Publication date: 1955
Girl: Gala Brand
Villain’s Plot: Dropping an atomic rocket on London in revenge for Germany loosing the Second World War.
Main locations: Strangely Bond doesn’t even get to leave the country. He’s sent to Drax’s rocket centre in the south of England to investigate a murder.
The Best Bits include the car chase. The flamethrower. The countdown to the rocket’s launch accompanied by Drax’s chilling “revenge” speech.
The movie version eventually appeared in 1979 and is among those movies that were least faithfully adapted from the Fleming source novel. To be fair I actually find it among the most watchable of the 1970s Bond movies. It has a
good investigation from Bond as he tries to discover what the villan’s plot is. Moore has a great “almost killed by a centrifuge” scene. Silly humour and laser guns are minus points. Corinne Clery and Lois Chiles are plus points. It remains one of my favourite Fleming novels.
The book was also used as the basis for some material in the 20th movie Die Another Day. The main villan reinventing himself as a British citizen with a new face is taken from the Drax character in the book, and Graves/Moon also makes a speech that has a double meaning. At one point Gala Brand was going to feature in the movie.