I just finished my current 'log book' and it was an absolute ripper. Colonel Sun is the 1st installment of the James Bond books post Ian Fleming.
I read every Fleming instalment (bar The Spy Who Loved Me) before tackling an outsiders take on the eponymous hero. Well Kingsley Amis (Under the pseudonym of Robert Markham) quickly pulled me into the story and from there is was a Bond book, nothing more, nothing less.
Kingsley harked back to the earlier cold blooded version of JB and sets him up against a nasty nemesis in the torturing Colonel. The book opens with a brutal abduction attempt on 'M' and James. The villains get away with 'M' but Bond manages to escape with his system full of drugs into the wilderness. We are then whisked to Athens and here the writing really is beautifully descriptive and paints a vivid picture of the location.
The female counter part is Ariadne Alexandrou and she is one of the stronger more interesting bond girls and that's saying something.
Bond tracks down 'M' to the nearby island of Vrakonisi and interesting things happen getting there but the final showdown is what pulled this up from a 3 and 1/2 star book to at least a 4 star one.
Bond is captured (isn't he always) and the good Colonel explains his plans and how it will be impossible for Bond escape. He then spends some time torturing Bond in the most wicked ways including sliding a metal skewer into Bonds ear until he passes out. I won't go into details but it's fair to say Kingsley and the Colonel don't pull any punches.
I won't give the ending away but I will say the 240odd pages fly by without any dead weight.
I would highly recommend this for readers of; Bond, thrillers and Thomas Harris type stories.
I'll be trying to get my hands on Carte Blanche the new installment written Jeffrey Deaver.