“There is something about Great Britain that is exemplified in this character and which never ever goes away. And which is an incredible achievement. What a hero! And how lucky I am to have written about him three times. He also represents decency at a time when we have so little decency in the political and the societal sphere. Bond always represents – whatever you may think of him – a certain sense of goodness, what we all really want to be.”
Anthony Horowitz, May 19 2022, London
Befitting of a Mayfair-familiar agent pushing through the iron and velvet curtains of a mid 1960s world, London’s Langan’s played host to the launch of Anthony Horowitz’s third Bond novel, With a Mind to Kill. Possibly taking a cue from the author’s final Bond bullet and its coy linkages to all things red, the fittings, rouge and decor of Langan’s Upstairs was a mission-perfect location for such a presciently timed new 007 caper.
After his celebrated Trigger Mortis (Orion Books, 2015) and Forever and a Day (Jonathan Cape, 2018) successfully repointed Fleming’s spy into a new era whilst straddling the old, Horowitz’s With a Mind to Kill follows the events of the final Fleming novel, The Man With The Golden Gun (1965) – and a promise of a familiar villain in a jet-set era of Cold War intrigue, East-West jousting, post-war austerity and death. Anthony was genuinely encouraged by those early readers reactions, and this bullet catcher commended him on that particular ending.
Ian Fleming Publications, Jonathan Cape Books, Penguin Random House and Vintage Books all gathered to toast the arrival of a wholly prescient and narratively rich 007 novel. Sensing the quiet pride at the trilogy of work Anthony Horowitz has bequeathed the Fleming legacy, there was a palpable sense – just like the Bond film series – about ‘who next as this guy has done so well?’ But this was Horowitz’s night. As he thanked his associates and editors and pulled on a wise thread about Bond being the very best of Great Britain at a wholly precarious time for the land that nurtured both Ian Fleming and 007, Horowitz was once again that excited teenager going to boarding school with a note from his mother to say he can read James Bond novels.
“In With a Mind to Kill, I feel my work is complete. A lifetime as a fan of James Bond reflected in three novels that span his own entire life.”– Anthony Horowitz
Corrine Turner, Jonny Geller, Ajay Chowdhury and Matthew Field (authors, Some Kind of Hero – The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films), author Andrew Lycett (Ian Fleming – A Biography), Young Bond author Charlie Higson, author Fergus Fleming, Fleming family members Kate Grimmond and Lucy Williams, EON’s Head of Archive Meg Simmonds, Fleming expert Jon Gilbert (Ian Fleming – The Bibliography), broadcaster James Baker, agent Jonny Geller (Curtis Brown), Diggory Laycock (Ian Fleming Estate), rare book guru Adrian Harrington, Simon Gardner (son of Bond continuation author John Gardner), Vipul Patel (MI6-HQ), various members of the Ian Fleming Estate and this bullet catcher all raised many a glass of Langan’s fizz to celebrate a night of Bond, literature and London.
With a Mind to Kill opens with M’s funeral, One man is missing from the graveside: the traitor who pulled the trigger and who is now in custody, accused of M’s murder — James Bond.
Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former SMERSH agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion’s den — but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?
In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.
– Ian Fleming Publications
With a Mind to Kill is available now in hardback, ebook and audio from Jonathan Cape in the UK and Harper Collins in the US.
The audiobook will be read by Rory Kinnear (No Time to Die).
A special thanks to the team at Penguin Random House UK, Ian Fleming Publications, the Fleming family, the Ian Fleming Estate, Ajay Chowdhury and Mr. Anthony Horowitz.