Friday, 27 June 2014

007 Book: Licence Renewed (1981)

Bond book: Licence Renewed
Author: John Gardner
Publication year: 1981

Licence Renewed  is the first novel by John Gardner featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. It was the first proper James Bond novel (not counting novelizations and a faux biography) since Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun in 1968. Carrying the Glidrose Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape and in the United States by Richard Marek, a G. P. Putnam's Sons imprint.

The release of Licence Renewed successfully relaunched the Bond literary franchise, being the first of 14 original novels by Gardner until his retirement in 1996. In that time frame Gardner also wrote two novelizations.

When Licence Renewed begins, M reminds Bond that the 00 section has in fact been abolished; however, M retains Bond as a troubleshooter (pun intended), telling him "You'll always be 007 to me". Bond is assigned to investigate one Dr. Anton Murik, a brilliant nuclear physicist who is thought to have been having meetings with a terrorist named Franco. Franco is identified and tracked by MI5 to a village in Scotland called Murcaldy. Since Murcaldy is outside of MI6's jurisdiction, the Director-General of MI5, Richard Duggan requests that M send Bond to survey Murik. Relying on information that MI5 did not have, M changes Bond's assignment to instead infiltrate Murik's Scottish castle and gain Murik's confidence.

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