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Devil May Care  
Devilmaycare.jpg
First Edition UK Hardcover
Author Sebastian Faulks
Cover artist Photography: Kevin Summers; Design: The Partners
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series James Bond
Subject(s) James Bond, MI6, heroin, Iran, Ekranoplan, Cold War, Deuxieme Bureau
Genre(s) Spy novel
Publisher Penguin 007
Publication date 28 May 2008
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 295
ISBN 978-0-718-15376-2
OCLC Number 192027506

Devil May Care is the thirty-sixth James Bond novel. Written by Sebastian Faulks ("writing as Ian Fleming"), it was published on 28 May 2008, the 100th anniversary of Bond creator Ian Fleming's birth.[1]

The popular novelist, famous for Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, was selected by the estate of the late 007-author in 2006, though his identity was not revealed to the public until July 2007 when a publishing date for the work was officially announced along with its title.

Many online and print sources erroneously stated that Devil May Care would be the first new James Bond novel published since 1966. In fact, dozens of full-length Bond novels were published, officially, between 1968 and 2002 by the authors Kingsley Amis (as "Robert Markham"), John Pearson, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. In addition, Charlie Higson and Samantha Weinberg (as "Kate Westbrook") have been publishing Bond-related novels since 2005. Faulks' book is, however, the first novel to focus on the adult James Bond, as conceived by Fleming, since 2002's The Man with the Red Tattoo and, as noted above, it takes place in the time-frame of Fleming's original novels, the first such book since Amis' Colonel Sun (discounting the spin-off Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries lines).

The jacket artwork features the model Tuuli Shipster, muse of the British photographer, Rankin. Tuuli said: "I was thrilled that Penguin chose me to be their Bond girl. It’s fantastic to be involved with something so iconic."[2] She was also involved in the book's launch on board HMS Exeter on 27 May 2008.[3] The cover photograph was taken by British photographer and commercials director, Kevin Summers. The jacket image was created by the design agency The Partners.[2]

Devil May Care has been published in hardback by Penguin Books in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Europe and in Ireland. In the US it has been published by Doubleday. Many of the publishers will be using this jacket. Penguin are launching a brand new imprint – Penguin 007 – under which they will publish all their Bond titles, including Devil May Care.[2]

Devil May Care has become Penguin UK's fastest selling hardback novel ever, with 44,093 copies sold in its first four days.[4]

Devil May Care is also the first Bond novel to have a theme song; "Devil May Care" by SAL.[5]

Contents

Plot

A ritual execution in the outskirts of Paris starts a chain of events designed to lead to global catastrophe — a narcotics tide threatens to lethally engulf Sixties Britain, a British airliner disappears in Iraqi airspace, and the thunder of war echoes throughout the Middle East.

Bond is requested by M to investigate a man named Dr Gorner, and indirectly his bodyguard Chagrin. Bond is warned that his performance will be monitored, and that a new double-oh agent is waiting in the wings depending on his actions. Gorner owns factories and produces legitimate pharmaceuticals however MI5 suspect he has other motives. During Bond’s investigation he identifies Gorner due to a deformity of his hand – which eventually turns out to be a vanity weakness of Gorners – and establishes Gorners complicity in a scheme to not only flood Europe with cheap drugs, but also to launch a two pronged terrorist attack on the Soviet Union – whose retaliation will subsequently devastate the UK. The attack is to be made using both the stolen british airliner, and an unusual mode of transport – an ekranoplan. During Bonds adventure he is assisted by Scarlett Papava whose twin sister is under Gorners emotional spell, Darius a local, J D Silver an in-situ agent and Felix Leiter.

Bond is eventually captured by Gorner, who then explains his plan in an extended monologue, which includes using Bond as bait during a drugs delivery across the Afghan desert, and should he survive an expected ambush, to actually fly the captured airliner into the Russian heartland where he would be identified as British upon its destruction.

Bond survives the predicted Afghan attack, later however a failed escape attempt sees Scarlett get away whilst Bond is recaptured and returned to his cell. In the morning he is taken aboard the aeroplane, but before the airliner can bomb the Soviets and with the aid of the airliners original co-pilot and Scarlett (who had been hiding on board) they regain control of the airliner and crash it into a mountainside whilst parachuting to safety.

Meanwhile, Felix Leiter and Darius inform CIA agent Silver of the second method of attack. Silver then shows himself to be a double agent by failing to call in an airstrike against the Ekranpolan, and then attempting to kill Leiter and Darius. In the shoot-out Darius successfully calls in the airstrike at the cost of his own life, and Leiter only survives thanks to the timely arrival of Hamid, his taxi driver. The Ekranoplan is destroyed by RAF Vulcan bombers before it reaches its target and with the subsequent elimination of both Chagrin & Gorner Bond considers his mission a success – assuming that the new double-oh agent (who has not been mentioned again since the books opening chapters) will not be promoted in his place. Bond is sent to assess the new agent - designated 004 - who is in fact Scarlett Papava. Scarlett says that her twin sister was a fictitious ploy to convince Bond to allow her to help; had he known Scarlett was a potential double-oh agent, she feared he wouldn't have worked with her.

The book ends with Bond returning to active duty, and Scarlett moving off to her own operations.

References

Reviews

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