Devil May Care (novel)

Devil May Care (novel)
Devil May Care  
First Edition UK Hardcover
Author(s) Sebastian Faulks
Cover artist Photography: Kevin Summers; Design: The Partners
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series James Bond
Subject(s) James Bond, MI6, heroin, Iran, Ekranoplan, Cold War, Deuxieme Bureau
Genre(s) Spy novel
Publisher Penguin 007
Publication date 28 May 2008
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 295
ISBN 978-0-718-15376-2
OCLC Number 192027506
Preceded by Die Another Day
Followed by Carte Blanche

Devil May Care is the thirty-sixth original James Bond novel. Written by Sebastian Faulks ("writing as Ian Fleming"), it was published on 28 May 2008, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ian Fleming, creator of Bond.[1]



Faulks, famous for Charlotte Gray and Birdsong, was selected by the estate of the late 007-author, in 2006, to write the follow-up Bond novel as Ian Fleming. Faulks' name was not revealed to the public until July 2007, when a publishing date for the work was officially announced, along with its title. Online and print sources erroneously stated that Devil May Care would be the first new James Bond novel published since 1966. In fact, dozens of full-length Bond novels had been published officially, between 1968 and 2002 by the authors Kingsley Amis (as "Robert Markham"), John Pearson, Christopher Wood, John Gardner, and Raymond Benson. In addition, Charlie Higson and Samantha Weinberg (as "Kate Westbrook") have been publishing Bond-related novels since 2005. Faulks' book is, however, the first novel to focus on the adult James Bond, as conceived by Fleming, since 2002's The Man with the Red Tattoo. It takes place in the time-frame of Fleming's original novels, the first such book since Amis' Colonel Sun (discounting the spin-off Young Bond and The Moneypenny Diaries lines). Devil May Care is also the first Bond novel to have a theme song - "Devil May Care" by SAL, which was released by way of a music video,[2] as well as on the audio book version of the novel.

The jacket artwork features the model Tuuli Shipster, muse of the British photographer, Rankin. Tuuli said: "I was thrilled that Penguin chose me to be their Bond girl. It’s fantastic to be involved with something so iconic."[3] She was also involved in the book's launch on board HMS Exeter on 27 May 2008.[4] The cover photograph was taken by British photographer and commercials director, Kevin Summers. The jacket image was created by the design agency The Partners.[3]

Devil May Care has been published in hardback by Penguin Books in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Europe and in Ireland. In the US it has been published by Doubleday. Many of the publishers will be using this jacket. Penguin is launching a brand new imprint – Penguin 007 – under which it will publish all its Bond titles, including Devil May Care.[3] Devil May Care became Penguin UK's fastest selling hardback novel as of 2008, with 44,093 copies sold in its first four days.[5]


Set in the 1960s, a ritual execution in the outskirts of Paris starts a chain of events designed to lead to global catastrophe. A narcotics tide threatens to lethally engulf Britain, a British airliner disappears in Iraqi airspace, and the thunder of war echoes throughout the Middle East. Bond is requested by M to investigate a man named Gorner and his bodyguard, Chagrin. Bond is warned that his performance will be monitored and that a new double-oh agent is waiting in the wings, if his actions go awry.

Bond flies to Imperial Iran (Persia) to investigate. Gorner owns factories and produces legitimate pharmaceuticals, however MI6 suspects he has other motives. During Bond’s investigation he identifies Gorner due to a deformity of his hand, and establishes Gorner's complicity in a scheme to not only flood Europe with cheap drugs but also to launch a two-pronged terrorist attack on the Soviet Union, whose retaliation will subsequently devastate the UK. The attack is to be made using both the stolen British airliner and an ekranoplan. During Bond's adventure he is assisted by Scarlett Papava, (whose twin sister Poppy is under Gorner's emotional spell), Darius Alizadeh (the local head of station), JD Silver (an in-situ agent) and Felix Leiter.

Bond is eventually captured by Gorner in the heroin plant, who explains that Bond is to be used as bait during a drugs delivery across the Afghan desert, and should he survive an expected ambush, is to fly the captured airliner into the Russian heartland. Bond would be identified as British upon its destruction, increasing the evidence against the British Government. Bond survives the predicted Afghan attack and plots an escape attempt, which sees Scarlett get away due to Bond surrendering himself as a diversion. Bond is recaptured and returned to his cell. In the morning he is taken aboard the aeroplane. Before the airliner can bomb the Soviets, with the aid of the airliner's pilot and Scarlett (who had been hiding on board), Bond regains control of the airliner and crashes it into a mountainside while parachuting to safety.

Meanwhile, Felix Leiter and Darius inform agent Silver of the second method of attack. Silver shows himself to be a double agent by failing to call in an airstrike against the Ekranoplan and by attempting to kill Leiter and Darius. In the shoot-out Darius successfully calls in the airstrike at the cost of his own life, and Leiter survives only thanks to the timely arrival of Hamid, his taxi driver. The Ekranoplan is destroyed by RAF Vulcan bombers before it reaches its target. Bond and Scarlett escape through Russia but are pursued by Chagrin, who Bond finally kills on a train. Later Gorner meets him on a boat and tries to shoot him, but Bond pushes him off, where he is torn to pieces by a propeller. With the subsequent elimination of both Chagrin & Gorner, Bond considers his mission a success, and on condition that the agent M has waiting in the wings won't take his place Bond is sent to assess the new agent, designated 004. She turns out to be Scarlett Papava. Scarlett discloses that the story of her twin sister was a ploy to convince Bond to enable her to join the mission. Papava feared that if Bond knew she was a potential double-oh agent, he wouldn't have worked with her.

The book ends with Bond returning to active duty, and Scarlett moving off to her own operations as a full 00 agent.


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