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Literature / For Special Services

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The second James Bond novel by John Gardner, published in 1982.

The criminal organization SPECTRE has been reformed. Bond, together with the CIA agent Cedar Leiter, is send to investigate Markus Bismaquer, who is suspected to be its new leader.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Avenging the Villain: Bond is the centerpiece of the SPECTRE's Evil Plan since he killed Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the father of the organization's new leader Nena.
  • Big Bad: The new Blofeld. It's actually his daughter, Nena Bismaquer, who wants to murder 007 for the death of her father.
  • Brainwashed: Bond is brainwashed to believe that he is a general in US army who is conducting an inspection on NORAD. He manages to get over it since Markus Bismaquer, who had become infatuated with him, sabotaged the process.
  • Call-Back: Since SPECTRE is back in the spotlight, the death of Ernst Stavro Blofeld from You Only Live Twice is referred to many times.
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  • Chairman of the Brawl: Bond pushes Nena Blofeld into a Death Trap meant for him with a chair.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Blofeld's daughter.
  • Denser and Wackier: A large portion of this plot is about mind-controlling ice cream combined with particle weapons.
  • The Dragon: Walter Luxor, Bismaquer's right hand man.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Supposedly, Nena Blofeld decided to restore SPECTRE and carry on her father's legacy, hoping to get her revenge on 007 for killing him.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Nena is a French art student turned trophy wife. She's also Blofeld's daughter.
  • Evil Plan: SPECTRE has a plan to take over North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to get their hands on America's military space satellite network.
  • Foreshadowing: Blofeld is never referred to by a male or female pronoun in their segments. Also, Cedar Leiter suggests Nena could be the mastermind from the beginning.
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  • Hidden Villain: A unique example as when the new leader of SPECTRE is shown in early chapters Gardner never states it's a woman, avoiding anything about the sex and thus let it be a shock to the reader as well as Bond that it's Nena.
  • Legacy Character: There's a new Blofeld in charge of SPECTRE. It turns out to be his daughter.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Bond thinks Nena Bismaquer is the sympathetic Bond Girl, but it turns out she's the Big Bad.
  • May–December Romance: Bond has to be at least in his mid-to-late forties with both Cedar Leiter and Mrs. Bismaquer being in their early twenties.
    • Markus Bismaquer is even older than his wife and actually surprises Bond who thinks, "I thought she would be younger but not THAT much younger."
  • No Bisexuals: Averted with Markus Bismaquer — his fondness for Bond leads to him indirectly saving his life... and to his getting killed by his wife Nena.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Markus Bismaquer sabotages Nena's deathtraps for both Cedar as well as Bond. He's then killed by his wife.
  • Red Right Hand: Walter Luxor looks like a corpse, and Markus's wife Nena Bismaquer has only one breast.
  • The Reveal: Nena Bismaquer is actually the daughter of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and the new leader of SPECTRE.
  • Retcon: Neither Felix Leiter or Blofeld were ever said to have any children. It's doubly problematic with the fact Blofeld had syphilis.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: The big plan to take over NORAD hinges on its workforce ingesting ice cream provided by Bismaquer, that has mixture on it that makes its eater susceptible to commands from a person with authority.
  • Title Drop: At the end of the book, Bond receives a gift from Felix Leiter, which has the engraving "For Special Services" on it.
  • Villainous Crush: Markus has one on Cedar Leiter and Bond.