the originals, it is the countdown suspense that makes Mr. Deaver's Bond a wonderful heir apparent to Mr. Fleming's Bond (except for purist Boomers who will say no to any doctoring). Harriet Klausner
However, still a Bond she will love. I only write reviews for books that really suck me in and Jeffrey Deaver has done it. This is still the sexy, thrilling, suave Bond with a twist of modern in his license to kill. I'd recommend this to any fan of 007 or just suspense lovers like me.
After a few tries, finally the James Bond people got this right. Ian Fleming Publications asked Jeffrey Deaver, a very accomplished action-adventure/suspense writer to take on this new novel, Carte Blanche. Mr. Deaver, a master of suspense has written one of the best (since Fleming) 007 adventures that will keep readers on the edge of their chairs. It's a masterful adaptation of the 007 persona. The book balances the tradition of Bond (very debonair, suave and a real ladie's man) bringing him into a new era. Gone is the Commander who met the Nazis face to face and all the weird folks who peopled the former Bond books. In this book, our James is a former Royal Naval Reserve Officer who has recently joined the Overseas Development Group (no more Universal Exports), a covert unit of British Security. James still has a boss named "M"; Miss Moneypenny is front and center; James drives a top-of-the-line Bentley, which, by the way, was written into many Fleming Bond stories; Mary Goodnight, secretary to the 00 section; Felix Leiter, old CIA pal and others who readers will recognize. Also, of course the license to kill which is now called Carte Blanche... Great villians, in this case, Niall Dunne, "The Irishman," the ultimate bad guy and his boss, Severan Hydt, the owner of Green Way International, a waste disposal corporation who is obsessed with death and wants to detonate an extremely dangerous weapon of mass distruction in a British University. James Bond, in this volume is a veteran of Afghanistan. Also, he is much more of a team player than he once was. Despite some run-ins with Percy Osborne-Smith, a MI5 agent, he has become somewhat sensitive, which was not a quality enjoyed by the previous Bond. Still, the hard-nosed Bond remains, but it's a different world than it was in 1953, and the women in Carte Blanche are pretty much equal to the men. There's Ophelia Maidenstone, a coworker at ODG, who, besides being very beautiful, is indispensible abd, without her, Bond would be dead in the water. When romance begins to bloom between them, she stays in Bond's mind so much that after a night with another beauty, Bond actually feels guilty. Which was definitely NOT one of his traits in past books. This is very unlike the old James but, it's true to the Bond stories as it's just as exciting and full of danger as were the earlier books. This author really leaves you wanting more Bond adventures. This novel will hold readers interests going into plots and sub-plots about Bond's life and readers will be looking forward to the next Bond installment. Hopefully, to be carried out by Jeffrey Deaver. Quill Says: Jeffrey Deaver, the latest author asked to write a James Bond 007 opus, is a wonderful choice. He remains true to the old Bond, including fast cars and women and also really nasty bad guys. But, has been able to bring James into the 21st century with a bang instead of a whimper.
Jeffery Deaver impresses me as a writer who researches deeply into his subjects, and that makes for an enjoyable read. There are enough twists to keep things interesting (let's face it, Bond always wins...), and enough detail to make the charactors believable. If you like action adventure, than this book is for you.
I thoroughly enjoyed this 007 novel. It introduces a James Bond young enough to fit in with the modern age, who uses an iPhone and gives insight into his family history (spying, it seems runs in the family). The physical description of 007 is closer to Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton than Daniel Craig, and the story is well-written and thought up. I sincerely hope that Mr. Deaver decided to write more 007 novels, because if he does we will have a completely new and revamped Bond whose further adventures are highly anticipated. Praise to you, Mr. Deaver...I LOVE BOND!
Overall, I really liked this novel but it never entirely felt like a true James Bond novel to me. In the best Bond novels it seems like only James Bond could star in them. In this one I felt you could put Jason Bourne or Harry Palmer in it and still get the same atmosphere in the story. The updating of Bond was jarring at first but made sense once I thought about it. There were also plenty of surprises even though there were times I don't think he played fair with the reader. Bottom line: a great first Bond novel that makes you want to read the next one Deaver will come out with.
Intriguing and entertaining! Everything you have come to expect from Bond done with the finesse and intelligence of Deaver! Bravo!
Absolutely loved this novel. You can tell from the detail of the writing that Mr. Deaver and his team spent exhaustive hours researching to deliver a spectacularly authentic story!
