Following on from his recent stint as the writer of the latest Sherlock Holmes novels, The House Of Silk and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has turned his attention to another Great British literature icon in his new book, Trigger Mortis. Building on the work of Ian Fleming, the spy thriller saw a new story for James Bond that takes us back to the heyday of espionage and counter intelligence of the 1950s as 007 takes on a fast and dangerous plot.
The novel was initially released on hardback, ebook and audio book on the 8th September 2015, just a couple of months ahead of the latest Bond movie, S.P.E.C.T.R.E., which is due out in cinemas on the 26th October 2015. While there’s been little in the way of letup of new writers for the 007 series following on from Ian Fleming, the addition of Horowitz to the list was perhaps the most captivating with his impressive experience of taking a much loved character and creating a new exhilarating story for them.
The plot starts out in the thrill and breakneck speed of the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in the sport’s relative infancy in the middle of the 20th century. As the Cold War is about to start hotting up, James is in the driving seat of one of the cars, but the Russians are out to sabotage the race with their Smirsh operatives trying to show Soviet dominance. However, what looks like a simple case of saving the day at the track quickly turns into a much bigger series of events that sees him taking a turn into the space race at the hammer and sickle of the East West divide. It also sees the addition of a brilliant new Bond villain in Jai Seung Sin, or Jason Sin as he’s referred to in his Anglicised form, who is easily as sinister as any previous 007 nasty.
Anthony Horowitz was lucky enough to have a little bit of a guiding hand from the old master, Ian Flemming, in the writing of Trigger Mortis, as it features previously unseen material written by the James Bond creator. For us, this added even more intrigue into the book and could have provided the scope for a time-shift 50s 007 movie reboot when they eventually move on from the modern day Bond that is the focus of the current stream of films.
There’s been a lot of buzz about the prospect of the novel, which was added to by the news that we’ll also be seeing a return for Pussy Galore, one of Flemming’s most recognisable Bond girls. Her only appearance to date was in Goldfinger, where the novel saw the character heading to jail eventually for her criminal past, so it was interesting to read how Horowitz picks up on this storyline to develop the character further.
Just a quick word of warning for anyone keen to do a little research into the fictional history of the character on Wikipedia when you get to the hilarious description of the double entendre behind her name. There are some frighteningly eye-popping images on the other side if you decide to also refresh your memory about the actual definition of a female vulva. However, if you’re knowledge of the character only comes from the movie adaptation you might want to either read the Goldfinger novel to bring yourself up-to-date ahead of reading of Trigger Mortis.
Anthony Horowitz may have started out in children’s fiction with his opening novel The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower, but his more recent successes have come from adult thrillers. Both House Of Silk and Moriarty featured in the Sunday Times top 10, which set things up well for his first official Bond outing. However, the book went on to pick up mixed reviews with a few criticising the nature of Bond and Pussy Galore’s co-habitation in the opening section of the book. There’s also a little too much of Flemming’s English superiority on show in Bond’s character, whcih we’re not a big fan of. Read our full own at – www.tuppencemagazine.co.uk/anthony-horowitz-trigger-mortis-review/.
Let us know what you think about the Bond novel yourself in the comments below.