US writer pens new adventure for super-spy Bond

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James Bond, the suave and sophisticated British spy, is returning in a new adventure penned by bestselling US thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, the publishers announced Friday.

The book, so far dubbed Project X, will be published on May 28 next year to mark the birthday of 007 creator Ian Fleming, who died in 1964.

While die-hard fans may raise eyebrows at putting an American in charge of one of Britain's most famous literary characters, Deaver says he has been a fan of Bond since childhood and was delighted to be asked.

"I can't describe the thrill I felt when first approached by Ian Fleming's estate to ask if I'd be interested in writing the next book in the James Bond series," said Deaver, author of "The Bone Collector".

"I began reading them when I was about nine or 10, ignorant of the Cold War politics they explored but enthralled by their sense of adventure and derring-do.

"I continued to read and re-read them, which was fortunate because as a teen and adult I found, of course, nuances, that were invisible to a child."

He follows in the footsteps of British author Sebastian Faulks, who wrote a Bond book two years ago as the publishers sought to breathe new life into the series that began with "Casino Royale" in 1952.

More than 100 million Bond books have been sold around the world but in recent years their success has been overtaken by the hugely successful film franchise, with Daniel Craig the latest incarnation of the smooth spy.

Unlike Faulks' book, which pitted Bond against his old enemy the Soviets in the Cold War, Deaver's story will unfold in the present day.

"He's such a great choice because his blend of fast-paced action with meticulous research will produce a thriller that will both honour Ian Fleming and at the same time be utterly contemporary," said Jamie Hodder-Williams, chief executive of Hodder & Stoughton publishers.

"I can't wait to read it."

© 2010 AFP

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