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From Boyd, with love

The name's Boyd, William Boyd:

the most famous spy in the world is back in a new novel, Solo, this time written by the Scottish author of A Good Man in Africa and Any Human Heart.

It is always a bit of a worry when contemporary authors attempt to create new adventures for another writer's iconic character. Even highly experienced novelists can get it wrong. PD James's sequel to Pride & Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberley, sold in its thousands, but for many readers eager anticipation quickly gave way to disappointment when it turned out to be a solemn restrained murder mystery using only the outlines of Austen's most famous characters.

Bond has also been reimagined but more successfully so: Kingsley's Amis's Bond continuation novel, Colonel Sun (1968) was well received, as was Sebastian Faulks's Devil May Care (2008); meanwhile, The Fast Show's Charlie Higson has had runaway success with his Young Bond series.

Boyd is a lifelong fan of Ian Fleming, who featured in Any Human Heart, therefore the omens for Solo are good. So will this be Bond's last stand? Never say never again.

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