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Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel

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Overview

James Bond as you've never sen him before...in the smashing new thriller and #1 international bestseller from Jeffrey Deaver.

A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper—plans for a devastating attack:

Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

James Bond, in his early thirties and already a ...

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Overview

James Bond as you've never sen him before...in the smashing new thriller and #1 international bestseller from Jeffrey Deaver.

A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper—plans for a devastating attack:

Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan War, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6, and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: to protect the Realm, by any means necessary.

And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche to do whatever it takes to fulfill his mission...

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Editorial Reviews

Matthew Dunn
Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche…brilliantly captures Fleming's bitten-off, occasionally distracted, Boy's Own style…a magnificently manic, impeccably researched and at times gory plot, with Deaver's trademark misdirection and twists flying.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The James Bond franchise is thriving, and this terrific new pastiche will amply reward Bond fans and possibly bring new readers into the fold. Deaver (Edge), an avowed fan of the Fleming canon, has set the novel in the post-9/11 present, and Bond, that icon of the 1960s, handles the transition perfectly. The book opens in Serbia with 007 trying to uncover the meaning of "Incident 20," a cryptic reference that suggests an impending terrorist plot. Deaver deftly sketches in Bond's background: a veteran of the Royal Naval Reserve who had served in Afghanistan, he was languishing in naval intelligence until recruited by a new, super-secret team whose mandate is to "protect the Realm… by any means necessary," hence the "carte blanche" of the title. Most of the action takes place in South Africa, and the plot is predictable in a purely Bond-ian way (credibly incredible), but also intricate and inventive, surprising and satisfying—a testament to Deaver's skill as a storyteller. The plot and setting may be up to the minute, but Bonds aficionados will be comforted by the usual Bond tropes: his love of fast cars, fine drink, and gorgeous women (two of whom sport the traditionally clever and ridiculous names: Ophelia Maidenstone and Felicity Willing); his colleagues M, Moneypenny, and Q (who creates the world's most powerful iPhone—dubbed the iQPhone); and an appropriately perverse villain, Severan Hydt, a self-made tycoon with a fetish for decay and death, complete with suitably evil henchman. Fleming purists may balk at the hint of a New Age sensitivity in Deaver's Bond, but they will recognize one of the world's most enduring fictional characters: competent, courageous, charming, and cool. (June)
From the Publisher
"A magnificently manic, impeccably researched and at times gory plot, with Deaver’s trademark misdirection and twists flying."—The Washington Post

"His creator may be long gone, but James Bond (with his gadgets, women, and suave lines) lives on in the skillful hands of a suspense superstar."—Malcolm Jones, Newsweek Magazine, "10 Must-Read Summer Books"

"Ian Fleming’s estate tapped American novelist Deaver to pen a new James Bond thriller, and the pairing is as smooth as vodka and vermouth. Yes, the villains are creepy and the women brainy and beautiful, but in a clever reboot, this 007 (who served in Afghanistan) comes armed with a tricked-out cell phone and an appealing sense of empathy."Parade

"Ian Fleming's estate made a superb choice when it turned to thriller writer Jeffery Deaver for this summer's James Bond reboot Carte Blanche. . . . Familiar touches about, from M and Moneypenny to exotic locales. Then, too, Deaver adds a knowing wink . . . A spry spy bash not to be missed.”Christian Science Monitor

Carte Blanche is a fantastic book. . . . Deaver knows psychology and it shines here. Moreover, he knows human relationships . . . as [Ian Fleming’s stepdaughter] best summarized it, Jeffery Deaver truly got it.”Ann Arbor News

“A page-turning, action packed rip-roaring novel with plenty of twists and surprises.”Durham Herald-Sun

“Deaver, if anything, has written a 007 thriller that is superior to the best of Fleming.”San Jose Mercury News

“Jeffery Deaver accepted one of the greatest literary challenges of the new millennium when he agreed to write a new James Bond novel. . . . With Carte Blanche, [he] somehow manages to spin a top-notch 21st-century spy thriller while both respecting Bond and reinventing him.”Washington Independent Review of Books

