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Licence to Thrill
on 23 August 2009
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.