When 007 goes to Harlem it’s not just for the jazz. This is the kingdom of Mr Big, master of crime, voodoo baron and partner in SMERSH’s grim company of death. Those who Mr Big cannot possess, he crushes – like his beautiful prisoner, Solitaire, and her would-be saviours James Bond and Agency man, Felix Leiter. All three are marked out as victims in a trail of terror, treachery and torture that leads from New York’s underworld to the shark-infested island in the sun that Mr Big calls his own.
Ian Fleming was born in London in 1908. He was educated at Eton and worked as a journalist in Moscow and a banker and stockbroker in London before becoming personal assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence during the Second World War. He wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952 at Goldeneye, his home in Jamaica. Since then James Bond has gone on to become a global phenomenon.
Rory Kinnear, a renowned theatre actor, won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for his performances as Angelo in Measure for Measure and the title role in Hamlet, and gained an Olivier Award for his portrayal of Sir Fopling Flutter in The Man of Mode. His TV credits include Count Arthur Strong, Lucan, Women in Love and Black Mirror, and he played Bill Tanner in the Bond films Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
"Speed… tremendous zest… communicated excitement. Brrh! How wincingly well Mr Fleming writes." (Sunday Times)
"Tense; ice-cold, sophisticated." (The Evening Standard)
"Don’t blame me if you get a stroke." (The Observer)
"This is an ingenious affair, full of recondite knowledge and horrific spills and thrills." (The Times)
"The second adventure of his Secret Service agent fully maintains the promise of his first book…containing passages which for sheer excitement have not been surpassed by any modern writer of this kind." (Times Literary Supplement)
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A product of its time
A decent read to pass the time