The intricately organized criminal conspiracy called the Union has vowed its revenge on the man who thwarted its last coup. Now, the Union’s mysterious leader sets out to destroy James Bond’s reputation and sanity by luring the agent into a dangerous alliance of deceit and treason with a Spanish militant intent on reclaiming Gibraltar.
Officially on medical leave as a result of a head injury sustained on his last adventure, 007 ignores M’s orders and pursues clues that he believes might lead him to the Union’s inner circle. His search takes him from the seedy underbelly of London’s Soho to the souks of Tangier; from a terrorist training camp in Morocco to a bullring in Spain; and from the clutches of a murderous Spanish beauty to a volatile summit conference on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Each step brings 007 closer to the truth about the Union’s elaborate, audacious plot to destroy both SIS and its best agent: James Bond.
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Raymond Benson is the author of The Facts of Death, Zero Minus Ten, High Time to Kill and the novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. He is a director of The Ian Fleming Foundation. Benson lives and works in the Chicago area.From Kirkus Reviews :
The creakiest exercise yet in American Bond fan Benson's postmodern resurrection of Ian Fleming's peerless killer spy, has an embarrassingly witless 007 going rogue to fight a dastardly multinational crime cartel.Two months after the calamitous conclusion of High Time to Kill (1999), Bond is still depressed over the death of lover Helen Marksbury. He's also on medical leave, under the care of comely Dr. Kimberely Feare, taking pills that are supposed to heal a brain lesion but do little more than leave him paranoid and prone to blackouts. Unknown to Bond, the American white supremacists who call themselves the Union have revamped themselves into a wealthy criminal club that holds meetings in swank, dimly lit underground boardrooms presided over by the mysterious Le Gerant, a blind man who forgoes canes because he can psychically sense his surroundings. Aided by sadomasochistic sexpot Margareta Piel, Le Gerant has found a crazed Bond look-alike willing to undergo plastic surgery, wear Brioni suits, and commit un-Bondly crimes, such as killing Dr. Feare moments after she forsakes medical ethics to succumb to the real Bond's “overwhelming masculinity.” Meanwhile, Spanish powerbroker (and Union member) Domingo Espada, who publicly manages bullfighters and privately kidnaps poor girls and turns them into sex slaves, has set up a meeting with the various heads of state to demand the return of Gibraltar to Spain. At the climax of the meeting, pseudo-Bond will kill the British Prime Minister. Of course, the one true Bond can thwart only so much gratuitous overplotting by himself, so he swipes a handgun from the Q Branch armory (almost no gadgetry in this outing, alas), falls in with voluptuous CIA twins Heidi and Hedy Taunt, and, after a inconvenient blackout, awakens in Espada's bullring, where he must first use his wits against a charging bull and then fight pseudo-Bond to the death. Nifty bullfighting scenes do not redeem an otherwise cliché-cluttered narrative. For die-hard fans only. -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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