The Bond story that never was? Titan Books announce the publication next week of the "lost" Bond-inspired novel by Donald E Westlake, Forever and a Death...
Two decades ago, the producers of the James Bond movies hired legendary crime novelist Donald E. Westlake to come up with a story for the next Bond film. The plot Westlake dreamed up had all the elements of a classic Bond adventure, but political concerns kept it from being made. Never one to let a good story go to waste, Westlake instead wrote an original novel based on the premise – a novel he never published while he was alive.
A formerly rich businessman thrown out of Hong Kong when the Chinese took over from the British decides to fix his dire financial problems and take revenge on the Chinese by tunnelling under Hong Kong’s bank vaults and stealing all their gold, then using a doomsday device to set off a “soliton wave” that will turn the ground to sludge, causing the whole city to collapse. Only the engineer on his staff who designed the soliton wave technology (intending it for good purposes, to help with construction projects) can stop him, working together with a beautiful young environmental activist who gets caught up in one of the soliton tests and nearly killed. From the deck of a yacht near the Great Barrier Reef to Australia and Singapore and finally Hong Kong itself, it’s a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes first struggle to escape the villain’s clutches and then thwart his insanely destructive plan.
Now, nearly a decade after Westlake’s death, Hard Case Crime is proud to give that novel its first publication ever, together with a brand new afterword by one of the movie producers describing the project’s genesis, giving fans their first taste of the Westlake-scripted Bond that might have been.
Donald E. Westlake is widely regarded as one of the great crime writers of the 20th Century. He won three Edgar Awards and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America. Many of his books have been made into movies; Westlake also wrote the screenplay for "The Grifters," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Forever and a Death comes out on 13th June and we'll have a review for you soon.
Image Titan Books