The Man With The Red Tattoo by Raymond Benson | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Man with the Red Tattoo

The Man with the Red Tattoo

4.0 7
by Raymond Benson
     
 

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In Tokyo, a fatal strain of West Nile virus has infected-and killed-the head of the world's largest genetic research company and his family. Whoever is behind the murders is far more dangerous than the average assassin-dangerous enough to send in James Bond. Teamed with a beautiful Japanese agent, 007 must predict the next attack-and stop a weapon powerful enough to

Overview

In Tokyo, a fatal strain of West Nile virus has infected-and killed-the head of the world's largest genetic research company and his family. Whoever is behind the murders is far more dangerous than the average assassin-dangerous enough to send in James Bond. Teamed with a beautiful Japanese agent, 007 must predict the next attack-and stop a weapon powerful enough to destroy the Western world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This latest addition to the James Bond canon includes virtually all the requisite components, from an evil villain with a diabolical plot to exotic settings and beautiful women. But what's missing is the biggest piece of all: Bond himself. This time around, Benson's Bond is strangely inert; he lacks the suavity, verve and wit that have made him one of the most engaging heroes in genre fiction. The story line is compelling enough: 007 is in Japan to baby-sit the British prime minister at a summit conference and to investigate mysterious deaths in the McMahon family, whose patriarch ran pharmaceutical giant CureLab. Bond reunites with an aging Tiger Tanaka, who featured in Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice, as they pursue Goro Yoshida, the terrorist who links both parts of Bond's mission. Yoshida is a clich monomaniacal and merciless but an interesting one, bent on using biological weapons to punish Western society for polluting traditional Japanese culture. He even has an evil dwarf sidekick, Junji Kon, the knife-wielding embodiment of a kappa, a mythical creature in Japanese folklore. The other Bond tropes are present: love interests (Reiko Tamura, Tanaka's colleague; and Mayumi, the sole survivor of the McMahon family), cinematic action and gadgets (including a Palm Pilot packed with plastic explosive). But it's Bond himself who propels readers along, and here he is a mere facsimile of the real thing. (June) Forecast: Benson has published five other Bond novels/pastiches, two novelizations of films and The James Bond Bedside Companion. Fans will snap this up to feed their habit, but it's unlikely to draw new readers to the franchise. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
James Bond, British Intelligence's immortal action hero, returns to Japan to stop a Mishima-quoting crimelord whose killer mosquitoes threaten to disrupt a G8 conference, and worse. With terrorists maintaining a daily presence in the news, the greatest challenge for Benson, the American author currently working the Bond book franchise, is plotting a tale that can have Bond do what the US military doesn't: infiltrate a terrorist organization and take down the bad guy in charge. Benson succeeds by sticking with the tried if not-so-true formula: deluxe tourism (Bond endures endless lectures about Japanese culture, sees the sights and stays in only luxury hotels, so he can maintain his cover as a wealthy playboy, Benson tells us), over-the-top action (a flashy sword-fight during a Kabuki performance, a bout with a karate-kicking dwarf inside the 50 km-long undersea Seikan Tunnel) and sex-first with Reiko Tamura, a brainy aide to Tiger Tanaka, the semiretired head of Japanese law enforcement first introduced in Fleming's You Only Live Twice (1967), then with Mayumi McMahon, a high-class prostitute "practically perfect in every way" who inherits a drug company after Japanese mafiosi murder her relatives. Tattooed Japanese nationalist Goro Yoshida, first introduced in Never Dream of Dying (2001), needs the drug company to breed genetically altered mosquitoes whose sting inflicts a fatal form of West Nile disease. Yoshida's reasons for setting his bugs loose at a G8 conference, and then in cities throughout the world, aren't terribly clear, but it's enough for Bond to get involved, equipped with an exploding Palm Pilot, a collar-stay knife, a packet of gas-making antacid pills, and his trustyWalther PPK. Benson's prose is as limp as ever ("Tokyo lay before him, a sprawling, metropolitan machine")-but for mindless escapism, Bond suffices when nothing else will.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399148842
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
06/10/2002
Series:
James Bond Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Benson is the author of The Facts of Death, Zero Minus Ten, High Time to Kill and the novelizations of Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. He is a director of The Ian Fleming Foundation. Benson lives and works in the Chicago area.

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