We have gathered all the fantastic reviews our Book Club Members have sent us this month.

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Eirwen Vaughan

I loved the opening sentences to this book by Anthony Horowitz. As a fan of James Bond films it wetted my appetite and I immediately wanted to read on. The following pages did not disappoint me. It was an easy and enjoyable to read. The area in the South of France is unknown to me personally but the way the villages and roads were described I found fascinating. I was holding my breath during their escape from the chemical factory and disappointed that they were captured. But of course they did escape. I was surprised with the ending to find that the CIA man was in cahoots with the baddies.

Aileen Mackinnon

I have seen some Bond films and enjoyed some more than others. I have never read any of Fleming's books so it was difficult to assess whether Anthony Horowitz has done a good job with this prequel to Casino Royale. However, It was a thrilling read and very much a page turner discovering how James became 007 and how he learnt his craft. I particularly enjoyed the villain Scipio who was described in grotesque detail. The scene where Bond thinks he will suffer an acid attack was truly terrifying. There were also nice touches where we learn about his taste in cocktails which turns out to be a homage to Sixtine. She was a very interesting character whose motives for helping Bond did not seem to me to be fully explained. Even without being proficient in Bond lore this was a well constructed story which can be enjoyed by all..

Katherine Soanes

The Fleming Estate chose Horowitz to bring to life some work they discovered and write this prequel. It is my first book on the 007 spy James Bond so I cannot compare it to Ian Fleming’s writing. Most of the action takes place on the French Riviera set in the 1950’s. The lead female character is strong, self-assured and older than Bond. The main villain is suitably gruesome in both his appearance and his actions. It took a little while to get going but when the plot began to unfold it became a page turner. The writing is cinematic in form and I wonder whether a film will be made in its name.

Stewart McFarlane

It is some time since I read a James Bond book so I looked forward to reading Forever and a Day which is the prequel to the 007 series - written by Anthony Horowitz. I found it an easy read which seemed to true to the style of the other Bond books, as I recall, but unfortunately I felt the plot was rather unsophisticated and that more could have been made of the opportunity to describe Bond's background and subsequent induction into MI5. The storyline did eventually develop and there were some good twists towards the end and some scenes that would doubtless transfer well to the Silver Screen, which doubtless was part of the author's remit. Some events did seem slightly unbelievable but, just as Bond has a " Licence to Kill" so Bond's authors' have the Artistic "Licence to stretch the bounds of credibility". Overall a good holiday read rather than literary masterpiece - but Bond was ever so.

Brenda Shone

When I received this book; I was enthusiastic to start reading as I had not read anything from the pen of Ian Fleming for some years. The first book I read was 'Dr No' which lead to reading others and I thought that following the demise of the original author the magic of Bond would be gone. However, on reading this novel I realised that Anthony Horowitz had captured the same style and excitement generated in the first Fleming novels. The story begins with the inception of Bond into the secret service, his awarding of the double 'O' prefix and an assignment which is just as exciting and fast paced as those subsequent stories. I do not want to reveal the plot as by doing I would spoil the adventure but it is intriguing and has a twist as a finale.

This is a really good read, especially while sitting on the sun deck of a Viking ship, sipping a vodka martini, of course, shaken not stirred.

John Alford

007 is dead, killed in Marseilles.

M’ promotes James Bond as the new 007 after test operations and a legend is born.

James Bond’s early life is given in some detail, which partly explains his dependence on material objects and food.

James is sent to find the murderer and why the Corsican underworld have stopped their drug operation. He arrives in Marseilles to find that everyone knows who he is.

What are the Corsicans headed by Jean-Paul Scipio up to? How are Irwin Wolfe a multi-millionaire, Sixtine a former British agent and ICA agent Reade Griffith involved with them? Who is friend or who is a foe?

The storey moves at a pace with casualties along the way. James soon forms an alliance with Sixine and they establish the link between the Corsicans and Wolfs.

As usual Bond gets his lady only to lose her in the end.

Although written in a modern form Anthony Horowitz captors the atmosphere of just after the Second World War using such words as ‘wireless and gay’ in their original form.

He is also loyal to the character created by Ian Fleming.

Roger Tapley

Horowitz in this prequel to Casino Royale has recognized the dominant role Bond has over women, but with a twist. As here is a raw recruit awarded the' 00' tag. A professional killer. Bond is still experimenting at being that killing machine. He places the .25 Berretta into his back pocket, later you see him wearing a shoulder holster in Casino Royale a more effective way of keeping close to your weapon. He is not particularly comfortable at the Casino of Monte Carlo but quite relaxed at the casino's in the later books. He runs out of bullets during fighting scenes. He learns from Joanne Brochet, aka ' Madam 16'. Women take on a more central role here their characters are much deeper than Fleming's women. Brochet is equal to Bond, he respects her. Forever and a day, giving more than 100% to relationships, going beyond that 'Chauvinist, killing machine mentality. James Bond take note! In future will this mean the '007' role will be taken on by a woman? A refreshing 'take ' on the James Bond theme.

Ian Soutar

In this prequel to Casino Royale, James Bond is a newly promoted 007. His first mission, to investigate his predecessor’s murder, takes him to the French Riviera, a world of glamour with a seedy underbelly. He faces evil in in the shape of Scipio, an obese, monoglot Corsican drug dealer, and Wolfe, an American industrialist with an isolated factory in the hills above Menton. Bond’s taste for food, wine and beautiful women is already well developed, but the newly minted 007 stumbles into one unplanned confrontation after another, escaping disfigurement, and worse, by a hairsbreadth. He comes to depend on the mysterious Sixtine, a former SOE agent so serially betrayed that she no longer trusts anyone, preferring to rely on her own native wit to survive. She teaches Bond a lot, both in and out of bed, including the recipe for the “shaken not stirred” Martini, familiar to fans of the later Bond. He survives the spectacular destruction of Wolfe’s cruise ship, and M sends him to Hollywood to dispose of Wolfe. In the final scene, Bond realises that Sixtine was not the only one to be betrayed, and takes his own revenge.

Valerie Harrigan

I’m not a great James Bond fan. I have never read a book but like many others have seen quite a few of the films. This novel written by Anthony Horowitz (rather than the original author, Ian Fleming) is a great page-turner and reveals the origins of this famous spy. It has a real 'retro’ feel and divulges early stages in the lives of some well-known characters such as M and Miss Moneypenny. Think more David Niven or Roger Moore rather than Sean Connery or Daniel Craig. A must for all Bond fans!

Graham Hall

I started to read this with some degree of scepticism. Although I have had my share of enjoyment from Bond books and films, I felt that this was just going to be more of the same exciting but fairly predictable storyline.

Apart from the novelty of being the introduction or prequel to the Bond phenomenon, the story has much originality whilst staying true to the Bond character that we all know so well. It is extremely fast paced and I found myself unable to stick to the plan that I had for reading it. It is unquestionably a page turner and I had no option but to keep going until I had finished it. The characters - villains, heroes and heroines are indistinguishable from those created by Ian Fleming. Anthony Horowitz has done a great job.