Summary and book reviews of High Time To Kill by Raymond Benson

High Time To Kill

By Raymond Benson

High Time To Kill
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jun 1999,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2000,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

Bond is back and bigger than ever. Raymond Benson's novels have reached new heights both in sales and critical acclaim. Kirkus Reviews called The Facts of Death "a postmodern treat." Benson "imbues his Bond with enough honor, sexual prowess and action-hero skills to please the purist and enthrall the novice," says Publishers Weekly.

It's at a dinner party with his old friend the former Governor of the Bahamas that James Bond first encounters the deadly new criminal organization known simply as "The Union." An international group, they specialize in military espionage, theft, intimidation, and murder. When information vital to Britain's national security is stolen, M and 007 suspect that the Union is behind it. Bond's pursuit of the crucial microdot takes him from one of England's most exclusive golf clubs to the frozen heights of one of the world's tallest mountains. His every step is dogged by Union assassins. Their presence alone confirms Bond's worst fear--there is a traitor in Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Chapter One: Holidays Are Hell

The barracuda surprised them by opening its jaws to an angle of ninety degrees, revealing the sharp rows of teeth that were capable of tearing out chunks of flesh in an instant. It closed its snarling mouth just as quickly, leaving a half-inch gap.

Had it yawned?

It was easily a twenty-pound fish. One of the most dangerous predators in the sea, the barracuda is an eating machine that rivals the ferocity of a shark. This one swam lazily along beside them, watching. It was curious about the two strange larger fish that had invaded its habitat.

James Bond had never cared for barracudas. He'd rather be in a pit full of snakes than in proximity to one of them. It wasn't that he was afraid of them but merely that he found them mean, vicious, and unpredictable creatures. There was no such thing as a barracuda in a good mood. He had to be on his guard without showing fear, for the fish could sense apprehension and often acted on it.

Bond...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

James Bond has always been a figure of fantasy and Benson, in his routine fourth Bond novel (after The Facts of Death) wisely keeps him fantastic....Benson's prose, including the dialogue, is wooden, but the action he provides is fast and furious and Bond fans will note the narrative scores "a first for Bond... sex at 7,900 meters". A high point in a novel that otherwise is middling all the way.

Kirkus Reviews

Benson, author of the James Bond Bedside Companion and two 007 novels (Zero Minus Ten, 1997; The Facts of Death, 1998), shows why he was chosen to pick up from stylish John Gardner the franchise on Ian Fleming's deathproof hero. No one can ever match From Russia with Love, Fleming's dark masterpiece of serious Bondian daring (in which he actually killed Bond with Rosa Klebb's poison-tipped shoeknife), but Benson's latest will satisfy those destined never to have the thrill of discovery From Russia gave us in the 1950s.

Booklist - Budd Arthur

James Bond, the late Ian Fleming's martini-shaking 007, is alive and well in Benson's latest, chasing nasties from Belgium to the Himalayas....It all adds up to solid superagent fun.

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