Saturday, 28 March 2009
NEVER DREAM OF DYING
Never Dream of Dying
Originally published 2001
This was Raymond Benson's fifth Bond continuation novel, his seventh Bond if you count the two film novelisations - Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough. And the book is the final part of what has become known as, the Union Trilogy.
A war has broken out between SPECTRE and The Union. The book opens with Bond and old friend Mathis botching a raid on a film studios which is suspected of being a front for international arms dealing. Innocent people are killed in the raid and Bond, now an embarrassment to his people, is sent on another assignment. Mathis on the other hand is suspended but both men continue to try and track down Le Gerant, the man they know has outfoxed them and is responsible for the film studio fiasco.
Benson was the third writer to try his hand at continuing Ian Fleming's world, after Kingsley Amis and John Gardner and although readers knew pretty much what to expect by this point, the author does do some tweaking and delivers an enjoyable enough Bond adventure. The extended climax is truly thrilling and although it's not Fleming it's a damn good mixture of both the film and literary character.