Simon & Schuster, Jun 14 2011, $26.99
9/11 changed the world as international terrorist groups focused on civilian targets. The Bush Doctrine based on the premise of taking the global war on terrorism to the enemy led to the Afghanistan war in which agents like thirtyish 007 James Bond operated. However, Great Britain understood the Cold War agencies like M15, M16 and MOD remain critical, but not set up to deal with non-nation terrorism. Thus a new agency Overseas Development Group was created to take the war to the enemy using any technique necessary.
Government Communications Headquarters cryptographers decode electronic messages that affirm a major attack planned for sometime this week with thousands expected dead. M16 feels the center of the threat is in Afghanistan. A Night Alert assigns Agent 007 Carte Blanche to save lives. Bond knows the key immediate enemy needing rendition or death is the brilliant operational expert The Irishman, but stopping him will only delay the assault. As time runs out, 007 focuses on the Irishman, but also knows he needs to capture the money behind the pending attack. However, Severan Hydt has numerous refuse layers to protect him as he seeks international decay.
Avoiding the Fleming lite of recent Bond novels, Jeffery Deaver reinvents 007 in a contemporary world in which the Cold War is history. However, though Bond is modernized, trademark elements that denote the character and the espionage thrillers he starred on remain. Mr. Deaver includes the Bond girls with inane names (though the hero is more sensitive to their needs), the wheels, the drink, but he gave up smoking, the over the top of Big Ben villains, and Carte Blanch license to kill. However, as with the originals, it is the countdown suspense that makes Mr. Deaver’s Bond a wonderful heir apparent to Mr. Fleming’s Bond (except for purist Boomers who will say no to any doctoring).