He starts his assignment on the outskirts of Novi Sad in Serbia where an Irish sapper -turned-enforcer named Niall Dunne is planning to derail a train carrying three hundred kilograms of methyl isocyanate , dumping it into the Danube. Bond is able to prevent the catastrophe by derailing the train himself at a much safer place along the line. Using what little intelligence Bond was able to gather from the operation in Serbia, the ODG is able to establish a connection to Green Way International, a waste disposal consortium contracted to demolish an army base in March. Because Bond is not authorized to act on British soil, he is forced to work with a domestic security agent named Percy Osborne-Smith.
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Especially when you consider that Jeffrey Deaver is a world class thriller writer and the Daniel Craig Bond movies have demonstrated it is possible to achieve the seemingly impossbile task of modernising Bond and still maintain his essential anti-hero arrogance, unpleasantness, and cruelty all wrapped up in a redemptive package of I really wanted to love this book, to slap 5 stars up and tell the world to go and enjoy this while the 3rd Daniel Craig movie takes yet another long year to film.
Especially when you consider that Jeffrey Deaver is a world class thriller writer and the Daniel Craig Bond movies have demonstrated it is possible to achieve the seemingly impossbile task of modernising Bond and still maintain his essential anti-hero arrogance, unpleasantness, and cruelty all wrapped up in a redemptive package of bravery in the face of insurmmountable odds Alas, as much as I enjoyed the book there are several fatal flaws: 1.
Strangely the book seems overly long. Never a good sign that over the 2 days it took to read the hundred thousand or so words, I put down the book at least a dozen times.
Judge that againnst the page turning tension of the longer Suzanne Collins Hunger Games when I read that from cover to cover in one session. But I did manage to pick it up again. The first time this writer device was used I felt annoyed.
The fifth time I was spitting blood. Its such a cheap literary device to con the reader with fake excitement. So for that I deducted one star. Finally, the Bond character himself: Ian Flemming created a character of subtle satirical dry wit that seems unrecognisable in Carte Blanche.
I might as well be reading a Lee Child Jack Reacher novel because this new Bond is so pleasant, so likable that he berates himself for being annoyed by irritating minor characters. The whole point of Bond is that he is supposed to be an unpleasant, intensely snobbish bore who manipulates and exploits any weakness in people for his selfish ends.
Especially other people who lack his all consuming passion for life at the edge and all its finest rewards and pleasures. Ian Flemming brilliantly held up the closeted and biggotted attitudes held by society and demonstrated its hypocrisy when Bond thunders and crashes into any situation requiring his ruthless efficiency.
But do we get the modern equivalent with the Carte Blanche Bond? Will you be shaken, and stirred? No, no, and NO! What we get is Bond the bleeding heart liberal who wakes with night sweats and troubled conscience for sleeping with a woman when he may be falling for a work colleague. WE get the errant Knight Sir Galahad who puts the beautiful and vulnerable date in a taxi and waves goodbye lest he be tempted to take advantage WHy oh Why is Bond so wet?
So for that I took off another star.
Carte Blanche (2011)
Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver – review