Outrage! The new James Bond is American! Jeffery Deaver is set to take on the 007 books. Best known for the quadriplegic detective Lincoln Rhyme, the star of books including The Bone Collector and The Stone Monkey, Deaver has been commissioned to write a new Bond novel by Fleming’s estate. He’s following Sebastian Faulk’s period romp ‘Devil May Care’, but will set this one in the here and now. The press may be outraged but I think it’s a good idea. US crime writers are particularly well-suited to write spy thrillers, and Deaver will hopefully bring a freshness to the series that it is now certainly lacking on film.
But it’s an interesting idea now that when you, the author, dies, your characters (if they’re popular) don’t die with you. We’ve had the further exploits of Alice, Pooh, Holmes, Bulldog Drummond, Vidocq, Raffles, Captain Nemo and many others, as well as extensions of the original books (sorry, ‘brands’) and even ridiculous crossovers like the truly awful ‘Pride & Prejudice & Zombies’ books. Now there’s a move into real-life characters with ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’ and ‘Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter’. There’s a set of thrillers starring Oscar Wilde, and another starring Josephine Tey as a detective. Clearly publishers feel that readers trust known brands; perhaps they’re considered to be a less risky purchase.