Bond is back, again. Acclaimed Jewish author Anthony Horowitz is writing a new 007 novel based on an idea by the secret agent’s creator Ian Fleming.
The story, dubbed Project One, is inspired by Fleming’s work for a proposed TV series about the secret agent that was never made.
It is the latest in a long line of books written after Fleming’s death and will see Bond enter the glamorous world of 1950s motor racing.
Most of the television plot outlines were turned into short stories by Fleming but this one, called Murder on Wheels, was previously unknown.
Fleming’s great-niece Jessie Grimond said: “There are a few plot outlines which he never used and which, till now, have never been published, or aired. Given that Anthony is as brilliant a screenwriter as he is a novelist, we thought it would be exciting to see what he would do with one of them.”
Horowitz, whose screenwriting career includes Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War, is no stranger to thriller writing and has sold more than 19 million copies of his Alex Rider series about a teenage spy. He has recently penned a new adventure for the master detective Sherlock Holmes.
He said: “It’s no secret that Ian Fleming’s extraordinary character has had a profound influence on my life, so when the estate approached me to write a new James Bond novel how could I possibly refuse? It’s a huge challenge – more difficult even than Sherlock Holmes in some ways – but having original, unpublished material by Fleming has been an inspiration. This is a book I had to write.”
The new book, which includes familiar characters M and Miss Moneypenny, is due for release next September and is the latest instalment of a series that began more than 50 years ago when Fleming wrote Dr No.
Horowitz follows in the footsteps of authors including Kingsley Amis, William Boyd and Sebastian Faulks who have written new Bond books since Fleming’s death in 1964.
Boyd’s book, Solo, was published last year and featured Bond embroiled in a civil war in 1969 Africa.
The Bond books, which have inspired one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises, have sold more than 100 million titles.