'A KARATE CHOP OF A THRILLER...Jolly good fun, complete with car chases, torture chambers and a Q-packed bag of assassination goodies!' - Playboy
Date Published: 1987
Between the Danish island of Bornholm and the Baltic coast of East Germany a nuclear submarine of the Royal Navy surfaces under the cloak of darkness. James Bond and two marines slip quietly from the forward hatch into their powered inflatable and set off for a lonely beach where they are to collect two young women who have to get out in their socks. Planted to seduce communist agents to run for cover in the West, they have been rumbled by the other side. Bond little knows that this routine exercise is but the prelude to a nerve-racking game of bluff and double bluff, played with consummate skill by his own chief M against the East German HVA and the elite branch of the KGB, formed out of Bond's old adversary SMERSH.
Over a plain lunch in the sober dining room in Blades, Bond learns of M's predicament. He cannot tell the police what he knows about the series of grisly murders of young women, found with their tongues removed, which occupy the day's headlines. Two of his undercover 'plants' have gone; Bond must find three others and conduct them to safety before they meet a similar fate. The first he spirits away from her Mayfair salon just as the next strike is made, taking her with him to the Irish Republic in pursuit of the second. But the urbane HVA boss, Maxim Smolin, is ahead of him this time, despite the astute ministrations of the Irish police. The KGB is soon on the scene, but nothing is at all what it seems, and Bond finds he needs all his wits to negotiate the labyrinth of double-crossing that is to lead him to a bewildering showdown in a remote corner of the Kowloon province of Hong Kong.
There, with only the trusted belt of secret weapons specially devised by Q branch, he has to fight a terrifying duel in the dark, with all the cards in the hands of his opponents.