Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel

By Jim Menick, Executive Editor, Reader's Digest Select Editions
Carte Blanche book cover

Jeffery Deaver reboots the James Bond franchise. keeping all the adventure, the romance and, of course, the license to kill. Deaver makes James Bond his own, first, by scrupulous attention to detail. His James Bond is absolutely Ian Fleming’s James Bond; Deaver has absorbed the canon and been completely true to it, even as he’s modernized it. But at the same time, this is very much a Deaver novel, easily twice as long and four times as twisty as the average Fleming novel. And that is the great accomplishment: Deaver has taken an old-fashioned idea and turned it into the most contemporary of thrillers. Ian Fleming’s originals today, like them or not, are dated. Contemporary readers want more heft to their thrillers, more complexity, more depth. And that’s what Deaver gives us, in spades. James Bond is still James Bond, but in 2011. It’s a bravura performance.