Benson has hardly lived up to his first three novels with his latest episode of Bond. He has never been Ian Fleming, but has successfully avoided making the novels too close to the almost too stereotypical film character. Unfortunately Doubleshot is the weakest of his novel todate. Despite the fact the whole book is based on the premise that Bond has suffered a head injury and is unsure of what is happening around him, Benson does not produce a convincingly sick Bond. The novel starts with promise but as Bond's adventures from country to country begin, events and situations are poorly constructed and lack a sense of either being genuinely contrived to guide Bond to certain conclusions or being haphazard events that lead Bond along the trail of the Union. It is not a difficult read, and it is pleasurable read. It has fleeting moments where Benson creates memorable scenes such as the assassination of the bullfighter or creates vivid and interesting prose such as around the Union leader Le Gerant. However I shall be reading Never Dream of Dying with a little trepidation, hoping that Benson can produce a novel of the quality of the first two. A weak middle chapter of the trilogy, but a worthy holiday read.
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