“This terrific new pastiche will amply reward Bond fans and possibly bring new readers into the fold. Deaver (Edge), an avowed fan of the Fleming canon, has set the novel in the post-9/11 present, and Bond, that icon of the 1960s, handles the transition perfectly. . . . The plot is predictable in a purely Bond-ian way (credibly incredible), but also intricate and inventive, surprising and satisfying—a testament to Deaver’s skill as a storyteller. . . . Fleming purists may balk at the hint of a New Age sensitivity in Deaver's Bond, but they will recognize one of the world's most enduring fictional characters: competent, courageous, charming, and cool.”Publishers Weekly

“Deaver, as fans of his Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance thrillers would expect, has clearly done his homework. . . . the most impressive feature of Carte Blanche is the ingenuity of the breathless, blood-thirsty plot. A master of misdirection, Deaver manufactures more surprises than anyone flogging an old warhorse can be expected to produce. . . . Kingsley Amis, John Gardner and Sebastian Faulks are among those who have tried to bring Bond back to life. Deaver, though, is in a class of his own: nobody's done it better.”The Evening Standard (London)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451629354
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 1/24/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Simon & Schuster
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 196,608
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffery  Deaver
Jeffery Deaver is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of two collections of short stories and twenty-eight suspense novels. He is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, most notably The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. His many awards include the Novel of the Year at the International Thriller Writers’ Awards in 2009 for his standalone novel The Bodies Left Behind.

Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award, and a Gumshoe Award. He was recently shortlisted for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. He lives in North Carolina. Learn more at JefferyDeaver.com.

Biography

Born just outside Chicago in 1950 to an advertising copywriter father and stay-at-home mom, Jeffery Deaver was a writer from the start, penning his first book (a brief tome just two chapters in length) at age 11. He went on to edit his high school literary magazine and serve on the staff of the school newspaper, chasing the dream of becoming a crack reporter.

Upon earning his B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, Deaver realized that he lacked the necessary background to become a legal correspondent for the high-profile publications he aspired to, such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, so he enrolled at Fordham Law School. Being a legal eagle soon grew on Deaver, and rather than continue on as a reporter, he took a job as a corporate lawyer at a top Wall Street firm. Deaver's detour from the writing life wasn't to last, however; ironically, it was his substantial commute to the law office that touched off his third -- and current -- career. He'd fill the long hours on the train scribbling his own renditions of the kind of fiction he enjoyed reading most: suspense.

Voodoo, a supernatural thriller, and Always a Thief, an art-theft caper, were Deaver's first published novels. Produced by the now-defunct Paperjacks paperback original house, the books are no longer in print, but they remain hot items on the collector circuit. His first major outing was the Rune series, which followed the adventures of an aspiring female filmmaker in the power trilogy Manhattan Is My Beat (1988), Death of a Blue Movie Star (1990), and Hard News (1991).

Deaver's next series, this one featuring the adventures of ace movie location scout John Pellam, featured the thrillers Shallow Graves (1992), Bloody River Blues (1993), and Hell's Kitchen (2001). Written under the pen name William Jefferies, the series stands out in Deaver's body of work, primarily because it touched off his talent for focusing more on his vivid characters than on their perilous situations.

In fact, it is his series featuring the intrepid and beloved team of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs that showcases Deaver at the top of his game. Confronting enormous odds (and always under somewhat gruesome circumstances), the embittered detective and his feisty partner and love interest made their debut in 1991's grisly caper The Bone Collector, and hooked fans for four more books: The Coffin Dancer (1998), The Empty Chair (2000), The Stone Monkey (2002), and The Vanishing Man(2003). Of the series, Kirkus Reviews observed, "Deaver marries forensic work that would do Patricia Cornwell proud to turbocharged plots that put Benzedrine to shame."

On the creation of Rhyme, who happens to be a paraplegic, Deaver explained to Shots magazine, "I wanted to create a Sherlock Holmes-ian kind of character that uses his mind rather than his body. He solves crimes by thinking about the crimes, rather than someone who can shoot straight, run faster, or walk into the bar and trick people into giving away the clues."

As for his reputation for conjuring up some of the most unsavory scenes in pop crime fiction, Deaver admits on his web site, "In general, I think, less is more, and that if a reader stops reading because a book is too icky then I've failed in my obligation to the readers."

Good To Know

Deaver revises his manuscripts "at least 20 or 30 times" before his publishers get to even see a version.

Two of his books have been made into major feature films. The first was A Maiden's Grave (the film adaptation was called Dead Silence), which starred James Garner and Marlee Matlin. The Bone Collector came next, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

In addition to being a bestselling novelist, Deaver has also been a folksinger, songwriter, music researcher, and professional poet.

