The explosive action continues in Steve Cole’s second Young Bond adventure . . .
James’s Cuban holiday has become a nightmare mission to save an old friend from a villain who has perfected 1,000 ways to kill.
With corrupt cops and hired assassins hot on his heels, James must travel through Havana and brave Caribbean waters to stop a countdown to mass murder.
Fates will be decided with the flip of a coin. Heads or tails. Live or die.
Diverting to Cuba on his way back from his last nail-biting adventure in Los Angeles, James Bond’s rest cure in the sun does not last long before his guardian is kidnapped and a terrifying adventure begins…
“James felt a flicker of self-doubt. Two against one, over a girl he’d never met before? He hadn’t meant to rival St George for chivalry, but if he walked away now . . .”
A towering man of mixed ancestry with long, panther-black hair, who has taken his name from the breed of giant, deadly centipede he has discovered. His intricate knowledge of tropical flora and fauna makes him a poisonous individual in more ways than one. Scolopendra has risen from the gutters of Havana to become a rich, powerful and ruthless businessman no one sane would ever cross.
“There was a fierce, sensual hunger about Scolopendra’s proud face. He might have come late to the feast of the rich man, but it seemed that had only left him more determined to take all he desired.”
Strong, proud and rebellious, Jagua is the daughter of Scolopendra. She hates him and longs to escape his controlling, abusive grasp. She is also a founder member of teen diving group, the Sociedad Suicidio – or, Suicide Club. Using homemade equipment she and her friends risk their lives to explore underwater wrecks off the coast.
“Her tennis pumps seemed at odds with her formal navy blue dress, but James supposed running away was harder in smart shoes – and judging by the wear on the rubber, running was something this girl did a lot.”
A tough Hispanic girl from a poor village, and Jagua’s best friend, she takes any chance that offers enjoyment in life.
“She was tall and painfully thin, with dark skin and long black hair thrown over her face; there was something feral about the features in the oval face.”
Scolopendra’s woman is a mysterious figure dressed all in black and never seen without her veil. She has a mysterious past bound up with violence and betrayal – and knows just how to manipulate her dangerous lover. What is her true identity, and whose side is she really on?
“It was hard to see her face, but her hair was as dark as her simple but elegant satin dress. The fabric was decorated with long silk tassels so that when she walked, the whole garment seemed alive with whispering movement. A pointed chin and a hint of her smile, tight lipped and knowing, was all she chose to display.”
A big bald block of Cuban muscle in a raincoat, El Puño is muscle for hire. His name means ‘The Fist’ – so named because when his hand was blown off in the Brazilian revolution, he had the stump crowned with a block of granite carved in the shape of a fist, fixed and pinned to the bone.
“As the Indian Four accelerated, James took out Queensmarsh, pulled the cocking lever up and forward, inserted a ball bearing in the barrel, and closed it. Jagua veered left, making for the narrow gap between El Puño and the wall. James aimed his pistol at the man’s neck and fired, but the metal pellet merely bounced off the fist as it swept down in a killer blow. James ducked inside the sidecar as the windshield was smashed clear off, and his head almost went with it.”