I was introduced to the James Bond novels after seeing the film Live and Let Die while visiting my cousins and then discovering the novel at my local Library.
I read the books out of order over the course of two or three years and was dismayed to find that Ian Fleming had died and there would be no more. Then one holiday I discovered Colonel Sun by Robert Markham – a new James Bond adventure, I enjoyed it and even after reading a number of other books by famous authors it remained my favourite non-Fleming Bond novel.
The stories that came after were not bad, they were just not (for me) ‘real’ Bond stories. The James Bond I had come to enjoy was a creature of the cold war, a damaged, driven man who can and does do questionable things for his country; a hero only by virtue of his foes being worse than he is.
I was fortunate to win a signed, early proof of Trigger Mortis on twitter, a book by Anthony Horowitz – a writer whose works I love in print and on television.
When I started reading Trigger Mortis my love of James Bond was reawakened, Anthony Horowitz’s writing mirrored Ian Fleming’s style so closely that at times it felt that I was reading his words – and for a part of the story I was. Trigger Mortis is the first Bond novel by another author to include original material by Ian Fleming.
Trigger Mortis is a direct sequel to Goldfinger and brings back one of the most iconic Bond girls – Pussy Galore. It also examines James personality, foibles and looks at why none of his relationships ever last.
I devoured it over the course of three evenings, it has been one of the hardest books to put down drawing me in with nazi rocket science, murder, a nightmare dash around the Nürburgring and an obligatory scenery chewing supervillain aiming at disrupting the US space programme. Oh yes and there is Jeopardy Lane an awesome female agent who is more than a match for our Mr Bond.
It is a phenomenal nerve-wracking read – pure classic Bond. In my mind’s eye the only way I can see Anthony Horowitz channelling Fleming’s voice so wonderfully was by snorting a line of Fleming’s ashes to contact the man and then hallucinating James Bond standing behind him with gun drawn so that he gets it right.
He got it right!
Trigger Mortis is the best Bond novel for decades, even beating out some of my Fleming favourites!
It is now my fondest wish that if and when the time is right that Horowitz writes more Bond! Hopefully he will also include a cameo by a certain famous teenage spy!