Deaver's younger sister, Julie Reece Deaver, is a fellow author who writes novels for young adults.

In our interview with Deaver, he reveals, "My inspiration for writing is the reader. I want to give readers whatever will excite and please them. It's absolutely vital in this business for authors to know their audience and to write with them in mind."

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Jefferies, Jeffery Wilds Deaver
    2. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 6, 1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Sunday

The Red Danube

Chapter 1

His hand on the dead-man throttle, the driver of the Serbian Rail diesel felt the thrill he always did on this particular stretch of railway, heading north from Belgrade and approaching Novi Sad.

This was the route of the famed Arlberg Orient Express, which ran from Greece through Belgrade and points north from the 1930s until the 1960s. Of course, he was not piloting a glistening Pacific 231 steam locomotive towing elegant mahogany-and-brass dining cars, suites and sleepers, where passengers floated upon vapors of luxury and anticipation. He commanded a battered old thing from America that tugged behind it a string of more or less dependable rolling stock packed snugly with mundane cargo.

But still he felt the thrill of history in every vista that the journey offered, especially as they approached the river, his river.

And yet he was ill at ease.

Among the wagons bound for Budapest, containing coal, scrap metal, consumer products and timber, there was one that worried him greatly. It was loaded with drums of MIC — methyl isocyanate — to be used in Hungary in the manufacture of rubber.

The driver — a round, balding man in a well-worn cap and stained overalls — had been briefed at length about this deadly chemical by his supervisor and some idiot from the Serbian Safety and Well-being Transportation Oversight Ministry. Some years ago this substance had killed eight thousand people in Bhopal, India, within a few days of leaking from a manufacturing plant there.

He'd acknowledged the danger his cargo presented but, a veteran railway man and union member, he'd asked, "What does that mean for the journey to Budapest . . . specifically?"

The boss and the bureaucrat had regarded each other with the eyes of officialdom and, after a pause, settled for "Just be very careful."

The lights of Novi Sad, Serbia's second-largest city, began to coalesce in the distance, and ahead in the encroaching evening the Danube appeared as a pale stripe. In history and in music the river was celebrated. In reality it was brown, undramatic and home to barges and tankers, not candlelit vessels filled with lovers and Viennese orchestras — or not here, at least. Still, it was the Danube, an icon of Balkan pride, and the railway man's chest always swelled as he took his train over the bridge.

His river . . .

He peered through the speckled windscreen and inspected the track before him in the headlight of the General Electric diesel. Nothing to be concerned about.

There were eight notch positions on the throttle, number one being the lowest. He was presently at five and he eased back to three to slow the train as it entered a series of turns. The 4,000-horsepower engine grew softer as it cut back the voltage to the traction motors.

As the cars entered the straight section to the bridge the driver shifted up to notch five again and then six. The engine pulsed louder and faster and there came a series of sharp clangs from behind. The sound was, the driver knew, simply the couplings between wagons protesting at the change in speed, a minor cacophony he'd heard a thousand times in his job. But his imagination told him the noise was the metal containers of the deadly chemical in car number three, jostling against one another, at risk of spewing forth their poison.

Nonsense, he told himself and concentrated on keeping the speed steady. Then, for no reason at all, except that it made him feel better, he tugged at the air horn.

Chapter 2

Lying at the top of a hill, surrounded by obscuring grass, a man of serious face and hunter's demeanor heard the wail of a horn in the distance, miles away. A glance told him that the sound had come from the train approaching from the south. It would arrive here in ten or fifteen minutes. He wondered how it might affect the precarious operation that was about to unfurl.

Shifting position slightly, he studied the diesel locomotive and the lengthy string of wagons behind it through his night-vision monocular.

Judging that the train was of no consequence to himself and his plans, James Bond turned the scope back to the restaurant of the spa and hotel and once again regarded his target through the window. The weathered building was large, yellow stucco with brown trim. Apparently it was a favorite with the locals, from the number of Zastava and Fiat saloons in the car park.

It was eight forty and the Sunday evening was clear here, near Novi Sad, where the Pannonian Plain rose to a landscape that the Serbs called "mountainous," though Bond guessed the adjective must have been chosen to attract tourists; the rises were mere hills to him, an avid skier. The May air was dry and cool, the surroundings as quiet as an undertaker's chapel of rest.

