James Bond is a creation of Ian Fleming but Bond has outlived his creator. And there are other creative minds at work to take the fascinating character forward in the new century. Jeffery Deaver has written the latest Bond novel the Carte Blanche. He has written over 25 novels and sold more than 20 million books worldwide. He has been described as the most creative, skilled and intriguing thriller writer in the world. It was a challenge to his creative skills to produce what is essentially a Bond novel but make him more contemporary and relevant for the 21st century reader.
The first copies of Carte Blanche were unveiled in true Bond style at St Pancras International in London on Wednesday, May 25. Hodder & Stoughton have published the book by bestselling American thriller writer. The first copies were delivered with a dramatic display by the Royal Marines Commandos. To stress the point that it is a Bond novel, the stunning display involved abseiling, a fast car and a beautiful Bond girl on a motorbike. The author came to the Champagne Bar at St Pancras International in a red Bentley Continental GT flanked by a Bond girl clad in black leathers. Four members of the Royal Marines Display Team descended from the iconic roof of St Pancras International onto the concourse below, bearing copies of the novel.
The plot of the novel was kept a closely guarded secret till the official launch. Bond in this new novel is not very different from how Ian Fleming had conceived him. He is a former navy officer in his 30s who has seen frontline action in Afghanistan and was then recruited to a black-ops outfit called the “Overseas Development Group”. The plot keeps Bond running around Serbia, London and Cape Town trying to prevent an explosion going off somewhere. The villain in the new story is Severan Hydt who runs an international waste-disposal company. There is a taciturn Irishman named Niall Dunne who is the main enforcer for the villain. The new Bond is healthier and has given up smoking. He exercises for an hour everyday and is more sensitive than he was earlier. Ultimately Bond is a very important franchise to be given up just like that. I am sure Ian Fleming who would be 103 years old on May 28 would approve of the effort by the new team to take James Bond forward.