23 March 2013

From Russia With Love

In case you have not noticed over the past couple of books, Bond has been causing some issues for the Russians.  They are not happy with him.  LeChiffre, Mr. Big and Hugo Drax.  Bond kinda screwed them over big time.  And, being Russians, or Soviets if you will, they want to get rid of Bond.

Simple killing will not be enough however.  Oh no, not for the operatives of SMERSH.  They need to discredit Bond.  Shame him.  And, if MI-6 is shamed in the process, all the better.

To his discredit, Bond is know as a bit of a ladies man.  This is how SMERSH plans to take him down.  To do this, they recruit Tatiana Romanova, a beautiful Russian agent.

Their plan: lure Bond to Istanbul where she will give him a top secret Russian coding machine.  Finding it odd, M sends Bond on his merry way.

Once in Istanbul, Bond gets a crash course in the operations in that area from Kerim Bey.  There's also a dinner with a gypsy family which doesn't fit with the rest of the novel.  But its still a neat sequence.

Most of the action then takes place on the Orient Express.  They are tracked there by a maniacal former British soldier.  Turns out he likes killing... especially on the full moon.  So, he didn't quite fit in with the Brits, so its off to work for the Russians!

So, as you can guess, Bond handily disposes of the maniacal killer.  The story ends with Bond and Romanova in Paris, and the coding machine tucked safely in MI-6 hands.  Except for the part where Romanova's former handler tracks them down and poisons Bond.


Well, not really.  We know that Bond will be back in the next book.  Actually, at this point Flemming was getting bored with the books and wanted to stop writing, hence the uncertain fate of Bond.  I'm glad Flemming decided to write more.

I really like this one.  Its probably my favorite after Casino Royale.  Nothing I can put my finger on per se.  Just an all around great book.

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