Picking up about a year after the events of From Russia With Love, this book finds Bond barely recovered from Rosa Klebb’s kick to his shin (three cheers for Rosa’s poisoned shoe-knife, deflator of egos and humbler of spies). M. wants to ease him back into the field and see if he’s still got what it takes, so he throws him into the shallow end with a routine inquiry in Jamaica. A nice holiday in the sun.
A nice holiday in the sun with poisoned fruit, venomous insects, fire-breathing dragons, giant cephalopods, tons of bird poop, and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.
Bond is still a racist, sexist bastard and the phonetic spelling of dialects nearly liquefied my brain, but I haven’t had this much fun since Diamonds are Forever. It was cheesy and over the top while still showcasing excellent writing and pacing. And I learned a valuable life lesson about bringing a Smith and Wesson to a flame thrower fight. I thought this was a vast improvement over FRWL in nearly every respect, but I do wish the mortality rate of Bond’s non-British coworkers wasn’t so high.