Books ‘in the style of’ a deceased author can be hit and miss, but Anthony Horowitz had the advantage of a framework, and even some original passages, written by Ian Fleming himself when creating this new James Bond thriller.
Set in the 1950s, Horowitz manages skilfully to retain the essence of Bond while thankfully jettisoning the more objectionable and dated aspects of the originals.
In Trigger Mortis women protagonists give as good as they get, henchmen have backstories, and Bond has a conscience. But not too much of a one.
None of this gets in the way of a rollicking good story – on the contrary, even as the plot and characters have more depth and satisfying nuances, the action is if anything enhanced.
All the traditional staples of a Bond story are here to be enjoyed – a maniacal villain, a female character with a memorable name, an inventive and dastardly sinister scheme, and perhaps Bond’s most challenging dicing with death ever, all set against a background of Cold War tension and the Space Race.
In Horowitz’s talented hands Trigger Mortis makes for an enjoyable read whether you’re a long-time Bond fan, a dedicated thriller aficionado or just in search of your next good book.