SOLO, the brand new Bond novel by William Boyd, was launched in style at the Dorchester Hotel on London's Park Lane this morning.
Amidst TV crews and crowds of Bond fans, the first seven copies of the novel - SOLO #001 to #007 - were signed by the author and then transported through London to Heathrow airport in a convoy of seven classic Jensen cars, Bond's motor of choice in the new book. Each book, encased in a perspex briefcase, was escorted by a BA stewardess.
They were given the red carpet treatment at Terminal 5, where they were met by a British Airways captain before being stowed in a secure safe ahead of their international departure to Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Zurich, Los Angeles, Delhi, Cape Town and Sydney. Each book was strapped into the cockpit throughout the flight, and will be hand delivered upon arrival by the plane's captain to a dedicated contact - including the international publishers of the book, and, in LA, Ian Fleming's great-nephew Robert Laycock.
The setting of the launch mirrored the opening of the new book, where Bond – a veteran agent at 45 – celebrates his birthday with an evening of gambling, drinking and fine dining at The Dorchester. And, of course, he meets a beautiful woman...