Published by Jonathan Cape, May 2018
Source: own copy
The sea keeps its secrets. But not this time.
One body. Three bullets. 007 floats in the waters of Marseille, killed by an unknown hand.
It’s time for a new agent to step up. Time for a new weapon in the war against organised crime.
It’s time for James Bond to earn his licence to kill.
This is the story of the birth of a legend, in the brutal underworld of the French Riviera.
Ah, Mister Bond. Welcome back. Though as we’re firmly in prequel territory here, should I just say welcome?
Forever and A Day marks the second instalment of Anthony Horowitz’s Bond books, following the daftly-named but very good Trigger Mortis in 2015. There we had a sequel to Goldfinger, but here we’re in the uncharted pre-Casino Royale era Bond.
It was fine, though not nearly as good as Trigger Mortis. The plotting seemed lazy in places and the villain a bit too cardboard cut-out, trying to be scary and Evil-with-a-capital-E. It was very Fleming, which I suppose is kind of the point and indeed what we saw with Trigger Mortis. I think what I’d like to have seen was Horowitz putting more of his own stamp on the character, but that’s just me.
The adventure itself is a decent enough Bond tale, with glorious locales, an excellent femme fatale in the form of Sixtine, and all the usual ingredients. There’s double-crossing, peril on every corner, fast cars, lots of cigarettes and alchohol and hijinks galore.
If you like Bond, then it’s worth picking up to see our fledgling agent gain his Double-O status and embark on what will be the first of many missions. Just don’t expect anything particularly new.
Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz is published by Jonathan Cape.