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With a delivery as cool and dry as a vodka martini, Tristan Layton brings numerous international locals and characters to life in Faulks' homage to Ian Fleming's greatest creation, James Bond. It's 1967 and agent 007 is on a forced rest leave, but it isn't long before a new threat to the British Empire and the world has M dragging him back into action. Evil genius Dr. Julius Gorner is out to destroy Britain by flooding England with heroin. He also has an even more diabolical plan waiting in the wings. Faulks follows Fleming's traditional framework, but it's Layton's performance that keeps the rather slow storyline moving. His reading nicely enhances Faulks's prose and his proper English intonation provides the perfect stage from which his rich, multi-accented characters can project. It is a smooth, easy performance that elevates the material. A Doubleday hardcover (reviewed online). (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.