From Publishers Weekly
Benson (The Facts of Death), a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation and chief litterateur/preservationist of the 007 tradition, delivers his seventh volume of James Bond fiction. Mobilizing a cold-blooded hit man surgically restructured to be the British superspy's double, a worldwide organization of terrorists known as the Union conspires to assassinate the governor of Gibraltar and the British and Spanish prime ministers at a summit meeting to settle rioting and political unrest over the control of the Rock. The plan is to let the real Bond take the blameAand kill him off in the resulting mayhem. Bond himselfAsuffering disabling headaches and sporadic amnesia from a head injury incurred in the HimalayasAfinds a message in a fortune cookie: Meeting your double means certain death. Bond ignores his boss M's orders to take medical leave and, intent on exacting revenge on the Union for the death of his personal assistant, Helena, undertakes a mission to bring her killers to a final reckoning. Following a sensual encounter with his beautiful physician, 007 blacks out and wakes to find her brutally murdered. The trail leads to Tangier, where a fellow agent is killed helping Bond scout the Union stronghold in the Rif mountains. On a train to Casablanca, 007 meets a pair of beautiful blonde identical twins who turn out to be CIA agents assigned to escort him back to London. He prevails on them to plead his case with M, and they join his quest to discover the purpose and identity of the imposter Bond and to settle the score with the Union. Benson's faithful manipulation of Fleming's boilerplate formula will have Bond fans cheering as 007 and the sexy twins race to save the day on Gibraltar, then demurely retire to a king-size bed.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
The creakiest exercise yet in American Bond fan Benson's postmodern resurrection of Ian Fleming's peerless killer spy, has an embarrassingly witless 007 going rogue to fight a dastardly multinational crime cartel.Two months after the calamitous conclusion of High Time to Kill (1999), Bond is still depressed over the death of lover Helen Marksbury. He's also on medical leave, under the care of comely Dr. Kimberely Feare, taking pills that are supposed to heal a brain lesion but do little more than leave him paranoid and prone to blackouts. Unknown to Bond, the American white supremacists who call themselves the Union have revamped themselves into a wealthy criminal club that holds meetings in swank, dimly lit underground boardrooms presided over by the mysterious Le Gerant, a blind man who forgoes canes because he can psychically sense his surroundings. Aided by sadomasochistic sexpot Margareta Piel, Le Gerant has found a crazed Bond look-alike willing to undergo plastic surgery, wear Brioni suits, and commit un-Bondly crimes, such as killing Dr. Feare moments after she forsakes medical ethics to succumb to the real Bond's overwhelming masculinity. Meanwhile, Spanish powerbroker (and Union member) Domingo Espada, who publicly manages bullfighters and privately kidnaps poor girls and turns them into sex slaves, has set up a meeting with the various heads of state to demand the return of Gibraltar to Spain. At the climax of the meeting, pseudo-Bond will kill the British Prime Minister. Of course, the one true Bond can thwart only so much gratuitous overplotting by himself, so he swipes a handgun from the Q Branch armory (almost no gadgetry in this outing, alas), falls in with voluptuous CIA twins Heidi and Hedy Taunt, and, after a inconvenient blackout, awakens in Espada's bullring, where he must first use his wits against a charging bull and then fight pseudo-Bond to the death. Nifty bullfighting scenes do not redeem an otherwise cliché-cluttered narrative. For die-hard fans only. -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.