Someone is poisoning British soldiers in Cyprus; the same killer has murdered a British intelligence agent in Athens. James Bond himself barely escapes with his life....
But the secrets behind these and other deaths first start to come to light in Texas, where Bond goes in search of the assassin of M's friend and lover. Fearful of an international scandal that could engulf both his service and his country, he learns instead of the existence of the Decada.
Held together by an archaic philosophy and their own bizarre rituals, the Decada's fanatics have stockpiled a terrifying range of poisons and are willing to use them to further their insane ambitions for power and revenge.
Aided by beautiful, brave Greek intelligence agent Niki Mirakos, Bond puts himself into the firing line for a last-ditch attempt to stop the Decada before they unleash a horrifying weapon on their helpless prey.
©2012 Raymond Benson (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is an offbeat James Bond novel that is ultimately very compelling. It suffers slightly in the middle of the book, but is well worth listening to. Simon Vance - as usual - is spectacular. Vance does voices (even female and accents) incredibly well and has no problem with the plethora of foreign words in this novel.
The story opens with biological terror attacks around the world. Quickly, we cut to James Bond in Cyprus where biological attacks are occurring against British and Greek military forces. We learn some Cypriot history, are introduced to a sexy Greek agent, and meet a terrorist cult that worships an ancient mathematician.
Back in London, we meet the (Female) M's lover who is quickly killed by the terrorist cult.
Then the book gets a little weird as we go to Texas. James Bond investigates a sperm bank that Felix Leiter believes is working for both an American arms smuggling ring and the terrorist cult. There are far too many scenes and conversations about semen, sperm donation, and Tex-Mex restaurants. This takes up about 90 minutes in the middle of the audiobook. It makes perfect sense for the plot, but this is weird territory for a Bond novel.
There is also far too much 'explaining personal computers' from a 1990s perspective that is strange to a modern audience. There is a scene where 3 people are in a room and one explains to the other how to copy a JPEG.
I won't reveal more, but rest assured that we return to Cyprus and Greece for an exotic, violent, and action packed last few hours. It also takes breaks for atmospheric 'travelogue' scenes including a memorable casino sequence and delicious dinner in Greece.
Even a weird James Bond novel is still really good and Raymond Benson is the 2nd best Bond novelist. Minus the Texas sequence, this would have been a very great Bond novel.
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