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  1. Looking Back: 'The Facts Of Death'

    The CBn ‘Looking Back…’ series now moves onto Raymond Benson’s second original James Bond novel, The Facts Of Death. First released in May of 1998, this followed Benson’s 1997 novelization of Tomorrow Never Dies. CBn takes an indepth look back at The Facts Of Death. Included are publication details, trivia notes about the book and CBn Forum fan reactions…

    James Bond takes on a fanatic secret organization whose objective is mass murder in the thrilling new novel from the brilliant Raymond Benson.

    Someone is poisoning British soldiers in Cyprus; the same killer has murdered a British intelligence agent in Athens. James Bond himself barely escapes with his life…

    But the secrets behind these and other deaths first start to come to light in Texas, where Bond goes in search of the assassin of M’s friend and lover. Fearful of an international scandal that could engulf both his service and his country, he learns instead of the existence of the Decada.

    Held together by an archaic philosophy and their own bizarre rituals, the Decada’s fanatics have stockpiled a terrifying range of poisons and are willing to use them to further their insane ambitions for power and revenge.

    Aided by beautiful, brave Greek intelligence agent Niki Mirakos, Bond puts himself into the firing line for a last-ditch attempt to stop the Decada before they unleash a horrifying weapon on their helpless prey.

    Packed with non-stop action and brilliant storytelling, The Facts Of Death is an unputdownable follow-up to Raymond Benson’s scintillating debut as the chronicler of James Bond

    UK First Edition Hodder & Stoughton Hardback

    Trivia

    Unlike several of Benson’s 007 novels that followed, there was no large print edition of The Facts Of Death.

    Raymond Benson’s original title choice was ‘The World Is Not Enough’–but it was rejected for not being ‘Bondian’ enough. It was only a year later that it became the title of Pierce Brosnan’s third James Bond film. The title is used for the final chapter here.

    While being promoted to the Captain status in later John Gardner James Bond novels, here 007 is a Commander once again.

    The Facts Of Death UK Hodder & Stoughton Hardback

    The Facts Of Death UK Hodder & Stoughton Hardback

    The fate of the world, and James Bond, are in capable hands in this second 007 adventure from Benson (Zero Minus Ten, 1997). Writing as both a disciple and defender of Western civilization’s most enduring action hero, Benson, a director of the Ian Fleming Foundation and author of the fan bible, the James Bond Bedside Companion, attempts to meld Fleming’s brooding, coolly cruel British knight with the dapper, quip-slinging techno-warrior of the Bond movies, with a few respectful bows to the superhuman stuntman Bond became when British thriller-factory John Gardner had an exclusive franchise on the series…

    Kirkus Reviews

    The author has portrayed Bond as the somewhat amoral character of the original novels and the book is typical of its kind, easily read and full of enough cliffhanging situations, gadgetry, beautiful women, sex, villains and violent death to satisfy any James Bond fan.

    Telegraph & Argus

    Release Timeline

    • 1998: 1st British Hodder & Stoughton Hardback Edition
    • 1998: 1st American Putnam Hardback Edition
    • 1998: 1st British Coronet Paperback Edition
    • 1999: 1st American Jove Paperback Edition

    Forum Reviews

    It’s a terrific book. One of Raymond’s most cinematic, which is not surprising considering he’s said he set out to write an “Eon style Bond film” with this book.

    CBn Forum member zencat

    The Facts of Death is my least favourite Benson: very connect-the-dots plot, awkward prose, very much structured (dumbed down) to cater to the movie Bond audience, and Benson uses cheap literary tricks to conceal the identity of the killer. It was quite a letdown after Zero Minus Ten.

    CBn Forum member clinkeroo

    I really enjoyed this novel like I have enjoyed all of Benson’s novels. I thought Benson introduced the new M as well as he could’ve. And the storyline for The Facts Of Death is very clever. Benson introduces a bit more of Barbara Mawdsley character so that the readers can picture her a bit more. I also thought some of the gadgets were good in this novel.

    CBn Forum member James Boldman

    I know a lot of people pan The Facts of Death, but it’s always been on of my guilty pleasures. I think the locations alone did it for me as Greece has always fascinated me.

    CBn Forum member mccartney007

    I’ve just finished reading The Facts of Death, and in my opinion, it is one of the best Benson Bond’s, if not the best Bond novel in recent years.

    CBn Forum member bryonalston

    I like it just fine but it’s not the best by any strwetch, the Union trilogy and The Man with the Red Tattoo surpass it by leaps and bounds. .

    CBn Forum member Genrewriter

    I’ve gone back and started to re-read the Benson Bonds, and they are really quite good. In some parts, you can tell an American is now writing this, but it’s still, again, quite good. I loved seeing Bond down in Texas in a Tex-Mex restaurant. It just cracked me up. Bond drinking margaritas? It’s here, folks. Anyone who can have Bond in both this setting and in Greece in the same book, mind you, is one hell of a writer. I also loved the scenes in the sperm bank. Bond’s medical history was mindblowing.

    CBn Forum member IrishCrown

    Devin Zydel @ 2007-06-30
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