Bond Alive and Well: Trigger Mortis

I can’t resist a James Bond film; who can?

Equally, I can’t profess to having read all of Sir Ian Fleming’s work, but I have dabbled with a few of the James Bond books: they’re a fun read though admittedly a little backward in their views on society. This latest addition to the collection is no exception, as although it was helped along by the fantastic Anthony Horowitz, there are traces of Sir Ian Fleming’s unpublished work.

What I most enjoyed about this book wasn’t necessarily the story, it was no revelation to the action adventure genre, but I liked that it kept in sequence with its predecessors. Us Brits have a number of traditions that we don’t like people messing with, and James Bond is one of them. I could never imagine catching a twenty first century man asking for Martinis – maybe that says a lot more about me than our culture –  but if somebody came along and thought about changing Mr Bond’s favourite tipple, there would be petitions signed and uproar in the streets. We like our Bond the way he is.

Trigger Mortis is a step into 1950s secret service and briefly into the world of motorcar racing, which is a fun escape from reality. As a stereotypical young woman, I can’t pretend I’m particularly interested in car specs, so the beginning quarter did drag a little. However, when we got stuck into the action itself, I soon forgave the slow start.

Bond is Bond, but we like him because of this. I appreciate that maybe some of the chauvinistic, sexist, xenophobic associations of the past make the literary character outdated, however if we change him to fit into our modern world, we would lose the very essence of Sir Ian Fleming’s work. I appreciate the difficulties Mr Horowitz would have to bring continuity to the series, without alienating his readers, and I think he balances this well.

Trigger Mortis is for people who like Bond, flaws and all. If you enjoy spending a Saturday afternoon, curled up on the sofa, as Bond takes to far flung lands to ensure the world remains a safer place, then I reckon you’d probably quite like this book too.

Trigger Mortis: Anthony Horowitz

Read of the Tube: Girl on the Train

It’s funny, with the release of Girl on the Train at cinemas on Friday, I looked around my tube carriage to see copy after copy of this bestseller. People were doing as I was: cramming before the film shattered the mystery and intrigue.

It is easy to see why Girl on the Train had everybody talking as it is suspenseful, gripping and thrilling until the end. As a lot of great literary pieces do, Girl on the Train is presented to the reader by a flawed narrator. With her issues of alcoholism and heartbreak blurring the story, we are left unsure of the facts until the final reveal.

It was easy to spot echoes of Gone Girl in this piece as it had a similar sinister spin on matrimony, though it is different enough to be distinguishable. Jumping between past and present, the reader was left to carefully tie together the strings, as pieces of information were drip fed. I must admit that I found the diary entry style of dates a little too bland to distinguish between at first; though maybe I was being a little slow on the uptake this time.

There weren’t too many characters to question in this whodunnit but there was no obvious motive to spoil the thrill of the chase.

I think the film will be exciting and an all round blockbuster, but it may lose some of the intricacies of the text. Hopefully we will see a true reflection of this mystery on the screen. However I do urge you to join in your fellow commuters and absorb the story before you buy your cinema ticket, as you will be missing out on one of the best thrillers of the year.

Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins