Role Of Honour (1984) (USA: Role Of Honor)
|| Tamil Rahani of SPECTRE, Dr Jay Autem Holy, Simon,
General Rolling Joe Zwingli, Dazzle
||SPECTRE plan to disarm U.S. and Russian nuclear
weaponry by using a computerized scheme with the "assistance"
of James Bond.
||Persephone ‘Percy’ Proud, Cindy Chalmer,
||London, Monte Carlo, Oxfordshire, Middle East, Berne,
||Training camp scene; Finale in the airship
Abandoning his 007 status, James Bond resigns from the service
and heads for Monte Carlo, in search of a new role of honour.
But he quickly finds himself embroiled with a computer wizard
absconding from the Pentagon and a sinister mercenary army.
(1993 Coronet paperback)
Above: British 1st edition Jonathan
Official Blurb (First Edition USA Hardback)
In John gardner's most exciting adventure yet, James Bond abandons
his 007 status, resigns from the Service, and heads south for
Monte Carlo in his new bentley Mulsanne Turbo, in search for
a new role of honor.
So beings the most ingenious and deadly mission James Bond has
ever undertaken in his illustrious career. For whatever M and
Bond knew, in private, the world intelligence agencies soon
know it too: James Bond is for hire, to the highest bidder.
So does a man, long presumed dead, who was once America's foremost
military computer expert. So does an American war hero, also
presumed dead, General Rolling Joe Zwingli. And one Tamil Rahani,
an Arab electronics millionaire of shadowy background. And last,
like a hideous phoenix rising from the infernal ashes, a criminal
organization known only by its initials...
Is it conceivable? James Bond in the employ of SPECTRE?
In the service of his new masters Bond must pass a series of
diabolical tests, some computerized and some (when has it been
otherwise for our hero?) in the form of the most beguiling group
of sirens he has encountered since the halcyon days of Pussy
Galore and Honeychile Rider. Finally, in the unlikely setting
of a Goodyear blimp drifting over the city of Geneva, Switzerland,
where a world-powers conference unwittingly holds the fate of
humanity in its grasp, James Bond and his dread foes meet at
last in their deadliest confrontation.
A high-tech, high-tension thriller, Role of Honor fully
lives up to the standard John Gardner has set in his previous
James Bond titles: License Renewed, For Special Services,
Official Blurb (First Edition UK Hardback)
James Bond abandons his 007 status, resigns from the Service,
and heads south for monte Carlo in his new Bentley Mulsanne
Turbo in search of a new role of honour, What brings about this
extraordinary change of fortune in the life of the most celebrated
blunt instrument the British Government has ever wielded? What
unthinkable consequences will it have in the international game
of cat-and-mouse played out so the rest of us can sleep safe
in our beds? Bond's legacy from his Uncle Bruce in Australia
specifically requires him to spend he first £100,000 frivolously,
on any sort of riotous living of his choice, within a given
time. The choice is exercised partly by renewal of Bond's passion
for that prince of cars, the Bentley. His departure from the
Service requires rather more explanation. Questions in the House
are all revolved round a possible security leak, with Her Majesty's
Opposition accusing the Minister of a cover-up. Bond's grievance
is less that he should come under suspicion than that his honour
is impeached by the manner in which the truth is exposed.
John Gardner's fiendish new plot embroils Bond with a computer
wizard absconding rom his duties at the Pentagon, a sinister
mercenary army training in secret for an audacious terrorist
operation, and a hare-brained flight over Geneva while Summit
Peace Talks are in progress there, before honour is fully restored.
- Robbery with Violets
- Outer Darkness (A Frivolous and Extravagant
- Riotous Living (Outer Darkness)
- Proud Percy
- War Game (Teacher's Pet)
- Holy Code
- Rolling Home
- The Bull
- Inside Endor (Endor Games)
- Terror for Hire
- Return to Sender
- The Numbers Racket
- Bunker's Hill
- The Balloon Game
- Epoc (EPOC)
- Down Escalator
- The Magic Carpet
- End of the Affair
Note: American variations on a
chapter title are given in brackets.
Top Left: American 1st
edition Putnam hardback. Top Right: American 1st
edition Berkley paperback. Bottom Left: Japanese paperback.
Bottom Right: British reprint Coronet paperback.
"Rolling Home... By the light of the silvery moon. I have
two pence to lend. And twopence to spend. And twopence to send
home to..." His voice trailed off. He could not bring himself
to sing the last line, about sending money home to his wife.
For the ghost of his dead wife Tracy still haunted him, even
though he consciously missed Percy Proud’s clear mind
and agile, beautiful body. Weakness he chided himself. He was
trained as a loner, one who acted without others, one who relied
on herself. Yet he did miss her.
A few elements of "Role Of Honour"s plot overlap with
the movie "A View To A Kill" made a year later in
1985. The villain is obsessed by technology and computers as
a means for gaining power, and the climatic finale also takes
place in a blimp airship. Bond resigning from MI6 is a device
used in the movie "Licence To Kill" in 1989.
September - 1st edition Putnam hardback (USA)
October - 1st edition Jonathan Cape hardback (UK)
May - 1st edition Berkley paperback (USA)
1st edition Coronet paperback (UK)
1st edition G.K. Hall large print hardback (USA)
||July - 1st edition Charter paperback (USA)
||July - Reprint Coronet paperback (UK)
Bond inherits a large legacy from his uncle (although aficionados
will point out that in You Only Live Twice it is declared that
Bond had no living relatives - this is a rare lax from Gardner
whose books usually contain less continuity errors than those
of Fleming) and this is used as an excuse for him to go undercover,
leaving the Service and operating freelance. M wants Bond to investigate
computer expert Dr Jay Autem Holy, who supposedly died in a plane
crash alongside mercenary soldier Joe Zwingli. But Holy’s
widow, CIA agent Persephone ‘Percy’ Proud, believes
that Professor Jason St John-Finnes is actually Holy, and is responsible
for a series of computer crimes.
After a briefing about computer programming, Bond meets St John-Finnes,
his wife Dazzle, and two other programmers - CIA’s Cindy
Chalmers and Peter Amadeus - over lunch. Cindy gives Bond evidence
of St John Finnes’ involvement in the crimes and gives details
of the ‘Balloon Game’, his forthcoming operation.
007 then passes a series of tests to misle his way into St John
Finnes’ confidence, and learns that the crimes are to provide
funds for his employer SPECTRE. The next plan is to use the airship
to simulate signals to a satellite from military leaders, and
by using the American and Russian frequencies disarm the World.
Bond is aboard the airship, but when Tamil Rahani, another mercenary,
is revealed as the new leader of SPECTRE, the mission is messed
up. 007 and Percy Proud escape together.