The criminal conspiracy called the Union has vowed its revenge on the man who thwarted its last coup - James Bond. As the Union's mysterious leader sets out to destroy Bond's reputation and sanity, 007 edges closer to the truth about their elaborate plan to destroy both SIS and its best agent.
Benson (The Facts of Death), a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation and chief litterateur/preservationist of the 007 tradition, delivers his seventh volume of James Bond fiction. Mobilizing a cold-blooded hit man surgically restructured to be the British superspy's double, a worldwide organization of terrorists known as the Union conspires to assassinate the governor of Gibraltar and the British and Spanish prime ministers at a summit meeting to settle rioting and political unrest over the control of the Rock. The plan is to let the real Bond take the blame--and kill him off in the resulting mayhem. Bond himself--suffering disabling headaches and sporadic amnesia from a head injury incurred in the Himalayas--finds a message in a fortune cookie: Meeting your double means certain death. Bond ignores his boss M's orders to take medical leave and, intent on exacting revenge on the Union for the death of his personal assistant, Helena, undertakes a mission to bring her killers to a final reckoning. Following a sensual encounter with his beautiful physician, 007 blacks out and wakes to find her brutally murdered. The trail leads to Tangier, where a fellow agent is killed helping Bond scout the Union stronghold in the Rif mountains. On a train to Casablanca, 007 meets a pair of beautiful blonde identical twins who turn out to be CIA agents assigned to escort him back to London. He prevails on them to plead his case with M, and they join his quest to discover the purpose and identity of the imposter Bond and to settle the score with the Union. Benson's faithful manipulation of Fleming's boilerplate formula will have Bond fans cheering as 007 and the sexy twins race to save the day on Gibraltar, then demurely retire to a king-size bed.