Saturday, August 4, 2018

Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz

As soon as I heard this was available, I ordered my copy from Amazon UK. I had no intention of waiting for the New York publishing industry to wake up. The book won’t be released here in the US until November. Amazon shipping has eliminated the need for involvement by US publishers for titles by British authors. The book arrived within a week and I read it nearly on the spot. Horowitz previously published Trigger Mortis, his first James Bond novel, and I loved that, and I loved his Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk. That’s right, for those of you unfamiliar with this author, Anthony Horowitz has written a modern classic Sherlock Holmes novel and a James Bond novel. And now he turns in another James Bond novel that is among the best of all Bond tales. Forever and a Day is the equal of any James Bond novel by any author, including Ian Fleming, Bond’s creator. This is a great book. However, if you’re not already a fan of Ian Fleming’s Bond novels, then skip it. This is the true literary James Bond, and not the film character. Once again using unpublished material by Ian Fleming, Forever and a Day is a well-crafted, tight thriller. A prequel to Casino Royale, the first Bond novel, we learn how Bond acquired his 007 designation. No spoilers here, but the various ingredients, including the title’s importance, an over-the-top villain named Scipio, an alluring femme fatale named Sixtine, all move toward the inexorable and brutal conclusion. There have been many, many Bond novels by various authors since Fleming’s death, especially by John Gardner and Raymond Benson, and while I have enjoyed them, Anthony Horowitz has turned in a game changer with Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day. There is consistency here, and above all else an abiding respect and understanding of the character. My fingers are crossed that Horowitz will write another one.

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