Thursday, 10 July 2014

Moonraker (James Bond, #3) by Ian Fleming (3.5/5)

First published: 1955
Page count: 245

The back says: ”For several minutes he stood speechless, his eyes dazzled by the terrible beauty of the greatest weapon on earth”

He’s a self-made millionaire, head of the Moonraker rocket programme and loved by the press. So why is Sir Hugo Drax cheating at cards? Bond has just five days to uncover the sinister truth behind a national hero, in Ian Fleming’s third 007 adventure.

I say: Well, well, well, these novels are getting better as I go along.

Or am I merely getting used to it all?

As the synopsis says, Drax has made millions and yet cheats at cards at a private gentlemen’s club in London. A friend of Bond’s boss, M., asks if they can help him solve this puzzle. The situation is delicate because Drax is responsible for the building of the Moonraker, a missile that is meant to be able to target any major city, thus making England a big threat. In five days it is set for a test run and the entire nation will be watching.

As in Casino Royale, there is never any doubt that Bond is going to figure out how Drax is cheating; it is simply a plot device to get Bond somehow involved with the man responsible for the Moonraker. Another plot device is that the following day one of the security staff at the site gets shot and Bond is called in to investigate.

In this novel we find out that Bond isn’t permitted to work in England, but, of course, they make allowances for him to save the day.

To my surprise, I enjoyed Drax’s elaborate background – more so than the main plot itself – and even though I had my suspicions, Fleming did a great job with this one. As always, there were improbable escapes mixed with blatant chauvinism and uncouth behaviour from Bond, and I’m finding the formula of the obligatory sexual tension with female co-star extremely wearisome.

No comments:

Post a Comment