Blood Fever is the second book in the bestselling Young Bond series.
James Bond has discovered danger. Now it’s come looking for him. An Eton boy’s family disappears at sea. James uncovers a shadowy society operating in a hidden corner of the school. And far from England, in the bandit-infested interior of Sardinia, a sinister Italian count has built himself a mountain fortress. Is there a connection? Young James Bond is about to find out – and face a lethal group of villains beneath the burning Mediterranean sun.
Takes the reader by the throat. – Observer
Meet the characters
James Bond will grow up to become the greatest secret agent in the world, but in the summer of 1933 he is still just a schoolboy. While staying at his cousin Victor’s villa in Sardinia he is drawn into a dangerous and terrifying adventure that will require all his bravery, skill and cunning to survive.
‘He ran across the roof and leapt over to the next building… He laughed. This was exactly the same situation he’d been in that night with the Danger Society back at Eton. Only this time he risked more than a beating. This time he was running for his life.’
Zoltan the Magyar is a Hungarian smuggler. A ruthless but simple man, he dreams of making enough money to retire. James is never sure if Zoltan is a villain or a friend, but if James wants to stay alive he is going to need all the help he can get.
‘The blond captain grinned, his teeth flashing. His arms, which were as thick as his legs and knotted with muscle, were crossed on his broad chest… His eyes were startling. The irises were so pale as to be almost colourless and were ringed with a grey that seemed to shine like silver.’
Amy Goodenough is the sister of one of James’s school friends. When the pirate Zoltan murders her father and kidnaps her, Amy, a strong, resourceful girl, vows to kill him. But a strange bond grows between the two of them, and when Amy is taken to Sardinia she realises that Zoltan might be the only friend she has.
‘She had short, untidy hair cut raggedly into uneven clumps, pale freckled skin and big eyes that were shining in the dark…
‘I thought I was dreaming,’ said the girl. ‘Who are you?’
‘The name’s Bond, James Bond. Who are you?’
‘I’m Amy Goodenough.’
James’s Swiss cousin, Victor, has retired to live in seclusion in a bizarre villa in Sardinia, surrounded by the surreal artworks of his artist friend, Poliponi. Victor has had enough of the world of men and wants to live out his days in peace. He loves the finer things in life, wine, art, music and good food, but events on the island make him realise that he can’t hide from the world forever.
‘No, it is me who must apologise,’ said Victor, his expression softening. ‘I did not mean to get angry, but there are rumours that the Millenaria are here on the island, and I do not want to think about such things. Life should be for pleasure, not for war.’
Count Ugo Carnifex has built himself a palace high in the mountains of Sardinia. As head of the sinister Millenaria society, he has secret plans to recreate the Roman Empire. He has a hatred and fear of dirt, dresses all in white and wears silver jewellery dug from the mines beneath his palace.
‘His fingers were festooned with silver rings; he had silver chains around his neck, and small silver earrings. His skin, unlike that of the two guards, was a pure, milky white; so pale that James could see the blue veins beneath it. And his close-cropped hair was as white as everything else about him.’
Vendetta is a 13-year-old whose father was killed in a feud between two Sardinian bandit families. She has lived a harsh life among people whose arguments are settled with the gun or the knife. After a night of hideous torture, she rescues James and nurses him back to health.
‘The guard was sitting in the water, slumped against a slimy rock, his head tipped backwards, his eyes staring and white-rimmed, his mouth open in a silent scream of terror. Below his chin was what looked like a second mouth cut into his throat. The girl had sliced clean across it with her knife.’
Smiler is Count Ugo’s chief henchman and executioner. A murderous former criminal from the streets of Glasgow he was mutilated by his old gang for selling them out to the police. He now bears the scars of this attack on his cheeks, which have earned him his nickname. A red letter M is tattooed on the back of each of his hands. The symbol of the Millenaria society.
‘Zoltan was never sure whether the man was really smiling or not. But he had known him long enough to realize that he probably wasn’t.’