Bookmarks Issue: 
54-Sept-Oct-2011
user_rating: 
0

A-CarteBlancheJeffery Deaver is the author of nearly thirty suspense novels, including The Bone Collector (1997) and The Bodies Left Behind (2008). A longtime James Bond fan, he is also a recipient of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger from Britain's Crime Writers' Association.

The Story: The latest entry in the 007 franchise finds British agent James Bond addicted to his Smartphone and all its accompanying apps. In his 30s, Bond is also an ex-smoker, a team player, and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. When officials uncover a plot to kill thousands, a plot that will also adversely affect British interests, Bond is ordered to do whatever it takes to put a stop to it. His mission takes him throughout Europe and Africa, where he comes face to face with Severan Hydt, a sinister recycling magnate obsessed with death.
Simon & Schuster. 432 pages. $26.99. ISBN: 9781451620696

Globe and Mail (Canada) 4 of 5 Stars
"Deaver's Bond has all the moves necessary to keep a 21st-century thriller clipping right along." John Barber

Guardian (UK) 4 of 5 Stars
"[T]he author's affection for Bond and for all the tropes that surround him is abundantly clear, so that Carte Blanche reads like a lovingly crafted homage rather than deliberate pastiche. Deaver's Bond is quite recognisably Bond, but a new, streamlined incarnation for a new generation of global fears." Stephanie Merritt

Telegraph (UK) 4 of 5 Stars
"[O]one of the world's smoothest, most devious, thriller writers--a far better craftsman than Fleming, in fact. ... Deaver preserves his book's timeless feel by largely ignoring modern geopolitics and pitting Bond against a traditionally barking villain." Jeremy Jehu

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"[A] magnificently manic, impeccably researched and at times gory plot, with Deaver's trademark misdirection and twists flying. ... Who cares whether Carte Blanche is realistic?" Matthew Dunn

Wall Street Journal 2 of 5 Stars
"Mr. Deaver follows the Fleming formula well--exotic locations brimming with mustache-twisting villains and a rapid-fire series of unexpected plot twists--but he's no match for Fleming the stylist. ... [A] serviceable Bond film script but not a particularly good Bond novel." Michael C. Moynihan

Critical Summary

Many authors have attempted to re-create Fleming's world of glamorous espionage, only to be pelted with stones by angry readers and incensed book critics. Which is why Jeffery Deaver should be hailed as a brave man as well as a gifted storyteller. Reviewers loved Carte Blanche, calling it exciting, fast-paced, and fun. The only exception came from the Wall Street Journal critic, who found the book full of awkward Briticisms and "devoid of personality." Most Fleming purists will be pleased, despite the modern touches. Readers are simply asked to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the ride.