I loved Deavers take on James Bond. I am happy he brought him into this century. This allowed for a more believable Bond... However, Deaver has done away with the dark and cruel Bond and has created a James Bond who might look better as window dressing in store front. I miss the Bond who kills but finds away to taunt he bad guy with a self-assured wit. Having said that, I had alot of fun reading this. Deaver hit all the right superficial notes but missed some of the character depth that should go into making a literary 007.
Very fluid and modern well woven tale with the right amount of old Ian Fleming's style and flair. Mr. Deaver carries the legacy well with his version of James Bond. Love the similar flow of the story and the interaction with M and chief of staff, Tanner. Q branch normal complains and the locations were great to read about. This could be well translated in to a screen play and the next James Bond movie
I have read and enjoyed most of Jeffery Deaver's books. And I had read and seen all of Ian Fleming's James Bond stories. So I was anxious to read this as well. He does Ian proud !
I must agree with Pathodessa's assessment: didn't grab my interest and though I love Jeffery Deaver books and buy them as soon as they come out, this just didn't do it for me. Though I also loved James Bond books, this wasn't enough like James Bond or enough like Jeffery Deaver....hence: disappointing.
And yet another difficult book to review. As any of my followers know, I'm a huge James Bond fan. So, I tend to really like James Bond books but I also expect a lot from James Bond books. With Carte Blanche, Deaver has "rebooted" the Bond series (much as Daniel Craig's Casino Royale did). While one or two elements seemed a bit off, all-in-all, I liked the way Deaver moved Bond into the post-9/11 (and 4/11) 21st Century, in particular the way new technology was both utilized and relied upon. It's hard to think of Ian Fleming's James Bond using an iPhone, but to Deaver's Bond, that device is just part of the standard operating kit. As a story, Carte Blanche brought some fresh ideas to the Bond canon, including an interesting villain that had some of the traditional quirkyness of a Fleming villain, but without going off into the ridiculous. The motivations of another important character were also left murky until the conclusion in a way that offered the reader a bit of surprise. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the violent and morose elements of Bond's character, but his living in the high life was on wonderful display. Hopefully, Deaver will return to Bond before too long.
No reasonable reader expects high quality literature in a Bond novel, and this isn't. It is fun - the plot is better than most, and the characters are off-beat. The author was apparently charged to 'update' Bond, leading to some jarring changes in core character details - this Bond is in his early thirties in 2011, and displays a greater degree of empathy towards (some) women. There's just no way this Bond can live in the same universe as the canonical Bond. The dialogue seems modeled on the Roger Moore version of the character -- witty and irreverent -- but it often falls amusingly flat. For example, a beautiful flight attendant on a private jet accidentally wakes Bond when she opens a bottle of Dom Perignon near him. She apologizes, he forgives, adding, "and don't worry. My second favorite way to wake up is to the sound of champagne opening." Even without a leer, that's just smarmy. Part of the updating involves a new signature cocktail, which Bond orders (and consistently claims to have invented) even when he's under deep cover, which seems remarkably inept, though it may simply be de rigeur for an international man of mystery. Brand names of cars, men's clothing, and alcohol are ubiquitous in the novel, as are potted descriptions and color details of the exotic locations Bond visits. It's a little hard to tell if the author traveled to them in person or just used Google Earth and Wikipedia - I suspect the latter -- but the story bludgeons the reader with its authenticity. Still, I didn't put it down halfway through, so for a Bond novel, it was great.
Very disappointing. After all the hype I expected so much more than a basic plot for the ongoing film series. To be honest only Kingsley Amis' attempt is any good...always difficult to carry on a much-loved character. Still better than Sebastian Faulks' attempt.
James Bond, the movie star, might be shelved for unforeseeable future, but he lives again in literature. No, Zombie Ian Fleming didn't crack out a posthumous volume. Veteran suspense writer Jeffery Deaver takes up the mantle with another tail featuring our favorite secret agent.Bond movies are pretty formulaic, and Deaver's book follows suit. Smart, powerful villains, impossible situations, and goofy gadgets are all here. This James Bond seems based on the hardened, terse Daniel Craig version. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, we find out a little more about his past, particularly his parents. This is the sort of content you just won't get in a movie -- it doesn't really promote the action, but it does flesh out the character.Also to the formula the book ends with an unexpected twist. Is a twist unexpected if you expect it to be there? Hmm. In any case, Deaver executes it in style, and the book had a satisfying, entertaining end.
