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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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.