The name is Bond, James Bond, and he's back in this centenary celebration of author Ian Fleming. Bond, on a three-month leave enforced by his London doctors, is becoming bored roaming the continent. In Paris, an Algerian drug runner is brutally murdered, and M, Bond's boss, calls him back. His assignment is to find out what Julius Gorner is plotting. Gorner, a British-hating pharmaceutical manufacturer, is producing more than legal drugs. It's the 1960s; the Cold War is heating up, and Gorner in addition to filling England with illegal narcotics also plans to provoke a confrontation between Great Britain and the U.S.S.R.
Faulks has done a fine job capturing Fleming's style, complete with the rich villain, his flawed henchman and the lovely girl. This time instead of cards or golf, it's tennis.
— John Harrington
•"Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sanction” by Eric Van Lustbader (Grand Central Publishing, $25.99).
Jason Bourne is back in academia as his alter ego David Webb, but his stay is short-lived. Professor Dominic Specter, Bourne's university mentor, leads a double life and wants Bourne's help in eliminating the head of the Black Legion. The Black Legion began with Muslims fighting for the Nazis in World War II but has evolved into an Islamic terrorist organization. It also appears the Black Legion has planned a strike in the U.S., and someone from the network is carrying the plans for the attack.
Central Intelligence gets a new director, but the secretary of defense and National Security Agency are eager to take control of CI and will do anything to get it. This includes killing Bourne.
Bourne goes to Europe to search for the Black Legion connection but must avoid NSA hit men and a killer as deadly as he.
This, the author's third Bourne book, is as twisted, dark and exciting as the others.
— John Harrington
•"Necks Out for Adventure” by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press, $16.99).
Edwin, a wiggleskin living on the seafloor, always has followed the wiggleskin rule: "Necks out to eat, and necks in to hide!”
When two large, human feet appear among the wiggleskin community, all pull in their shells to hide, but it is too late.