Bond shifted position again. In his thirties, he was six feet tall and weighed 170 pounds. His black hair was parted on one side and a comma of loose strands fell over one eye. A three-inch scar ran down his right cheek.

This evening he'd taken some care with his outfit. He was wearing a dark green jacket and rainproof trousers from the American company 5.11, which made the best tactical clothing on the market. On his feet were well-worn leather boots that had been made for pursuit and sure footing in a fight.

As night descended, the lights to the north glowed more intensely: the old city of Novi Sad. As lively and charming as it was now, Bond knew the place had a dark past. After the Hungarians had slaughtered thousands of its citizens in January 1942 and flung the bodies into the icy Danube, Novi Sad had become a crucible for partisan resistance. Bond was here tonight to prevent another horror, different in nature but of equal or worse magnitude.

Yesterday, Saturday, an alert had rippled through the British intelligence community. GCHQ, in Cheltenham, had decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack later in the week.

meeting at noah's office, confirm incident friday night, 20th, estimated initial casualties in the thousands, british interests adversely affected, funds transfers as discussed.

Not long after, the government eavesdroppers had also cracked part of a second text message, sent from the same phone, same encryption algorithm, but to a different number.

meet me sunday at restaurant rostilj outside novi sad, 20:00. i am 6+ feet tall, irish accent.

Then the Irishman — who'd courteously, if inadvertently, supplied his own nickname — had destroyed the phone or flicked out the batteries, as had his co-conspirator Noah and the other text recipient.

In London the Joint Intelligence Committee and members of COBRA, the crisis management body, met into the night to assess the risk of Incident 20, so called because of Friday's date.

There was no solid information on the origin or nature of the threat but MI6 was of the opinion that it was coming out of the tribal regions in Afghanistan, where al-Qaeda and its affiliates had taken to hiring Western operatives in European countries. Six's agents in Kabul began a major effort to learn more. The Serbian connection had to be pursued, too. And so at ten o'clock last night the rangy tentacles of these events had reached out and clutched Bond, who'd been sitting in an exclusive restaurant off Charing Cross Road with a beautiful woman, whose lengthy description of her life as an underappreciated painter had grown tiresome. The message on Bond's mobile had read, NIACT, Call COS.

The Night Action alert meant an immediate response was required, at whatever time it was received. The call to his chief of staff had blessedly cut the date short and soon he had been en route to Serbia, under a Level 2 project order, authorizing him to identify the Irishman, plant trackers and other surveillance devices and follow him. If that proved impossible, the order authorized Bond to conduct an extraordinary rendition of the Irishman and spirit him back to England or to a black site on the Continent for interrogation.

So now Bond lay among white narcissi, taking care to avoid the leaves of that beautiful but poisonous spring flower. He concentrated on peering through the Restoran Roštilj's front window, on the other side of which the Irishman was sitting over an almost untouched plate and talking to his partner, as yet unidentified but Slavic in appearance. Perhaps because he was nervous, the local contact had parked elsewhere and walked here, providing no number-plate to scan.

The Irishman had not been so timid. His low-end Mercedes had arrived forty minutes ago. Its plate had revealed that the vehicle had been hired today for cash under a false name, with a fake British driving license and passport. The man was about Bond's age, perhaps a bit older, six foot two and lean. He'd walked into the restaurant in an ungainly way, his feet turned out. An odd line of blond fringe dipped over a high forehead and his cheekbones angled down to a square-cut chin.

Bond was satisfied that this man was the target. Two hours ago he had gone into the restaurant for a cup of coffee and stuck a listening device inside the front door. A man had arrived at the appointed time and spoken to the headwaiter in English — slowly and loudly, as foreigners often do when talking to locals. To Bond, listening through an app on his phone from thirty yards away, the accent was clearly mid-Ulster — most likely Belfast or the surrounding area. Unfortunately the meeting between the Irishman and his local contact was taking place out of the bug's range.

Through the tunnel of his monocular, Bond now studied his adversary, taking note of every detail — "Small clues save you. Small errors kill," as the instructors at Fort Monckton were wont to remind. He noted that the Irishman's manner was precise and that he made no unnecessary gestures. When the partner drew a diagram the Irishman moved it closer with the rubber of a propelling pencil so that he left no fingerprints. He sat with his back to the window and in front of his partner; the surveillance apps on Bond's mobile could not read either set of lips. Once, the Irishman turned quickly, looking outside, as if triggered by a sixth sense. The pale eyes were devoid of expression. After some time he turned back to the food that apparently didn't interest him.

