John Gardner's first James Bond novel, published in 1981.It is The Eighties, and the Double-O section has been officially disbanded. Bond still retains the status as 007, on M's orders, and performs missions as needed. He is sent to Scotland to investigate a noted nuclear physicist Dr. Anton Murik, who has had meetings with a freelance terrorist Franco Quesocriado with alarming regularity. Bond infiltrates Dr. Murik's castle by posing as a mercenary for hire, and uncovers a plot about taking over nuclear power plants, which if backfires, can lead to deaths of millions.
This novel has the examples of:
Animal Motifs: Murik's movements, from walking to turning his head, are frequently referred to as birdlike.
While watching Bond cleaning his firearm, Ann asks him about the white mark on his hand. "Someone tried to be clever a long time ago" he answers coldly. The narration notes that it is the remainer of the letter Ш, which was carved on his hand in Casino Royale.
As he smokes with Murik, Bond remembers how his cigarette case once saved his life from a bullet, which happened in From Russia with Love.
Cool Car: The novel introduces Bond's new car of choice, a tricked-out Saab 900 Turbo, which would gain the nickname Silver Beast in the subsequent books.
David Versus Goliath: Bond must prove his worth to Murik in the Highland Games by wrestling with his towering bodyguard Caber, the local champion. Bond brings up the comparison in his mind after the match.
Evil Uncle: Anton Murik, the half-brother to Lavender's father, tries to have her killed, since she is the rightful heir to to Castle Murik and the riches that come along with it, riches he wants to keep.
Exact Eaves Dropping: As he is being introduced to it, Bond places a mic into Murik's inner sanctum. He learns much of his operation that way, but learns very little of Lavender's upcoming assassination due to the mic dropping from its place.
The Infiltration: Murik reveals to Bond that the terrorists who are supposed to take over the nuclear plants have been working in them for a year already, they are now just waiting the order for the takeover.
Instant Sedation: Q Branch gives Bond a cigarette lighter that shoots sedative gas when flicked open, with an instant effect.
Interservice Rivalry: When Bond is introduced to a man from MI5, the current official Secret Service, the narration notes that Bond's section had referred to them jokingly as "The Opposition", and how this rivalry had led to some grave misunderstandings, and even hostility.
Master of Disguise: The terrorist-for-hire Franco is constantly changing his looks, and is even referred to as an "artist of disguise". Ultimately subverted, since despite all the effort he puts in his appearances, he is still recognized by the authorities wherever he goes.
Meaningful Name: A caber is the log in the Highland Games that men try to throw as far as they can. Caber is a Scot who is much taller and stronger than any other man among Dr. Murik's mooks.
The Napoleon: Murik is barely five feet tall, but he has an aura of authority and he is described as a born leader.
Percussive Pickpocket: Bond gets in Murik's good graces at the horse racing event by pickpocketing precious pearls from his ward Lavender as he bumps into her, and later presenting them to him and his entourage in pretense that he had found on the ground, claiming that their clasp must have broken.
Pride: Murik's plan stemmed from his hurt pride. He is going to use the acquired sums from his extortions to finance the construction of a new, perfect reactor of his design, which is then supposed to be adopted to use, proving his genius. His insistence on the said design's perfection was the reason he was kicked out from International Atomic Energy Commission; it is filled with flaws, and he was too proud to accept that when they were pointed out.
Rare Guns: Murik in the final gunfight against him uses a MBA Gyrojet pistol which uses high velocity mini-rockets as bullets.
Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted initially. While choosing a sidearm for his assignment, Bond has to debate about choosing a revolver or a pistol. While revolver's best sides are brought up, he chooses a Browning pistol since it can be reloaded faster. However, he still brings an unauthorized Ruger Blackhawk on him as a sidearm.
Spanner in the Works: Bond fears that the terrorists hired by Murik turn out to be this, since their disregard for their own safety might make them ignore orders and start a nuclear meltdown ahead of time.
Steel Eardrums: Averted. Firing his Ruger Blackhawk revolver from the inside of his car hurts Bond's ears.
Tempting Fate: Just as Bond has said that Caber won't cause any trouble, he enters the room and starts a fight.
Violent Glaswegian: Caber, a local Scot with more muscles than thought. After Bond causes a nosebleed on him in their first encounter, he is furious and gladly takes the opportunity of wrestling him in the Highland Games.
Wall of Weapons: The walls of Murik's centre of operations are covered in weapons.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Bond's supposed role as a hired gun in Murik's big plan is to assassinate Franco after he has succesfully collected the money from the extorted nations. Bond (rightfully) suspects that such fate will befall on him as well after his part.