Diamonds Are Forever novel

Diamonds Are Forever Cover

Author: Ian Fleming
Publication date:
 26th March 1956
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Cover artist: Pat Marriott

After the success of the first three books, Diamonds Are Forever moves away from Russia as an enemy to a story centring on Bond’s attempt to infiltrate a diamond smuggling racket run by “The Spangled Mob”.

Bond acts as a courier, smuggling a set of diamonds inside golf balls. This was a device that Fleming had picked up whilst working in navel intelligence during the Second World War when messages were sent to prisoners of war inside the balls.


What we say

Ian Fleming sent Bond back to the United States in his fourth novel. Working undercover as a diamond smuggler, Bond again teams up with Felix Leiter, now working for Pinkerton’s.

They travel in Leiter’s “Studillac” from New York to Saratoga, where Bond has been told to bet on a rigged horse race for his payment for the smuggled diamonds. When that fails he is directed to Las Vegas where he bets on a rigged blackjack game instead.

But when he continues to gamble, against explicit instructions from the Spangled Mob, Bond is taken prisoner in a Western ghost town with its own private railway. Interestingly, in Diamonds Are Forever Fleming names the ghost town Spectreville. The book isn’t Fleming at his best, but the reader gets another good look at 1950s America.

After tackling SMERSH in the first two novels and a former Nazi who has established himself as a wealthy British industrialist in the third, the villains in Diamonds Are Forever hardly worthy of James Bond. However, once again 007 is teamed up with Felix Leiter, who is on hand provide local knowledge to both Bond and the reader. And the book memorably features Leiter’s Studillac, a Studebaker coupé fitted with a V8 Cadillac engine.

Fleming had encountered a similar model during one of his stays with Ivar Bryce at Black Hole Hollow Farm in Vermont and so appropriated it for his next novel.

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Kindle: Amazon UK | Amazon US

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