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<i>Carte Blanche</i>: James Bond Gets the Deaver Touch

Jeffery Deaver writes in the manner James Bond books should be written. There is a detachment about Bond and the way he lives his life and there is a detachment in Deaver's writing.
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Jeffery Deaver is an amazing writer. His novels are all best sellers, and his characters, such as Lincoln Rhyme, are legendary. When it comes to creating an interesting plot Deaver is a master of suspense. For these reasons and others, the estate of Ian Fleming chose Deaver to write the new James Bond novel. Deaver accepted the challenge, and the result is Carte Blanche.

Carte Blanche begins the James Bond story anew. The setting of the story is modern times but the characters of M and Moneypenny are on the scene. Bond is employed by the British government and is a fast-rising star. In this book he gets involved in a clandestine operation to find and destroy an enemy mission. Bond doesn't know where it is going to happen but he does know there are going to be a huge number of casualties.

Along the way, while he is searching out the deadly operation, there is time for a romantic entanglement. A beautiful woman named Felicity Willing comes into his life. Still the needs of his job outrank his personal needs, so Miss Willing has to take a back seat to the adventure that is playing out.

Deaver is known for his amazing knowledge of any and everything. His books are always technically efficient and his plots are always intricate and complex. For the James Bond book it is as if a new writer has emerged who is also known as Jeffery Deaver. He writes in the manner James Bond books should be written. There is a detachment about Bond and the way he lives his life and there is a detachment in the writing which Deaver does concerning Bond.

Carte Blanche is not a bad novel. It has suspenseful moments and it is a thrill to learn some of the basic facts about Bond's past. We are told about Bond's parents and about their deaths. We learn about the aunt who raised him. This is all interesting and "fill in the gaps" information.

Still this is not a typical Jeffery Deaver novel and for those who are ardent fans of his writing this is a major disappointment. The reader must accept the fact that he is writing with a purpose here and that is to recount a James Bond adventure and to stay true to Fleming's brand of storytelling.

If you are a fan of James Bond then you will enjoy this book immensely. If, however, you are primarily a Jeffery Deaver fan then you might be a little disappointed in the tone and telling of this story. Count me in with the latter group rather than the former.

Carte Blanche is published by Simon and Schuster. It contains 408 pages and sells for $26.99.

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