Win, Lose or Die

John E. Gardner, Author Putnam Publishing Group $13.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-399-13436-4
Fortunately for Gardner, dyed-in-the wool James Bond fans may be disposed to overlook the lack of credibility and characterization in this latest thriller featuring the superspy. The leaders of Britain, Russia and the U.S. are planning a top-secret summit aboard HMS Invincible . We never learn what they want to talk about, but we do know that BAST (Brotherhood of Anarchy and Secret Terror) is up to some high-level nastiness. Alerted to the threat, British Intelligence sends James Bond to protect the ``heads of state.'' Promoted to captain, Bond is trained on Harrier jump-jets, and narrowly escapes death when a Sidewinder missile intercepts his flight path. Human menaces include ``the Cat,'' a mysterious female terrorist, and ``the Viper,'' head of BAST. A lot of huffing, puffing, padding (``Bond has not shown all his cards'') and sloppy writing (``the first kind of ship of her type'') occur before a limp confrontation that takes place inside the Rock of Gibraltar, with chief villain Bassam Baradj, inanely ``born plain Robert Besavitsky, in the old Hell's Kitchen area of New York.'' (July)
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
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