Bond is Back! The eagerly anticipated new James Bond novel, With A Mind To Kill, the third of a trilogy by the best-selling author Anthony Horowitz, has now been published in the UK by Jonathan Cape.
It will undoubtedly prove to be very popular with Bond novel aficionados. Interestingly, in contrast to the the previous novel, Forever And A Day, which was a clever prequel to Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and imagined James Bond at the very start of his career, the third adventure from Horowitz features an older and more weary James Bond, set in the period following Fleming’s The Man With The Golden Gun.
The new novel has some intriguing scenarios, including a deception operation which seeks to fool Britain’s enemies that Bond’s attempted assassination of ‘M’ (as portrayed near the beginning of Golden Gun) has succeeeded, a fake funeral for the Secret Service boss ‘M’, and Bond ‘escaping’ to the Soviet Union. Bond also comes up against ‘Steel Claw’, a deadly successor organisation to the ruthless Smersh.
There is also a kind of ‘duel’ between Bond and the man who originally brainwashed 007, Colonel Boris. The James Bond of the new novel seems to be more cynical, reflective and facing up to increased ‘accidie’ (a tiredness with the world), having doubts about his moral purpose as a spy.
Speaking in London at a special launch event, Horowitz expressed some sadness that his time as a Bond author had now come to an end, and said he was really proud of his three 007 stories. He said that Fleming’s work had been a huge influence on his own ambitions to become a writer. The two previous 007 novels penned by Horowitz, Trigger Mortis (2015) and Forever And A Day (2018), were extremely popular with fans of the book Bond, and were also critically acclaimed by more general critics. Horowitz was able to capture the feel and atmostphere of Fleming’s Bond in ways that previous Bond continuity authors perhaps found more challenging to pin down.
With A Mind To Kill is now available at all good UK bookshops and other leading retailers, and has already received very positive reviews in the British media.