Thursday, October 13, 2016
TRIGGER MORTIS -- A James Bond Novel
Trigger Mortis takes place after the events of Ian Fleming's Goldfinger. James Bond is back in London co-habiting with the apparently happily bisexual Pussy Galore. Both of them are aware that this will not be a long-lasting romance, and in a scene that is somewhat comical Pussy meets up with her next lover a few chapters into the book. Then Bond is ordered to become an undercover auto racer in order to save the life of speedster Lancey Smith, who has been targeted by those nasty Russians of SMERSH. Meanwhile Bond also encounters a sinister Korean man named Jason Sin, who seems to be in league with SMERSH and unveils a diabolical plan to wipe out half of Manhattan. Sin's origin includes the horrifying true-life massacre at No Gun Ri -- in which hundreds of innocent refugees, mostly women and children and the elderly -- were mowed down by U.S. soldiers with orders to kill (although some claim this was an unfortunate "accident"), an event that had a devastating impact on the few survivors. Bond's female helpmate in this is the unfortunately named Jeopardy Lane (ugh!). Horowitz has done a good job of updating Bond and exploring his psychology while remaining faithful to the 1950's period, and there is plenty of action, hair-breath escapes and death traps, and a finale thrilling enough to please any serious 007 fan.
Verdict: Excellent James Bond adventure! ***1/2.