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Devil May Care was written by author Sebastian Faulks (writing as Ian Fleming) and was set during the 1960s at the height of the Cold War. It was published by Penguin on 28th May 2008 to mark the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth. It was the first original novel featuring the adult version of James Bond since The Man with the Red Tattoo by Raymond Benson was published in 2002. The novel was promoted as a centenary special, and not a relaunch of the Bond novel series, although additional books have been published sporadically (and by other authors) since then.


The book opens with a drug deal gone sour between an Algerian man living in France, receiving cocaine before being accused of having told the authorities and being tortured by the dealer. Meanwhile René Mathis was on his way to meet his Mistress. After the two had dinner, Mathis was called to investigate the murder of the Algerian man, and in the morgue saw that his tongue had been cut out and had been placed in his hand. Elsewhere, James Bond was on a sabbatical to recover from the events of The Man with the Golden Gun. After a few weeks, he received a call from M, summoning him back to the office. Bond was briefed by M that a Dr. Julius Gorner was been suspected of heroin trafficking, and Bond was assigned to gather information on his trade affairs. Bond was then met with Scarlett Papava, who informed Bond that her sister had been taken captive by Gorner, and was referred to him for help.

She set up a tennis match between Bond and Gorner, who cheated by lifting and lowering the net to his advantage. Papava found out how and was able to shift the match to Bond's favor. She then informed Bond of the circumstances of her sister's "captivity", which involved her being a drug addict, and Gorner feeding her habit in exchange for work. Bond then followed Gorner to Iran, where he met with the local MI6 station Chief, who told him that Gorner had eyes all over the city, and that finding Gorner would not be a problem, as they were already being followed. After their dinner, they went to their car to discover that their chauffeur had been murdered and that his tongue was in his hand.

While Station Chief Darius attended the chauffeur's funeral, Bond was left to his own devices in the city and met an American named J.D. Silver, who warned Bond not to get anywhere near Gorner's business, as he was "part of something huge". After leaving Silver's company, Bond was quickly approached by Poppy Papava herself, who gave Bond an address that would help Bond in his investigation, and told him that killing him was the only way to stop him. Bond then went to a wharf that Poppy told him to access for information on Gorner, and discovered a winged submarine with the English flag painted on it in an interior dock. After Bond escaped the facility, He met with his driver, Hamid, who took him back to his hotel where Scarlett found him. The three then planned to re-infiltrate the hangar, and when they did they were captured by Gorner's chauffeur, Chagrin, and were flown by helicopter to a fortress in the desert where they were kept prisoner before meeting Gorner himself, who informed took Bond on a tour of his facility where he produced Opioid drugs cheaper than any other company because he enslaved opium addicts and paid them in heroin, which he also produced and shipped to Europe through the Soviet Union and Estonia. With the heroin he produced, Gorner planned to create as many addicts in Britain as Britain made in China.

Elsewhere, the Rene Mathis discovered that Gorner's chauffeur, Chagrin, was a war criminal, and the CIA began to call agents to duty, including the retired Felix Leiter. Bond was then forced to serve as a decoy for Gorner's heroin Convoy, but his car was destroyed and he tried to escape through an underground aqueduct, but was captured again and brought back to Gorner's fortress. Gorner then began to reveal his plan to use his Ekranoplan airship bearing Union Flags to send fake British soldiers in to attack Russia, while Bond was to fly a plane into Stalingrad to create a distraction. The night before the operation, Bond helped Scarlett escape and board the plane he was to pilot in order to help him commandeer it from Gorner's men.

Elsewhere, Felix Leiter contacted Darius Alizadeh, and they began to attempt to set up an ambush for the Ekranoplan, but were tricked by J.D. Silver, who cut their phone line. The two quickly caught up to Silver, who killed Alizadeh after he called in backup to attack the ekranoplan, and Silver was killed by the driver Hamid.

Bond, with Scarlett's help was able to overtake the plane and escape it as it crashed in a mountain range. They then hitchhiked to Moscow where they took a train to Leningrad. on the train they were ambushed by Chagrin, whom Bond was able to kill using a train tunnel to decapitate him. They were ferried from Leningrad to Finland, where they went to Paris on separate planes. While waiting to meet up with Scarlett, Bond received a call from M that told him to go and meet the new 004. while waiting, Bond was attacked by Gorner on an American style riverboat. the two climbed off the boat and onto a bridge. Bond then shot Gorner in the leg, and when he tried to escape he was run over by the boat. Bond then met up with the new 004, who was, just as he suspected, Scarlett. She revealed to him that there was no such person as Poppy Papava, and that she had made up a bit of Gorner's backstory. The two then spent the night in the George V hotel and laughed about their "office romance".




Official Book Description (Penguin)[]

Bond is back with a license to thrill. Forty-three years ago, Ian Fleming wrote his last great 007 adventure. Now, in Devil May Care, the world’s most iconic spy returns in a Cold War story spanning the world’s exotic locations. By invitation of the Fleming estate to mark the centenary of his birth, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks picks up where Fleming left off, writing a tour de force that will electrify every James Bond fan. A fitting tribute to the Bond tradition, Devil May Care stands on its own as a triumph of witty prose and plenty of double-0 action. 

“One day, Bond, I will make as many heroin addicts in Britain as Britain made in China. You’ll become the third world country you deserve to be.” -- Villain Julius Gorner


  • Devil May Care marked the return of the Locomotive, Bond's Bentley Mark II Continental.
  • Devil May Care was published in hardback by Penguin Books in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Europe, and in the US it was published by Doubleday.