Ian Fleming's dynamic spy story may not have been his first James Bond novel (that honour goes to Casino Royale) but it was the first to be filmed, and as such it has remained in the public consciousness as 007's first real adventure. The daddy of all super-villains, Dr Julius No, is holed-up in his lair on Crab Key, a small island in the Caribbean. Bond is despatched by his boss `M' to the Caribbean, to investigate the disappearance of the its Secret Service representative, a friend of 007's, whose mysterious death may well be linked to Dr No's secret operations on Crab Key. The deadly game that No forces Bond to play, is vividly brought to life and styled so as to be extremely thrilling for the reader, whilst the soon-to-be template for all Bond girls - the exotically delicious `Honey Ryder' - adds spice to an adventure that is already excitingly different.
Fleming's genius lay in his ability to write simply, but with an almost fetishistic attention to detail; the reader experiences a delicious thrill when Bond lights another cigarette or describes the minutiae of his daily routine. It is this ability to prompt such a vicarious response in the reader that lifts Fleming's novels from their pulpy origins, and which has given them their longevity and their status' as classic slices of disposable fiction.