The meal now seemed to be winding down. Bond eased off the hillock and made his way through widely spaced spruce and pine trees and anemic undergrowth, with clusters of the ubiquitous white flowers. He passed a faded sign in Serbian, French and English that had amused him when he'd arrived:

SPA AND RESTAURANT

ROŠTILJ LOCATED IN A DECLARED THERAPEUTIC REGION, AND IS RECOMMENDED BY ALL FOR CONVALESCENCES AFTER SURGERIES, ESPECIALLY HELPING FOR ACUTE AND CHRONIC DISEASES OF RESPIRATION ORGANS, AND ANEMIA. FULL BAR.

He returned to the staging area, behind a decrepit garden shed that smelled of engine oil, petrol and piss, near the driveway to the restaurant. His two "comrades," as he thought of them, were waiting here.

James Bond preferred to operate alone but the plan he'd devised required two local agents. They were with the BIA, the Serbian Security Information Agency, as benign a name for a spy outfit as one could imagine. The men, however, were under cover in the uniform of local police from Novi Sad, sporting the golden badge of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Faces squat, heads round, perpetually unsmiling, they wore their hair close-cropped beneath navy blue brimmed caps. Their woolen uniforms were the same shade. One was around forty, the other twenty-five. Despite their cover roles as rural officers, they'd come girded for battle. They carried heavy Beretta pistols and swaths of ammunition. In the backseat of their borrowed police car, a Volkswagen Jetta, there were two green-camouflaged Kalashnikov machine guns, an Uzi and a canvas bag of fragmentation hand grenades — serious ones, Swiss HG 85s.

Bond turned to the older agent but before he spoke he heard a fierce slapping from behind. His hand moving to his Walther PPS, he whirled round — to see the younger Serb ramming a pack of cigarettes into his palm, a ritual that Bond, a former smoker, had always found absurdly self-conscious and unnecessary.

What was the man thinking?

"Quiet," he whispered coldly. "And put those away. No smoking."

Perplexity sidled into the dark eyes. "My brother, he smokes all time he is out on operations. Looks more normal than not smoking in Serbia." On the drive here the young man had prattled on and on about his brother, a senior agent with the infamous JSO, technically a unit of the state secret service, though Bond knew it was really a black-ops paramilitary group. The young agent had let slip — probably intentionally, for he had said it with pride — that big brother had fought with Arkan's Tigers, a ruthless gang that had committed some of the worst atrocities in the fighting in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

"Maybe on the streets of Belgrade a cigarette won't be noticed," Bond muttered, "but this is a tactical operation. Put them away."

The agent slowly complied. He seemed about to say something to his partner, then thought better of it, perhaps recalling that Bond had a working knowledge of Serbo-Croatian.

Bond looked again into the restaurant and saw that the Irishman was laying some dinars on the metal tray — no traceable credit card, of course. The partner was pulling on a jacket.

"All right. It's time." Bond reiterated the plan. In the police car they would follow the Irishman's Mercedes out of the drive and along the road until he was a mile or so from the restaurant. The Serbian agents would then pull the car over, telling him it matched a vehicle used in a drug crime in Novi Sad. The Irishman would be asked politely to get out and would be handcuffed. His mobile phone, wallet and identity papers would be placed on the boot of the Mercedes and he'd be led aside and made to sit facing away from the car.

Meanwhile Bond would slip out of the backseat, photograph the documents, download what he could from the phone, look through laptops and luggage, then plant tracking devices.

By then the Irishman would have caught on that this was a shake-down and offered a suitable bribe. He'd be freed to go on his way.

If the local partner left the restaurant with him, they'd execute essentially the same plan with both men.

"Now, I'm ninety percent sure he'll believe you," Bond said. "But if not, and he engages, remember that under no circumstances is he to be killed. I need him alive. Aim to wound in the arm he favors, near the elbow, not the shoulder." Despite what one saw in the movies, a shoulder wound was usually as fatal as one to the abdomen or chest.

The Irishman now stepped outside, feet splayed. He looked around, pausing to study the area. Was anything different? he'd be thinking. New cars had arrived since they'd entered; was there anything significant about them? He apparently decided there was no threat and both men climbed into the Mercedes.

