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For Special Services (JAMES BOND) [Paperback]

John Gardner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012 JAMES BOND
In this second instalment of John Gardner's Bond series, Bond teams up with CIA agent Cedar Leiter, daughter of his old friend Felix Leiter, to investigate Markus Bismaquer, who is suspected of reviving the notorious criminal organisation SPECTRE.

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For Special Services (JAMES BOND) + Licence Renewed (James Bond 1) + Icebreaker (James Bond 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135630
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

James Bond's services are rarely short of special, but SPECTRE is rarely short of grisly surprises. A series of aeroplane hijacks and a note found on a murdered CIA agent's body suggest the unthinkable-- Blofeld and SPECTRE are back and threatening world security.

Teaming up with Cedar Leiter, the jaw- droppingly beautiful daughter of Felix, Bond is placed on Special Services to the US government with the task of infiltrating the organisation of Markus Bismaquer, suspected of collaborating with SPECTRE on "some kind of venture that may set the world ablaze". Bond and Cedar pose as art experts leaving the UK in a shower of publicity with six hitherto unknown, signed Hogarth prints. The cover is designed to win them an audience with Bismaquer whose weakness for art is legendary. When they are set upon shortly after arriving in New York, it seems that everything is going to plan.

Or is it? Gardner's second Bond novel has more twists than the thirty-foot python displaying its SPECTRE credentials in an opening scene. Even before Bond has left for America, Blofeld's announcement that, "I have personal scores to settle with Mr Bond. I have devised a method to deal with him--call it a lure if you like. If it has worked, soon we shall have the pleasure of Mr Bond's company on this side of the Atlantic", has the alarm bells ringing. The hunter may just have become the hunted.

For Special Services packs action and drama onto every page. It is closer to the Bond of the films than Fleming's blueprint, but what it sacrifices in subtlety, it makes up for in thrills and spills. --IainCampbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A must for James Bond fans. (Bradford Telegraph & Argus)

This is a thrilling read. (The Catholic Herald)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Licence to Thrill 23 Aug 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This effort from Ian Fleming's successor as the `official' James Bond novelist is arguably his best - the novel is a rollercoaster ride that stays true to Fleming's creation whilst having a fresh feel and original flavour that lifts it above many of Gardner's other 007 stories.

The best scene sees our intrepid hero in a nail-biting car race with the hideously disfigured `death's head' Walter Luxor - who may or may not be the successor to Ernst Stavro Blofeld as the head of SPECTRE, who are once again at work, and involved in hijacking aeroplanes. Bond is sent to investigate the sinister Count Bismaquer in Texas, and along with the daughter of his old CIA buddy Felix Leiter, Cedar Leiter, now attached to the agency herself, he poses as an art specialist in order to uncover SPECTRE's evil machinations and continue his personal vendetta against the family of the man who killed his wife.

All the old favourites appear throughout the story - even Felix himself puts in an appearance at the end, and this is ultimately an accomplished and thoroughly entertaining slice of James Bond.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardners best novel!!!! 25 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This book is filled with action, romance and suspence. I couldn't put it down. The action sequences were very well done and so was the characterization of Bond himself!!!!!! This is a classic James Bond novel it takes you from England to Amirillo, Texas, and to the bayous of Louisianna. Blofeld is back and out for blood... James Bond's blood!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Premium Bond 27 Jun 2011
Gardner's 2nd Bond book was the first of his that I read and I've always been tempted to suggest that others do the same. His 1st Licence Renewed was a solid start but it's here that he really gets going. In fact, he even seems to overtly tackle some criticism of that book whilst raising his game.

Score: 9/10. The strong plot sees Bond on the trail of a reborn SPECTRE, this time intent on destroying 007 and hijacking weapons satelites. The latter gambit would find its way into the films- as would the hotel lift business, where there's admittedly a lull for a while (Bond in disguise never works). Moreover, Gardner introduces narrative devices of his own: taking two Fleming bad guy moulds (rich megalomaniac and disfigured psycho) then making us guess at the new Blofeld's identity. The uncertainty of the Colorado battle is truly tense.

