cover image With a Mind to Kill

With a Mind to Kill

Anthony Horowitz. Harper, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-307841-3

Bestseller Horowitz’s solid third James Bond novel (after 2018’s Forever and a Day) picks up after the final Ian Fleming novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, in which the Russians captured Bond, brainwashed him, and programmed him to kill M, the head of the British secret service. The British stage M’s funeral and imprison Bond to fool the Russians into believing Bond succeeded in the assassination as part of a plot to get 007 into Russia to discover what its intelligence organizations are planning. The Russians oblige by snatching Bond from police custody and sending him to Leningrad, where he falls under the “care” of Colonel Boris, a mind control expert, and Katya Leonova, an icy, Communist technocrat. The Russians have a high-profile mission for Bond, which leads to a genuinely thrilling climax, though readers should be prepared for a somewhat predictable plot and an abrupt ending. Horowitz displays a thorough knowledge of Bondean tropes, captures the dreariness of Khrushchev-era Russia, and deepens 007 by allowing him a certain ambiguity about his profession. This heartfelt homage is sure to please fans of the original Bond books. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (May)