The Good Stuff * This is my first James Bond book ever and I was seriously impressed. I love spy movies but have never been a fan of spy books, usually way too much detail and bored with all the spy stuff. But this was fabulous * Fast paced plot with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing * The right blend of action and intrigue for both the spy novel fan and those who usually are not keen on this sort of thing * Stays true to the James Bond mythology but at the same time brings him into the modern age. Done without losing what makes you love Bond, fabulous cars, great gadgets, excitement and hot bond girls * Great character names * After reading this I am off to pick up some more Jeffery Deaver books, I really enjoy the way he writes * Lots of intrigue and on the edge of your seat scenes - sort of like watching a Bond flick * Writes a good Bond, sort of pictured him as a mix of Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton with a little bit of Connery thrown in - would totally want to wake up in bed with him * Nicely multicultural and not as misogynistic * Interesting back history on James Bond's parentsThe Not so Good Stuff * M is a man -- I know historically he has been a Man, but I have loved that in the movies M is now a women * Some boring spy descriptions -- now for true spy novel fans this point should go in above section, but hey I am being honest about MY particular enjoyment of the bookFavorite Quotes/Passages"He shaved with a heavy, double-bladed safety razor, its handle of light buffalo horn. He used this fine accessory not because it was greener to the environment than the plastic disposables that most men employed but simply because it gave a better shave - and required some skill to wield; James Bond found comfort even in small challenges.""Evil, James Bond had learned, can be tirelessly patient.""And don't worry. My second favorite way to wake up is to the sound of champagne opening."She responded to this with a subtle smile."Who should/shouldn't read * Perfect for James Bond purists and those new to the genre * Great for fans of intrigue and spy stories4 Dewey's My Blog Post from the Jeffery Deaver signingI received this from Bookalicious at the Yummy Mummy Club. Plus I bought my own copy to be signed for my hubby and me
I've always loved the Bond films, even the corny ones with Roger Moore, but I'd never gotten excited about the Ian Fleming books. So, not being much of a spy novel fan in general, I was surprised how good this book was. Sure Deaver has to include a few Bond trademarks, but I like how he wove them in to prevent a cliche. The book feels fully modern the way the Daniel Craig movies have. I look forward to reading other books by Jeffery Deaver.
This was a very enjoyable book. I gave it an 4star rating and it is almost there for me. I have been reading Jeffrey Deaver's for quite some time but have been disappointed with his last few books. Reading `Carte Blanche,¿ with 007James Bond as the hero, I feel as if Deaver may have come back to his previous style and high quality of writing. ¿Carte Blanche¿ is a completely modern thriller based upon today¿s world concerns of personal and financial safety and privacy. This is a hot topic and plays into an `age-old¿ fear of governmental intervention or big brother, except in this book, the villains are simply a number of unscrupulous and twisted individuals (men and women) whose love of money, power and strange personal eccentricities drive them to extreme acts of evil. The primary villain Severan Hydt is well developed evil character whose facade of passionate and committed businessman makes me glad that I don¿t have to meet him in any context. I will be able to see his long yellow fingernails that caused such revulsion in Bond, to be a picture in my mind for some time. The topic of data mining through a massive recycling and garbage collection business could cause us to feel as if we must smash old laptops, then shred, burn and pour water on our discarded personal documents and never place anything important on any other type of technological tool, email or social media again. I may think twice whenever I see a big green truck rolling down my street in the early hours of the morning. James Bond is still living a fast paced, edge of the seat dangerous lifestyle with his usual fast cars, fine wines and brilliant, powerful, beautiful women as partners and foes. The personalization of Bond by bringing in his own private questions and fears about his parents and his past was a surprising good sub plot which I felt added depth to Bond¿s character. This was a very good book and I will again look forward again to the next Jeffrey Deaver book.
Quick reading. Enjoyable.
An okay read but very slow. Lost interest a few times. Sorry.
As all the other Bond books I've read, I did not want to put this one down. Mr. Deaver has done an excellent job of carrying on the Fleming legacy. If you are a Bond fan, I think you will love this book. If you're not, you may become one after reading this. It is a great action filled adventure whether you love Bond or not.
Not nearly as good as Ian Fleming's "Bond, James Bond!"....too much technical stuff and not enough good action. Don't go out of your way to read this one.