The fourth James Bond novel by John Gardner, published in 1984.
In John Gardner’s most exciting adventure yet, James Bond abandons his 007 status, resigns from the Service, and heads south for Monte Carlo in his new Bentley Mulsanne Turbo, in search of a new role of honour.
So begins the most ingenious and deadly mission James Bond has ever undertaken in his illustrious career. For whatever M and Bond know, in private, the world intelligence agencies soon know it too: James Bond is for hire, to the highest bidder. So does a man, long presumed dead, who was once America’s foremost military computer expert. So does an American war hero, also presumed dead, General Rolling Joe Zwingli. And one Tamil Rahani, an Arab electronics millionaire of shadowy background. And last, like a hideous phoenix rising from the infernal ashed, a criminal organisation known only by its initials…
Is it conceivable? James Bond in the employ of SPECTRE?
In the service of his new masters Bond must pass a series of diabolical tests, some computerised and some (when has it been otherwise for our hero?) in the form of the most beguiling group of sirens he has encountered since the halcyon days of Pussy Galore and Honeychile Rider. Finally, in the unlikely setting of a Goodyear blimp drifting over the city of Geneva, Switzerland, where a world-powers conference unwittingly holds the fate of humanity in its grasp, James Bond and his dread foes meet at last in their deadliest confrontation.
John Gardner was a British journalist and best-selling author who published over 50 books. He died in Hampshire in 2007.
'People notice things and word around Whitehall is that Commander Bond is living a shade dangerously – gambling, the new Bentley, er…ladies…'