"It's the pair of them," Bond said. "Same plan."

"Da."

The Irishman started the engine. The lights flashed on.

Bond oriented his hand on his Walther, snug in the D. M. Bullard leather pancake holster, and climbed into the backseat of the police car, noticing an empty tin on the floor. One of his comrades had enjoyed a Jelen Pivo, a Deer Beer, while Bond had been conducting surveillance. The insubordination bothered him less than the carelessness. The Irishman might grow suspicious when stopped by a cop with beer on his breath. Another man's ego and greed can be helpful, Bond believed, but incompetence is simply a useless and inexcusable danger.

The Serbs got into the front. The engine hummed to life. Bond tapped the earpiece of his SRAC, the short-range agent communication device used for cloaked radio transmissions on tactical operations. "Channel two," he reminded them.

"Da, da." The older man sounded bored. They both plugged in earpieces.

And James Bond asked himself yet again: Had he planned this properly? Despite the speed with which the operation had been put together, he'd spent hours formulating the tactics. He believed he'd anticipated every possible variation.

Except one, it appeared.

The Irishman did not do what he absolutely had to.

He didn't leave.

The Mercedes turned away from the drive and rolled out of the car park on to the lawn beside the restaurant, on the other side of a tall hedge, unseen by the staff and diners. It was heading for a weed-riddled field to the east.

The younger agent snapped, "Govno! What he is doing?" The three men stepped out to get a better view. The older one drew his gun and started after the car.

Bond waved him to a halt. "No! Wait."

"He's escaping. He knows about us!"

"No — it's something else." The Irishman wasn't driving as if he were being pursued. He was moving slowly, the Mercedes easing forward, like a boat in a gentle morning swell. Besides, there was no place to escape to. He was hemmed in by cliffs overlooking the Danube, the railway embankment and the forest on the Fruška Gora rise.

Bond watched as the Mercedes arrived at the rail track, a hundred yards from where they stood. It slowed, made a U-turn and parked, the bonnet facing back toward the restaurant. It was close to a railway work shed and switch rails, where a second track peeled off from the main line. Both men climbed out and the Irishman collected something from the boot.

Your enemy's purpose will dictate your response — Bond silently recited another maxim from the lectures at Fort Monckton's Specialist Training Center in Gosport. You must find the adversary's intention.

But what was his purpose?

Bond pulled out the monocular again, clicked on the night vision and focused. The partner opened a panel mounted on a signal beside the switch rails and began fiddling with the components inside. Bond saw that the second track, leading off to the right, was a rusting, disused spur, ending in a barrier at the top of a hill.

So it was sabotage. They were going to derail the train by shunting it on to the spur. The cars would tumble down the hill into a stream that flowed into the Danube.

But why?

Bond turned the monocular toward the diesel engine and the wagons behind it and saw the answer. The first two cars contained only scrap metal but behind them, a canvas-covered flatbed was marked OPASNOST-DANGER! He saw, too, a hazardous-materials diamond, the universal warning sign that told emergency rescuers the risks of a particular shipment. Alarmingly, this diamond had high numbers for all three categories: health, instability and inflammability. The W at the bottom meant that the substance would react dangerously with water. Whatever was being carried in that car was in the deadliest category, short of nuclear materials.

The train was now three-quarters of a mile away from the switch rails, picking up speed to make the gradient to the bridge.

Your enemy's purpose will dictate your response. . . .

He didn't know how the sabotage related to Incident 20, if at all, but their immediate goal was clear — as was the response Bond now instinctively formulated. He said to the comrades, "If they try to leave, block them at the drive and take them. No lethal force."

He leaped into the driver's seat of the Jetta. He pointed the car toward the fields where he'd been conducting surveillance and jammed down the accelerator as he released the clutch. The light car shot forward, engine and gearbox crying out at the rough treatment, as it crashed over brush, saplings, narcissus and the raspberry bushes that grew everywhere in Serbia. Dogs fled and lights in the tiny cottages nearby flicked on. Residents in their gardens waved their arms angrily in protest.

