Bond novels should have a greater freedom to explore 007's deeper psyche , free as they are from the rapacious demands of Hollywood. In Doubleshot
, Raymond Benson delivers a vivid, tense view of a vengeance-obsessed Bond, injury-stricken and forced to confront his existence as a "blunt instrument of death". This is at the cost of the more traditional Bond set pieces; there are no Q-brand gizmo's or dizzying action sequences. Set mere weeks after High Time To Kill
, Bond is forcibly off-duty, recuperating after facing The Union, yet hell-bent on avenging the death of his long time lover, exposed as a Union agent. Before you can say "personal vendetta", Bond straps on the Walther PPK and sets off to destroy his enemies. However, they are equally anxious to meet him, thanks to his involvement in an audacious plot to retake Gibraltar from Britain. Bond isn't the death-proof super-spy of old, instead he is afflicted with all-too-human injuries and plagued with doubts--both welcome and ignored. Benson ensures that such "weaknesses" are constantly pitted against Bond's superhuman tenacity and formidable murderous abilities: "He felt no remorse, but he felt no satisfaction either. He felt absolutely nothing ... and performed the task coldly and objectively." Even so, the anticipated action and ingenious gadgetry are conspicuous by their absence. Peeking into an intriguing and dark mindset, Benson accomplishes his mission with verve and efficiency. --Danny Graydon
The criminal conspiracy called the Union has vowed its revenge on the man who thwarted its last coup - James Bond. As the Union's mysterious leader sets out to destroy Bond's reputation and sanity, 007 edges closer to the truth about their elaborate plan to destroy both SIS and its best agent.