What would 007 say? New James Bond novel sees spy ditch his trademark Aston Martin for a Bentley
He is best known as the quintessential British spy hailing from a bygone era but now James Bond has been brought “scorching into the 21st century”, according to original author Ian Fleming’s family.
The new book – Carte Blanche – is the first to be set in this century and deal with current issues of international diplomacy.
The “21st Century Bond” served in the Royal Naval Reserve and has done a tour of Afghanistan, before joining the secret service.
Author Jeffery Deaver launches his latest book, Carte Blanche, in which 007 deals with current issues of international diplomacy
The story will be based on the turmoil in the Middle Wast and sees the 007 meet an old friend and rival in Dubai.
Instead of a classic Aston Martin – the modern Bond now drives a state of the art Bentley Continental and his Bond Girls have as much of a love of living fast and dangerously as he does.
Written by Jeffery Deaver, who won critical acclaim for his novel The Bone Collector which was turned into a hit film in 1999, the Fleming family told the Daily Mail it was “one of the best ” not written by the original author.
Speaking at the launch of the new book, Ian Fleming’s niece Lucy said: ‘The new book has probably got the most horrible Bond villain and a fantastic plot. Jeffrey has got right under the skin of Bond and what makes him tick.
‘It is a very similar Bond too the character my uncle wrote. I think [Carte Blanche] is one of the best in recent times but they have all been very different so it is hard to judge.’
Mr Deaver, who has written 26 novels and sold more than 20 million books worldwide, is the first non-Brit to pen a Bond Novel.
James Bond has traditionally always driven an Aston Martin, although briefly the spy has driven both BMWs and Bentleys. Daniel Craig, above, and Pierce Brosnan, below, have both driven Astons
He insisted that he had been a Fleming acolyte since the age of eight and has taken role writing the new installment very seriously.
Mr Deaver said: ‘I think James Bond is more relevant today than ever. When Fleming was writing then the concerns were about Russia and the Cold War, but the actual issues the world is facing are not so different.
‘It is still a clash of ideologies. I think with everything we are facing right now – knowing you had someone as courageous and resourceful as Bond to look after everything, would be reassuring.’
The renowned author said he has taken inspiration from singer Hoagy Carmichael when creating his Bond – as he was the man Fleming said he thought Bond would be like.
Ian Fleming wrote about the Cold War while Jeffery Deaver's Bond adventure will look at more current issues
The new book was unveiled at a launch in London’s St. Pancras Station, which saw Mr Deaver arrive in a Bentley - a change from the traditional Aston Martin associated with James Bond.
Royal Marines descended from the ceiling to deliver the books as a stunt rider Chesca Miles took the role of a Bond Girl and arrived on a motorbike, while hundreds of fans looked on.
It has been more than four decades since the death of creator Ian Fleming but his 007 character has had enduring popularity.
Writers including Kingsley Amis and Sebastian Faulks have all written new James Bond books since the death of creator Ian Fleming.
Faulks book Devil May Care has been the best-selling tome in the franchise – selling almost 300,000 copies.
Sean Connery's 007 character captured the Cold War era
Ian Fleming's first Bond book, Casino Royale, was published in 1953, and he went on to write 13 more including From Russia With Love and The Spy Who Loved Me.
Stars such as Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and most recently Daniel Craig have played the 007 role for film.