#Stands up and applauds#

FOREVER AND A DAY genuinely feels like a lost James Bond novel.

Fleming in his writings always went forward, but if he had gone back and slotted in some early adventures, this feels like the kind of book he’d have produced. There’s the beautiful, mysterious woman who’s swayed by Bond’s charms; there are two villains, one of whom really does have his villainy emphasised by his appearance; and there’s a twisty European plot, including a visit to Monte Carlo for a spot of high stakes gambling. And of course, there’s treachery and sexual sadism. All of this builds up to not only a nerve-sheddingly tense conclusion, but also a great restatement of British stiff upper lip values. Possibly the one obvious Fleming trope that isn’t here is racism, although that’s probably for the best.

It’s a great ventriloquist act. I did enjoy Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes book, THE HOUSE OF SILK, but I was conscious throughout that it wasn’t really Conan-Doyle. There’s no such distancing here.

Part of the book’s success is attributable to using an old outline that Fleming wrote for television, although that’s undoubtedly downplaying Horowitz’s contribution. As Horowitz has done a magnificent job, not just in the character, but in the genre and the whole milieu. One can almost smell the sea salt of the French coast and taste the cordite when the danger starts.

This is not only a fantastic spy story, it’s a spot-on James Bond novel.

My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free! A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!

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