Published in 1989, this is John Gardner’s eighth James Bond novel.
The London Gazette announcement was brief:
‘BOND, James, Commander RNVR, Relieved of current liaison duties at the Foreign Office. Promoted to substantive rank of Captain and returned to active service forthwith.’
The return of James Bond to the Royal Navy marks the intriguing backdrop to John Gardner’s thrilling eighth adventure featuring Ian Fleming’s celebrated hero.
Bond takes a refresher course and keeps up his flying hours by doing a conversion course on Sea Harriers. And eventually he learns that his mission is to serve in the Royal Navy’s major aircraft carrier, HMS Invincible as minder to a phalanx of top brass British, American and – in this era of glasnost – Russian admirals, who are on board for a NATO exercise.
But why? Can a thrilling hi-jack by airborne troops (using hang-gliders) on a Japanese tanker, some time before, be connected?
As ever, John Gardner is adept at piling on the tension. Bond is never far from the action or from the beautiful Russian naval attaché with whom he joins forces. Win, Lose or Die shows James Bond – and John Gardner – on top form.
John Gardner was a British journalist and best-selling author who published over 50 books. He died in Hampshire in 2007.
'Undercover’s one thing, 007, but how would you feel about going back into the Royal Navy?'