Bond ignored them and concentrated on maintaining his speed as he drove toward his destination, guided only by scant illumination: a partial moon above and the doomed train's headlight, far brighter and rounder than the lamp of heaven.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved

Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche will be released in the USA on June 14.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mr. Deaver's Bond is a wonderful heir apparent to Mr. Fleming's Bond

    9/11 changed the world as international terrorist groups focused on civilian targets. The Bush Doctrine based on the premise of taking the global war on terrorism to the enemy led to the Afghanistan war in which agents like thirtyish 007 James Bond operated. However, Great Britain understood the Cold War agencies like M15, M16 and MOD remain critical, but not set up to deal with non-nation terrorism. Thus a new agency Overseas Development Group was created to take the war to the enemy using any technique necessary.

    Government Communications Headquarters cryptographers decode electronic messages that affirm a major attack planned for sometime this week with thousands expected dead. M16 feels the center of the threat is in Afghanistan. A Night Alert assigns Agent 007 Carte Blanche to save lives. Bond knows the key immediate enemy needing rendition or death is the brilliant operational expert The Irishman, but stopping him will only delay the assault. As time runs out, 007 focuses on the Irishman, but also knows he needs to capture the money behind the pending attack. However, Severan Hydt has numerous refuse layers to protect him as he seeks international decay.

    Avoiding the Fleming lite of recent Bond novels, Jeffery Deaver reinvents 007 in a contemporary world in which the Cold War is history. However, though Bond is modernized, trademark elements that denote the character and the espionage thrillers he starred on remain. Mr. Deaver includes the Bond girls with inane names (though the hero is more sensitive to their needs), the wheels, the drink, but he gave up smoking, the over the top of Big Ben villains, and Carte Blanch license to kill. However, as with the originals, it is the countdown suspense that makes Mr. Deaver's Bond a wonderful heir apparent to Mr. Fleming's Bond (except for purist Boomers who will say no to any doctoring).

    Harriet Klausner

    39 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Not your grandmother's Bond

    However, still a Bond she will love. I only write reviews for books that really suck me in and Jeffrey Deaver has done it. This is still the sexy, thrilling, suave Bond with a twist of modern in his license to kill. I'd recommend this to any fan of 007 or just suspense lovers like me.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    True to the old Bond

    After a few tries, finally the James Bond people got this right. Ian Fleming Publications asked Jeffrey Deaver, a very accomplished action-adventure/suspense writer to take on this new novel, Carte Blanche. Mr. Deaver, a master of suspense has written one of the best (since Fleming) 007 adventures that will keep readers on the edge of their chairs. It's a masterful adaptation of the 007 persona. The book balances the tradition of Bond (very debonair, suave and a real ladie's man) bringing him into a new era. Gone is the Commander who met the Nazis face to face and all the weird folks who peopled the former Bond books. In this book, our James is a former Royal Naval Reserve Officer who has recently joined the Overseas Development Group (no more Universal Exports), a covert unit of British Security. James still has a boss named "M"; Miss Moneypenny is front and center; James drives a top-of-the-line Bentley, which, by the way, was written into many Fleming Bond stories; Mary Goodnight, secretary to the 00 section; Felix Leiter, old CIA pal and others who readers will recognize. Also, of course the license to kill which is now called Carte Blanche... Great villians, in this case, Niall Dunne, "The Irishman," the ultimate bad guy and his boss, Severan Hydt, the owner of Green Way International, a waste disposal corporation who is obsessed with death and wants to detonate an extremely dangerous weapon of mass distruction in a British University. James Bond, in this volume is a veteran of Afghanistan. Also, he is much more of a team player than he once was. Despite some run-ins with Percy Osborne-Smith, a MI5 agent, he has become somewhat sensitive, which was not a quality enjoyed by the previous Bond. Still, the hard-nosed Bond remains, but it's a different world than it was in 1953, and the women in Carte Blanche are pretty much equal to the men. There's Ophelia Maidenstone, a coworker at ODG, who, besides being very beautiful, is indispensible abd, without her, Bond would be dead in the water. When romance begins to bloom between them, she stays in Bond's mind so much that after a night with another beauty, Bond actually feels guilty. Which was definitely NOT one of his traits in past books. This is very unlike the old James but, it's true to the Bond stories as it's just as exciting and full of danger as were the earlier books. This author really leaves you wanting more Bond adventures. This novel will hold readers interests going into plots and sub-plots about Bond's life and readers will be looking forward to the next Bond installment. Hopefully, to be carried out by Jeffrey Deaver. Quill Says: Jeffrey Deaver, the latest author asked to write a James Bond 007 opus, is a wonderful choice. He remains true to the old Bond, including fast cars and women and also really nasty bad guys. But, has been able to bring James into the 21st century with a bang instead of a whimper.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    awesome

