Publication date: 1965
Girl: Mary Goodnight
Villain’s Plot: Organizing the underworld for various criminal ends.
Main locations: Jamaica
Fleming pays off on the cliff-hanger from the previous book in grand style.
In the ending to the previous book we see a Bond with memory loss (many years before Robert Ludlum created a certain Jason Bourne…) head off to Russia. Between the books the Russians realise Bond’s identity and decide to use him as a weapon. A brainwashed Bond turn up at M’s office intending to kill him. It’s a great “pre-credits sequence” and is probably the highlight of the book.
Afterwards Bond is rehabilitated and is sent off on a new mission as a test – kill Scaramanga, the man with the golden gun.
Most of the book is set in Jamaica, although when the movie was made it followed Live and Let Die which was also largely filmed in Jamaica. As a result the film-makes moved TMWTGG to the Far East. Again, the movie and book share very little in common although it’s nice to see Mary Goodnight, a character from previous books, get promoted to full Bond Girl status.
Fleming died before he could finish the book and as a result it is a bit thin. It was published in 1965, the year after his death. Strangely it remains one of my favourites.