*THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*
A spy is dead. A legend is born. Read the explosive new James Bond thriller.
A British agent floats in the waters of the French Riviera, murdered by an unknown hand.
Determined to uncover the truth, James Bond enters a world of fast cars, grand casinos and luxury yachts. But beneath the glamour, he soon encounters a dangerous network of organised crime.
It’s time for Bond to earn his licence to kill. He must find those responsible and unravel their devastating plan – before he becomes their next victim…
The exhilarating prequel to Casino Royale
‘Exciting… 007 is back’ Daily Express
‘Evil villains, fast cars…and the story rips along’ Guardian
‘Tremendous fun… A first-class action writer’ Sunday Express
‘Horowitz excels at action sequences’ Sunday Times
Bestseller Horowitz boldly creates an origin story for 007 in his entertaining second James Bond pastiche (after 2015's Trigger Mortis), a prequel to Ian Fleming's Casino Royale (1953). The arresting opening sentence, "So, 007 is dead," refers to Bond's predecessor, whose body was found floating in the water off Marseilles, where he was investigating the activities of the Corsican underworld. M dispatches Bond, newly recruited to the Double-O section, to the South of France to track down the agent's killer. In his last radio transmission, the first 007 mentioned Sixtine, a mysterious independent operative, whom Bond makes a point of meeting at a casino. Sixtine leads him to Corsican mobster Jean-Paul Scipio, a classic Bond villain who's so obese that he can "pulverize his enemies using his own weight." A fine storyteller, Horowitz employs all the tropes fans know and love (including an elegant explanation for the famous martini mandate, "shaken, not stirred"), but he also delivers a conclusion whose moral complexity will surprise anyone expecting an ending more in line with Fleming's own. Bond aficionados will be well satisfied.
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Exciting and daring all the way