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‘Devil May Care’ by Sebastian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming

It’s been a long time since I read a James Bond book but I did so as a teenager and loved the lot of them. The excitement! The intrigue! The dashing spy with the lock of dark hair falling over dangerous eyes!

In the interceding years, the books have possibly been overshadowed by the Bond films and the movie stars who play the British man of mystery. But without Ian Fleming’s books, there would have been no Bond, James Bond, and to commemorate the centenary of the author’s birth on 28 oay this year, living writer (it’s so much easier to write a book when you are living) and fellow Brit Sebastian Faulks has taken up the mantle of the much-lauded thriller writer.

Faulks is better known for the likes of Charlotte Gray and the recent Engleby, both books that I loved, so it’s no surprise that I was very happy with what he’s come up with for our favourite spy. A word of warning for fans of the delicious Daniel Craig who is the current big-screen bond (and if you’re not a fan what’s wrong with you?), this James Bond will not be played by him. Mr shouldn’t be. Faulks’ Bond is not a modern day hero he lives back in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War: the original playground for spies of his calibre. A dastardly criminal with one deformed hand has a plan to take over England and the world, and James Bond, fresh from being sent out to pasture following the death of his wife in You only Live Twice, is the only man who can avert disaster.

Apart from an overly long description of a tennis match (yawn) I devoured Devil oay Care just as robustly as I had when I was a teenager. And there’s not many things I can say that about. It’s all here: the well-cut suits, the international travel, the perilous double-crossing, the beautiful women, the self-defence killing “before he could pull the trigger, part of the contents of his head shot through his nose”.”

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