Official, original James Bond from a writer described by Len Deighton as a 'master storyteller'.
In different corners of the world four high-profile figures are assassinated in less than a week. Nobody links the deaths but one thing is certain: each of them has been stalked, sought out and killed with care and preparation. Then a sinister connection is established: a single, blood-tipped rose is sent to each funeral and an unremarkable female agent is murdered in Switzerland.
When MI5 come to MI6 to ask for help M brings in his best. At first, a weekend abroad seems tempting to James Bond: especially when he's paired with Flicka von Grusse, a gorgeous Swiss intelligence officer. But this is a perilous assignment that starts with the mysterious actor David Dragonpol and leads them to Athens, Milan and on to EuroDisney ... and an explosive climax.
After Colonel Sun (1968) by Kingsley Amis, John Gardner was the next writer to be asked to write further adventures of James Bond. He wrote, like Fleming, fourteen Bond books, plus novelisations of the films GoldenEye and Licence to Kill, from 1981 to 1996. Before becoming an author of fiction in the early 1960s John Gardner was variously a stage magician, a Royal Marine officer, a journalist and, for a short time, a priest in the Church of England. 'Probably the biggest mistake I ever made,' he says. 'I confused the desire to please my father with a vocation which I soon found I did not have.' In all, Gardner had fifty-five novels to his credit - many of them bestsellers. John Gardner died in 2007.
For more information about John Gardner and his non-Bond works, visit his website.