New James Bond novel marks return to 'classic era'

Feb 19, 2013

Latest 007 adventure will be out in September and feature middle-aged agent

A NEW James Bond novel written by the British author William Boyd to be released in late September will mark a return to the "classic Bond era". The estate of 007's creator Ian Fleming won't reveal the book's title or details of the plot. But a spokesman told The Guardian it would be set in 1969 and the agent with a licence to kill would be 45 years old. 

Boyd's Bond, which will be published by Jonathan Cape on 26 September, will be the third 007 book of the modern era. Sebastian Faulks's Devil May Care was published in 2008 to mark the centenary of Fleming's birth and the US thriller writer Jeffery Deaver wrote Carte Blanche in 2011.

If sales of Devil May Care are any indication, there is still a substantial appetite for new Bond adventures. The book sold 44,093 copies within four days of release and topped the UK's bestseller lists. Carte Blanche was less successful but still achieved respectable sales.

The BBC reports that Boyd is considered a particularly suitable choice to write a new Bond novel because he has long been fascinated by Fleming. Boyd even included him in the plot of his 2002 novel Any Human Heart, making him "responsible for recruiting the protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, to the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II".

Boyd believes his Bond credentials are further strengthened by the fact that three of his screenplays "have starred big-screen Bond actors", says the BBC. Sean Connery appeared in A Good Man in Africa, Pierce Brosnan was in Mr Johnson and Daniel Craig featured in The Trench.

Fleming died of a heart attack in 1964, just five years before the dateline of Boyd's book. "He was in his mid-50s," Boyd told the Radio Times, "so conceivably if he'd looked after himself a bit better, hadn't smoked and drunk so much, he might have written a James Bond novel in that year."

Sign up for our daily newsletter