JAMES Bond is back in a novel unveiled at an event featuring abseiling Royal Marines and a leather-clad model on a motorbike.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report.
The book by American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, called Carte Blanche, brings the suave agent into the present day in a new story set partly in the Middle East.
Deaver, whose bestsellers include The Bone Collector, said it was “a challenge for an American to write about a British agent” but promised readers “three or four big surprise endings”.
He was asked to write the book by members of Bond creator Ian Fleming’s family and said he had no hesitation in agreeing to do it.
He said: “I debated about 10 seconds and said ‘Yes, I’m on board’ because I’ve always been a fan of Ian Fleming’s writing.
“I read my first James Bond novel at about eight years old and I never stopped”.
The first copies of the book, which is published tomorrow, were delivered at an event at St Pancras International station in London by a group of Royal Marines who abseiled down from the ceiling.
Deaver arrived at the station in a red Bentley Continental GT, the car driven by Bond in his book, and flanked by a model on a motorbike.
Fleming’s niece Lucy said: “On Saturday my uncle would be 103 years old. If he had been here today he would have loved the occasion.
“With his brilliant plot and clever twists, his perfectly horrible villain and his detailed knowledge of the British intelligence service, Jeffery Deaver brings Bond straight into the heart of modern espionage.”
Deaver is not the first writer to resurrect 007. Kingsley Amis, Sebastian Faulks and Charlie Higson have all written new James Bond books since the death of Fleming.