    so cool

    4 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2011

    Bond for the 21st century!!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this 007 novel. It introduces a James Bond young enough to fit in with the modern age, who uses an iPhone and gives insight into his family history (spying, it seems runs in the family). The physical description of 007 is closer to Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton than Daniel Craig, and the story is well-written and thought up. I sincerely hope that Mr. Deaver decided to write more 007 novels, because if he does we will have a completely new and revamped Bond whose further adventures are highly anticipated. Praise to you, Mr. Deaver...I LOVE BOND!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    Good but didn't really feel like a James Bond novel

    Overall, I really liked this novel but it never entirely felt like a true James Bond novel to me. In the best Bond novels it seems like only James Bond could star in them. In this one I felt you could put Jason Bourne or Harry Palmer in it and still get the same atmosphere in the story. The updating of Bond was jarring at first but made sense once I thought about it. There were also plenty of surprises even though there were times I don't think he played fair with the reader. Bottom line: a great first Bond novel that makes you want to read the next one Deaver will come out with.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    A big disappointment for me

    Love Deaver and loved Flemming's Bond books but this did not do it for me at all. Too cumbersome in the beginning and never grabbed my interest

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Well Written

    Jeffery Deaver impresses me as a writer who researches deeply into his subjects, and that makes for an enjoyable read. There are enough twists to keep things interesting (let's face it, Bond always wins...), and enough detail to make the charactors believable. If you like action adventure, than this book is for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    Never Again...

    I was highly disappointed at Barnes & Noble's service. I made a purchase (Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche) in July 15, in Buenos Aires, paid for delivery in eight days, and the item arrived two months later, on September 15, when I was already in another country. Shame on you! Really...
    Yours sincerely,

    Ricardo Quintana

    2 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    what customer service ?

    Still waiting for it to download !!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 23, 2012

    I couldn't even finish this.

    I couldn't even finish this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Very disappointing. Poor character development and contrived st

    Very disappointing. Poor character development and contrived story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Amazing

    Intriguing and entertaining! Everything you have come to expect from Bond done with the finesse and intelligence of Deaver! Bravo!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2011

    Fantastic update to the best spy license

    Absolutely loved this novel. You can tell from the detail of the writing that Mr. Deaver and his team spent exhaustive hours researching to deliver a spectacularly authentic story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Return to A Softer Well-Mannered Bond

    I loved Deavers take on James Bond. I am happy he brought him into this century. This allowed for a more believable Bond... However, Deaver has done away with the dark and cruel Bond and has created a James Bond who might look better as window dressing in store front. I miss the Bond who kills but finds away to taunt he bad guy with a self-assured wit. Having said that, I had alot of fun reading this. Deaver hit all the right superficial notes but missed some of the character depth that should go into making a literary 007.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bond fans rejoice, great story

    Very fluid and modern well woven tale with the right amount of old Ian Fleming's style and flair. Mr. Deaver carries the legacy well with his version of James Bond.
    Love the similar flow of the story and the interaction with M and chief of staff, Tanner. Q branch normal complains and the locations were great to read about.
    This could be well translated in to a screen play and the next James Bond movie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    I had to see how Jeffery Deaver handled James Bond.

    I have read and enjoyed most of Jeffery Deaver's books. And I had read and seen all of Ian Fleming's James Bond stories. So I was anxious to read this as well. He does Ian proud !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing

    I must agree with Pathodessa's assessment: didn't grab my interest and though I love Jeffery Deaver books and buy them as soon as they come out, this just didn't do it for me. Though I also loved James Bond books, this wasn't enough like James Bond or enough like Jeffery Deaver....hence: disappointing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2014

    Excellent Bond novel

    I really enjoyethipiecesd





    Great book




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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Great new James Bond book.

    I have read and loved all of Jeffery Deaver's books. His take on Mr. Bond is so very good I couldn't read it fast enough! I'm sure if you just read the book without bias you'll enjoy it as well.

    Also, to the reviewer that loves Mr. Jeffery Dalhmers book, umm... It's the author Deaver not the serial killer Dalhmer.
    Please read and enjoy this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews

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