Jeffery Deaver’s first foray into James Bond, Carte Blanche, does a 180 from Sebastian Faulk’s fine effort from 2008, Devil May Care and sets the British agent in the modern day. Not exactly a green reboot agent as in the Daniel Craig reboot, but certainly early in his career, Deaver handles Bond’s character with familiar ease. The plot was engaging, the characters well-drawn, and there was a real sense of danger and intrigue. The story was a low-key Bond story, more of the Craig-type rather than one of global domination that seems to be the vogue of the 70’s and 80’s, but not without threatening impact. Running through the background (and sometimes foreground) was the theme of recycling and “green” products – the tale benefitted greatly from the current-issues incorporation, and its perversion by the arch villain.
The Bond story aside, the lingering takeaway I had from the book was an intrigue into the future of this Bond. Notsomuch a reboot as a alternate universe re-imagining (think Star Trek) of the character (and characters) was refreshing and felt like it set a new direction for a fresh series of novels. Really, so much has been written about Bond that it’s impossible to keep the old stories without being tied down to the timeline or the fact that he’d be about 70 years old by now. If you are going to bring him to modern day and shed some of that history, why not work with the rest of it. Deaver’s story and loose ends does what it is supposed to do, sell me his *next* book.