It’s been a long time since I read one of the original James Bond books, and decided that it was too poorly written to read any more of them. Ian Flemming had a good idea for a hero, but his Bond came off more as a two-dimensional caricature than as a character you could empathize with.
Jeffery Deaver’s Bond in Carte Blanche, published in 2011, almost leans in the opposite direction. This James Bond, while not losing his eye for beautiful women, is newly sensitive. When an aging beauty laments that it’s too late to find someone to replace her creepy and criminal lover, Bond asks her, “Why do you need someone?”. This is definitely not the old male chauvinist James Bond.
The most faithfully preserved aspect of the Bond series is the product placement, from brand names and details of fast cars, fancy watches and elegant clothes to vintage wines and exotic whiskeys. The plot, which sends Bond to Dubai and South Africa, is also old style, with Bond risking life and limb to save thousand of lives (and British interests) from a colorful cast of evil-doers.