From Dubai with love
One of 007's most memorable stories was titled From Russia with Love. But for the new James Bond book to be published later this year, it will be more a case of 'From Dubai with Love'. The suitably opulent surroundings of the Middle East playground will be the setting for the new book, which is being written by one of the world's best-selling thriller writers, Jeffery Deaver.
Carte Blanche was unveiled in Dubai this week. And Deaver, looking like a slightly older James Bond himself, was on hand for the launch.
The American author was commissioned by the family of the late Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, to write the latest thriller.
Like Fleming, Deaver takes inspiration from exotic locations around the world, and after visiting Dubai decided it was a perfect setting for Carte Blanche.
"I'm really excited about being back in Dubai," Deaver said. "It is an inspirational and awe-inspiring city and makes a perfect Bond location -- especially for a novel that pushes our hero to new extremes."
Regarding the book's title, Deaver added: "In the world of espionage, giving an agent carte blanche on a mission comes with an enormous amount of trust and constantly tests both personal and professional judgment. Part of the non-stop suspense in the novel is the looming question of what is acceptable in matters of national and international security. Are there lines that even James Bond should not cross?"
The last Bond book, Devil May Care, was written by Sebastian Faulks and was a period piece set in the Cold War years when the Soviet Union was the ultimate enemy. Although a bestseller and given some admiring reviews by critics, it was a step away from the latest gadgetry that has become a hallmark of the Bond movies. Deaver's Bond will be right up to date, with a contemporary setting, new technology and 21st-Century ethos.
Carte Blanche also features Fleming's favourite car -- a Bentley. Historically, Bond owned three Bentleys in the course of the 14 original novels written by Fleming and, bringing the plot completely up to date, Bond drives a Bentley Continental GT in the new book.
Deaver has written 28 novels and sold more than 20 million books worldwide. He is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme books, most notably The Bone Collector, which was made into a film in 1999, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
Since Fleming died in 1964, five other authors have been commissioned by the Fleming estate to write Bond books -- the best known were Faulks and Kingsley Amis.
Fleming wrote 14 Bond books: Casino Royale (1953); Live and Let Die (1954); Moonraker (1955); Diamonds Are Forever (1956); From Russia with Love (1957); Dr No (1958); Goldfinger (1959); For your Eyes Only (1960); Thunderball (1961); The Spy Who Loved Me (1962); On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963); You Only Live Twice (1964); The Man With The Golden Gun (1965) and the short story collection Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966).
Among Fleming's non-Bond books was the children's favourite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1964), which was made into a successful film and stage musical. More than 100 million Bond books have been sold and more than half the world's population has seen a Bond film.
Carte Blanche will be published by Hodder in Ireland and Britain on May 26, 2011.