Straight away the book begins with an action packed, filmic, "pre-credits" sequence: in comparison to the previous book's low key start, here we find a well drawn 007 on a mission, tense amid the hijacking of a luxury airliner. Plus the excellent Saab 900 remains, but the dull Browning pistol is binned in favour of a Heckler & Koch VP70 and a Sykes-Fairbairn dagger (toys for the boys having always been part of the fictional Bond's world). Bond and Q'ute are now friends with benefits; there's a brief update/revery of past Bond girls; his cigarettes are now made by Simmons and it's great to see 007 enjoying a vodka martini again, too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Bond 23 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Given a mix of 20 Bond books to review, made up of part Fleming and part Gardner it is quite likely that without author credits you would pick John Gardner as the originator of the series and not Fleming. That is how good a writer Mr Gardner was. Undoubtedly the king of the Bond revivalists and certainly never bettered. More detailed in his descriptive writing the Gardner series require more of the reader. More attention, more retention and, to be honest, a larger vocabulary. I suppose the skill of Fleming was to be so engaging and descriptive in so few words, but Bond really does benefit from Gardner's style. The more recent movies do too.

The first in the series Licensed Renewed is a great romp through the Scottish Highlands and over into France in a story not unlike Goldfinger. This is different and sees the return of the Blofeld Dynasty. Need I say more. The ultimate Bond baddie was always Blofeld. I am rather hoping that they will find a way of 'unkilling him off' for future Bond features with Daniel Craig !!!! For the moment this dynastic revival will have to do. Another great Gardner Bond book. You will enjoy it.

It's a joy to see the re-issue of these books as a newly bound series with new artwork. I shall enjoy collecting them a placing them alongside those wonderful Fleming originals, where the truly deserve a place.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd chronologically - 1st in rank 15 Mar 2003
When I first picked up this book, I thought it would be a tough read. The book itself is 6 years older then myself and I don't usually read books from that time span. However, I picked it up and read it, and couldn't put it down.
Firstly the plot is twisting and will keep you thinking, you can just imagine the majority of it, although most of it is probably made up (I should hope so, otherwise this author has access to some classified information!). The characters are yet another set of equals to Bond physically, however not mentally. Hense 007 will find his way out of such a situation.
The main villian is not revealed till the last couple of chapters and you'll be surprised really. Gardner puts across a different message concerning the "baddie", since a few people fit the bill. The setting in which Bond hunts for Blofeld is vast and, I thought, quite funny. A large area in Texas has been bought and has been enclosed to hold a billionaire's dreams. You could easily say it was a state in itself.
Now to our hero's kit. This time 007 has a custom made Saab, which hasn't been designed by Q Branch, Q himself doesn't know hardly anything about the car, and has often been found looking for them in Bond's absence. He carries his typical pistol and has a couple of things supplied by his friend Major Boothroyd. He is accompanied by an old friend daughter, who is instantly a major part in the book, right through till the finish.
On the whole, this is a fantastic book, as I said, I couldn't put it down, even if I was needed elsewhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars classic bond
A classic bond tale a little too much detail and a very quick ending, but still a very good read-
Published 19 days ago by rennicat
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing & Caution Spoilers Below!
The appearance of Felix Leiter’s daughter, Cedar, in this book jarred with me and I kept wondering ‘just how old is Bond exactly? Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. O. HAYNES
5.0 out of 5 stars ANDREWS VIEW
Published 14 months ago by Andrew C. Fraser
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle
Great read. Sent to kindle with no problem. east transaction, and with a registered account, a simple payment. many thanks.
Published 19 months ago by Bw Empson
5.0 out of 5 stars James Bond
I did not own a complete set of the John Gardner Bond books. All the titles are not available in the US, so a matched set from the UK was just what I needed.
Published 21 months ago by Paul Niedernhofer
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best John Gardner James Bond novels
John Gardner continues to re-invent James Bond for the 1980's, even having him drive a Saab, which is a little disappointing. Read more
Published on 13 Oct 2012 by M. Crossman
4.0 out of 5 stars Better but far from brilliant
The second of John Gardner's James Bond continuation novels sees the secret agent dispatched to America to investigate an apparent resurgence in an old enemy. Read more
Published on 31 Aug 2012 by Jim J-R
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful.
In my opinion this is a terrible book. The plot is full of holes and the characterisation and dialogue is just awful. Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2012 by Derek W. Ridgers
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, Mr Bond... I've been expecting you!
I agree with other reviewers that this is (probably) Gardner's finest Bond novel. I use the qualifier 'probably' because I am currently re-reading the Gardner novels, having... Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by ihateusernames
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Bond
This has all the classic Bond ingredients, a good overall plot, excellent villian and henchmen, the correct amount of action and escaping death scenes. Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2011 by Scorpion
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