The author, aware that most readers will be approaching the novel as a set-piece affair – guns, girls, cars, espionage – flatters to deceive in the opening chapters. Indeed, he teases us, setting up one money shot scene after another: will Bond ravish the woman in the elevator? Will he defeat the Boche single-handedly and save his friend? However, he repeatedly pulls back at the last moment. But this doesn’t deflate the reader. On the contrary, it gives time and space to get acquainted with this Bond. Boyd’s Bond. The author is making us forget what we already know, which in turn allows us to immerse ourselves in his creation. And it works perfectly. What emerges is a 360° character; a far cry from the Boys’ Own jack-off sum of parts, that we are familiar with. All of which makes this Bond, and the ensuing story, all the more compelling.
Any Cop?: Bears the signature of a master craftsman.