Monday, December 15, 2014

Heard: "Devil May Care" by Sebastian Faulks

Heard: Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, 2008, Overdrive download.

Narrated by the sublime John Lee. Set in 1967. Bond has finished convalescing after injury in a previous novel. Bond spent time playing tennis and traveling but is now ready to return to duty.  M sends Bond to investigate a drug company founder, Dr. Julius Gorner.  Gorner is suspected of smuggling heroin.

Bond goes to Paris where he and Gorner play tennis at and place high bets on their match Gorner cheats during the match, of course. Bond wins the match anyway, of course.  Bond also meets a seductive woman, of course. 

Gorner is both a former German and Russian soldier who switched sides during the war. Gorner's humiliating experience as a post-war student at Oxford leaves him hating the English so much that he is planning England's downfall. 

Gorner also has a bizarre deformity. The deformity is a hairy left hand described by M as main de singe, monkey's paw. Gorner's murderous sidekick is Chagrin, a Vietnamese man who fought against the French with the Viet Min and had a penchant for killing nuns.
Things happen. The seductive woman asks for Bond's help to rescue her sister who is under Gorner's employ and slave to Gorner after he hooked her on heroin.  Bond follows Gorner to Iran and discovers a huge float plane intended to skim the water and avoid radar. Bond is caught by Gorner and taken to Gorner's desert drug plant. Bond is sent into the desert in a try to kill him. Bond escapes death but taken back to Gorner's lair and told of Gorner's plan to attack Russia with a nuclear bomb and blame the English.

Bond wins out, of course.

1.  A fun listen. Nothing spectacular. I think I have read only one Fleming novel so I'm not sure how many of the standard character traits and plot points are from the books or the movies.  Car chases, beautiful women, torture, etc.
2. One character is a gay CIA agent blackmailed into working for Gorner. Or, was it the KGB? I don't recall. I thought that was a nice 1960s touch.

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