Double Or Die
by Charlie Higson
Double or Die is the third book in the bestselling Young Bond series.
Kidnap. Violence. Explosions. Murder. No ordinary weekend. But then, James Bond is no ordinary boy… In a North London cemetery a professor is kidnapped at gunpoint. A suspicious letter crammed with cryptic clues arrives at Eton. To decipher the deadly mystery, James Bond must take a series of dangerous gambles. Once the code is cracked, he has just forty-eight hours to save the professor from the dark forces that threaten to destroy them both. And, if the professor can’t escape, it’s not only James’ future under threat. It’s the rest of the world’s…
Double-oh so good. – Sunday Times
Meet the characters
After a gruelling series of events in Sardinia over the summer holidays, James has returned to the monotony of school life at Eton. However, the mysterious disappearance of a school master soon presents the opportunity for adventure and excitement he craves.
Slightly older than James, Perry Mandeville is the risk-taking and reckless, but loyal head of the Danger Society, the secret club at Eton for James and his daredevil friends.
“Outside on Keate’s Lane Perry ambled over. He was a big, gangling lad who was always in a state of fidgety excitement. He talked very fast, his mouth running ahead of his brain, so that his words tumbled over each other and fell out in a stammer.‘Filthy day,’ he said. ‘Roll on Christmas, God rest ye m-merry gentlem-men and all that, I’ve had enough of school for one year, all this studying is m-making m-my brain ache. What did you want to talk to m-me about?’”
Alexis Fairburn is the beak who runs the Crossword Society so beloved of James’s messmate Pritpal. Brilliant but absent minded and eccentric, the sudden announcement of his departure from Eton causes little surprise or concern to his fellow tutors, but Pritpal and James are immediately suspicious of his peculiar letter of resignation.
“His heartbeat skipped and he felt a tingling in his scalp. He had lived a dull and secluded life with very little danger and nothing to disrupt the even flow of his days. He was experiencing a new emotion now, excitement. In a way, he was even enjoying it.
He still had his brain. He must use it somehow to escape from his predicament. He was confident that he would think of something. There wasn’t a problem in the world that couldn’t be solved with brainpower.”
Sir John Charnage
Sir John Charnage is a wealthy friend of Alexis Fairburn’s from his days as an undergraduate at Cambridge University. Heavily involved in the underworld of illegal gambling, his debonair exterior disguises his more sinister motives.
“‘Bravo,’ said Charnage, raising an eyebrow.
He was wearing a smoking jacket with a cravat loosely tied around his neck. He had a cigarette clamped between his teeth and held a glass of brandy in one hand. His other hand held his ivory-topped cane. He ran a finger along his thin moustache and looked at the boys with his sleepy brown eyes.”
The little sister of Red Kelly, James’s friend from his adventures at Loch SilverFin, Kelly Kelly is tough and wily, commanding respect of her fellow street-urchins as leader of the Monstrous Regiment.
“In the centre was the ringleader. A girl of about of about James’s age. She had large brown eyes, set far apart in her broad heart-shaped face, and a wide, full mouth that seemed stuck in a mocking smile. Her hair was deep, dark red, and it flopped.”
Colonel Irina Sedova
Despite her plain, peasant like appearance, Colonel Irina Sedova is a ruthless killer used to giving orders at the highest level within the Soviet machine.
“‘And who’s the woman?’ asked James. ‘Is she one of them?’
‘She’s running the whole thing for Menzhinsky,’ said Fairburn. ‘Colonel Irina Sedova, but they call her Babushka, the Grandmother. She might look harmless but she’s the worst of the lot.’”