Patriot Games

Jack Ryan is on holiday in London when things go dramatically wrong. The Royal Family is attacked and Ryan responds, resulting in Sean Miller (one of the perpetrators) being convicted and imprisoned. When Miller is freed, he has one thing on his mind – revenge. Ryan, and his family, are not safe.

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Without Remorse

John Kelly’s wife is killed. When he loves again, his new love (a former prostitute) is killed by a drug gang. Kelly is a former SEAL and plots his revenge against the gang. At the same time, his military past catches up with him and he ends up being an adviser (Mr. Clark) for a highly secret mission in Vietnam to rescue American pilots. Both are tough, will either be successful?

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Octopussy and The Living Daylights

Octopussy and The Living Daylights is a collection of four short stories. The fourth of the stories (007 in New York) is very short and has an abrupt end, but the other three are all good stories; Bond is more of an incidental character though in Octopussy. There is a condensed timescale for the short stories, but Fleming gets his customary detail into them. The first three are all solid short stories.

Rating (out of 5): ***

The Man With The Golden Gun

Bond finally returns to London after having killed Blofeld. He returns via Russia and has been brainwashed, attempting to kill M. Bond remains in the Service, but is sent to track down and kill Scaramanga, a feared assassin. M views it as either a suicide mission or that Bond will be redeemed. But which will it be?

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You Only Live Twice

Bond is heavily distracted after the murder of his wife. M sends him to Japan to try and get Soviet radio transmissions shared. It’s expected to be a difficult mission and Bond is asked to investigate Dr. Guntram Shatterhand in exchange for the transmissions. But Dr. Shatterhand is not who everyone believes him to be and Bond is face to face with his familiar foe in Bloefeld.

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service picks up where Thunderball left off. Bond has been searching for Blofeld, but with no luck. A chance encounter puts Bond back on the trail. Blofeld has an ingenious plan in place to bring down Britain. But Blofeld gets away again and at great personal cost to Bond.

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Night Of The Fox

A training exercise in World War II is ambushed and American Colonel Hugh Kelso survives but ends up on Jersey. It’s bad news for him, with Germany in control of the Channel Islands. But it’s worse news for Allied Command – Kelso knows the D-Day plans. Henry Martineau, a spy, is sent to either rescue or kill Kelso by impersonating a German SS officer. What could never have been planned for is that Rommel is visiting the island at the same time on a snap inspection. Except that it’s a German officer impersonating Rommel. The stakes are high. Will Martineau succeed?

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The Spy Who Loved Me

The Spy Who Loved Me is a James Bond novel. However, Bond is almost an incidental character in the book. The story is told from Viv Michel’s viewpoint. The first part of the story is a brief overview of Michel’s life, the second part is Michel being taken hostage and the third part is Bond and his rescue of her. It’s one of the shorter Bond novels, but still packs plenty of detail in. It’s very different to the film (which was my favourite until Skyfall and is easily Moore’s best, but the book is not one of the better ones in the series.

Rating (out of 5): ***

Thunderball

Two nuclear weapons have been stolen and the Western world is being held to ransom by a terrorist organisation called SPECTRE. The Western agencies send out all resources, with James Bond being sent to the Bahamas. Bond feels that it’s a wild goose chase (but is happy to be working with Felix Leiter again) for him; how wrong he is…

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For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only is a collection of five short stories featuring James Bond. Most of the stories have Bond on some kind of mission, but he does listen to a story about a dinner guest in one of them. Despite being short stories, Fleming includes plenty of detail in each of the stories. However, with them being short stories, they never develop into the thrillers that the series is noted for.

Rating (out of 5): ***

Goldfinger

A chance meeting at an airport after a mission results in James Bond encountering Auric Goldfinger and discovering how he cheats at cards. Upon his return to England, Bond gets assigned a case. The man in question? Goldfinger. Bond soon discovers a plot that could never have been imagined by anyone. But can he share his knowledge?

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Dr. No

Dr. No is the sixth book in the James Bond series. Bond is finally back to full health and back in the office. The recommendation is that Bond shouldn’t be pushed too hard, so a trip to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of the Service’s man on the island is what M sends him on. It seems an open and shut case with no danger. Little does M, or Bond, know…

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From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love is the fifth book in the James Bond series. SMERSH has decided that, after some high profile failures, they need to successfully hit back at Western intelligence agencies. Their target? James Bond.

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Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds are being smuggled out of Sierra Leone and making a big profit in America. The Spangled Mob are thought to be behind it and James Bond is tasked with with breaking the pipeline of diamonds.

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Moonraker

Britain will soon be safe from attack with the testing of the Moonraker. Sir Hugo Drax is masterminding the project. But he cheats at cards and James Bond works out how. Little does he know where it will lead…

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Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die is the second novel in the James Bond series. Bond heads over to America to find out about gold coins, which brings him face to face with Mr. Big.

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Casino Royale

Casino Royale is the first novel in the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. Bond is introduced with a relatively straight forward case in which he has to bankrupt Le Chiffre by playing baccarat. Whilst successful at this, not everything that follows goes to plan.

Bond is well introduced in this novel, which has a simple plot to it. Fleming provides plenty of detail to both characters and locations, making it an engaging read. Despite the detail of description, the plot moves forward at a good pace throughout. It’s an enjoyable read that delivers a straight forward thriller.

Rating (out of 5): ****

The Fourteenth Protocol

Cade Williams works at an email company as a technician. He gets called up to the mysterious floor 17 to solve a problem and whilst briefly up there, he hears mention of Tucson, the latest town in America to suffer a terrorist bombing. At the same time, Special Agent Jana Baker overhears a conversation between two people who are discussing the attack and future ones. This sets up a race against time to prevent an unimaginable attack on America.

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Sea of Shadows

The German economy is in trouble. The German Chancellor has found a solution though – selling arms. The buyer? Siraj, an oil-rich state in the Middle East, but one under heavy UN sanctions. The German government looks to sell them clandestinely, sending four state-of-the-art submarines. There are suspicions in the American government, but an incident with two British ships end all suspicions. The American government are determined that the weapons will not get to Siraj, but can a foe who knows exactly what you will do be stopped? <!–more Continue reading my review of Sea of Shadows–>

Wow! What a book. Sea of Shadows is excellent. It’s fast-paced throughout and manages to increase a gear or two when action occurs. The action is described superbly and is generally incredibly tense as ships take on their unseen foes. I could write several more paragraphs detailing what a great read Sea of Shadows is, but that would only be taking away time from you when you could be reading it. I cannot recommend this book enough – it is the best book I have read in a long time.

Rating (out of 5): *****

Next Exit, Three Miles

Alina Maschik was a resident of New Jersey before leaving to join the forces. Following a murder, she returns and meets up with old friends. Although they work out she’s back because of the murder, they don’t know the full reason. Alina is an assassin and two years ago, missed killing Johann, a notorious terrorist. She’s returned to New Jersey to finish the job. But hadn’t counted on The Engineer also being present. A difficult job just got more difficult. <!–more Continue reading my review of Next Exit, Three Miles–>

Next Exit, Three Miles is a thriller with believable characters. The plot is deliberate throughout, quickening as the end approaches. The end isn’t surprising, but is well written. A good, solid thriller.

Rating (out of 5): ****