It is with a real sense of trepidation that you open this book and dive into the Faulksian world of Bond. Having read a few of the series of originals there is the same familiar realistic violence and some clever weaving in of characters that appear in one setting before being tied into the main story.
This is a Bond operating in a world here everything has changed into a drug fuelled sixties and he is questioning his own ability as well as the world around him. M is busy doing yoga and the gangsters are not trying to defeat their enemies with guns and economic force but by corrupting the young with drugs.
Leading that charge is the monkey pawed villain Dr Gorner who plans to destroy Britain by getting its kids hooked on drugs. Bond is sent to meet him and getting a psychological assessment, nothing more because he is still not fit enough for active service.
The pace of the book is a quick as a Fleming with the chapters racing by, until a tennis scene runs on and on and is almost ball-by-ball and slows things down. No harm in running a long scene but tennis is not quite the same as a car chase or high-tension face-off.
Still this is easy on the eye and is heading for the sort of showdown that made Bond such a hero in the first place. The fact it is not written by Fleming doesn’t matter at all in terms of the enjoyment.