Tuesday, July 12, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: Carte Blanche
Author: Jeffrey Deaver
Publisher: H&S Fiction
Release Date: June 2011
James Bond returns in a contemporary new thriller by Number One bestselling author Jeffery Deaver
'The face of war is changing. The other side doesn't play by the rules much any more. There's thinking, in some circles, that we need to play by a different set of rules too . . .'
Fresh from Afghanistan, James Bond has been recruited to a new agency. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of Five, Six and the MoD, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary.
The Night Action alert calls Bond from dinner with a beautiful woman. GCHQ has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.
And 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfil his mission.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffery Deaver is the creator of Lincoln Rhyme, and the author of 26 internationally bestselling thrillers. He lives in North Carolina and California.
The Coffin Dancer, The Stone Monkey, The Vanished Man, The Empty Chair, Garden of Beasts, The Twelfth Card, The Cold Moon, The Sleeping Doll, Twisted, More Twisted, The Broken Window, The Bodies Left Behind, Roadside Crosses, The Burning Wire, Edge, Carte Blanche.
I love how popular characters and novels are being revived by new authors after the original author has passed on, such as the Jason Bourne series and now the James Bond series. Carte Blanche has written the latest book in the Bond series, written by popular author Jeffery Deaver. Deaver, an international bestselling thriller author, has embraced the assignment full throttle and delivered a terrific James Bond novel that respects all the franchise elements, girls, guns, cars, locales but is also very much "a Jeffrey Deaver novel." Deaver has not only created a book that, moves James Bond into the 21st century, but he's also produced a thoroughly modern thriller that I think would sit comfortably among his other bestsellers even if the main character wasn't named James Bond.
Deaver's pacing is superb with short chapters like James Patterson, his choice of locations are original and all new to the Bond universe, and his action set-pieces have just the right Bondian flair without going overboard. But what makes Carte Blanche so strong apart from the pacing and evocative prose is Deaver's pantheon of fully developed supporting characters. His three Bond Girls are each unique, compelling and sexy without being clichés. Bond's dinner with Ophelia Maidinstone. I found to be particularly enjoyable, with an edge of melancholy that recalls Fleming's Bond, who didn't always get the girl. Likewise, Bond's various partners in the intelligence agencies all have shading, complexities and subplots. And his main villain, Severan Hydt, is top notch and very much in the Bondian tradition of a bizarre obsessive. I've always felt the best Bond books are those in which 007 is increasingly immersed in the villain's world - a Heart of Darkness journey into danger, violence, and perverse revelations. This is very much the case in Carte Blanche.
I hope that Deaver writes another bond novel in the near future.