I have been a fan of James Bond since an age that was probably too young to watch the films, but it has taken until now for me to try the books, well, audiobooks.
Forever and a Day is a prequel to the Bond novels written by Anthony Horowitz which follows Bond’s first case in the double O section – to find out who killed his predecessor, and eliminate them. Set in the French Riviera it takes us into the world of mobsters and drug dealing and
ticks all the boxes of what you expect from Bond – gambling, a woman, and an epic car chase (when I say car chase, I mean a chase in a little bakery delivery van, similar to what I imagined as a grey Postman Pat’s van – epic regardless).
I was a little worried before starting on how the novel would portray the legendary ‘Bond Girls’ but Sixtine as she calls herself was no clueless object. She is quite the force, in fact, and able to stand her ground both against Bond and others. Drowned in danger and unafraid of it Horowitz managed to incorporate a peaceful and beautiful homely scene between her and Bond in the midst of the action. Bond sets the table before they have dinner, they drink, and she tells him her tragic past. What I truly loved was how I spent most of the book unsure of which side she was on – was she on Bond’s side or was I about to receive a curveball and find that she would doublecross him?
The book definitely filled in the 007 void that occurs in the lengthy time between films and the narrator, Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot of Downton Abbey) brings a great voice to Bond, seductive and raspy at times. Extremely disappointed that he isn’t the voice of following audiobooks in the series. There is a scene early on in the book (chapter 3) which I adore, where Bond introduces us to his houselady and how she was chosen for the job – how she saw right through his cover story of a job as a civil servant at an obscure office and stated so fact to his face. Goode acts this part out like everyother with a Scottish accent reminding me of Julie Walters’ character of Mrs Bird in Paddington. My only wish was that I had hoped that she reappeared in the book, but alas, no.
Overall, chuffed to have discovered that the books live up to the legendary blockbuster films, and highly recommend.