James Bond suddenly knew he was tired. (p.1)
He knew because of the smells, the sights, and because he is Bond. The detail used is terrific in this book. A surprise that it is not fast paced in writing, though it is in sequence of events.
In the first half Bond is to ‘bring down’ a high-rolling Soviet operative. In the second Bond considers retirement.
The Worst/High Stakes:
The fate of the world? A bit of a stretch, as the book outlines the real life role of the players, but should Bond’s risky attack on the operative fail the would be major results in Europe, particularly France.
There are good details throughout. Though it is worth noting the female characters are extremely bland. In many parts this is a chauvinistic book.
Bond arrives at the Casino and begins challenging the operative very quickly. Because of the pace of events, the second half feels a drag as Bond’s major enemy is conquered. After this the second half is about Bond changing, and then setting new goals for his life.
For anyone who wants to know what the cold war was like. The espionage involved.